Jazz Forum Review

OglesbyBy Damani Malcolm

On February 21st, I settled into a seat at the Cat in the Cream to watch Ben Oglesby’s Quintet play what will probably be Stolof’s final Jazz Forum. I was hoping the group — composed of himself on guitar, Matt Stolof (drums), Gervis Myles (bass), Abe Gold (piano), and Max Schlenk (tenor saxophone) — would take the opportunity to make a statement, and I was not disappointed.  Continue reading “Jazz Forum Review”

Free For All — Album Review

free for all art

By Damani McNeil

In the pantheon of Jazz musicians, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers hold a special place, and perform a critical function. Releasing 47 studio albums over a 35 year span featuring scores of members in myriad combinations, Blakey’s Jazz Messengers have served as a living archive of jazz, recording some of the most iconic snapshots of the state of the genre and it’s most prolific artists. Situated in between the release of Ugetsu (1963) and Kyoto (1964), Free For All is one of the group’s most legendary offerings, and also one of their most beautiful.

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Pho — Album Review

ari lennox pho art

By Damani McNeil

Through her successes on Shea Butter Baby and Revenge of the Dreamers III, Ari Lennox’s early buzz has bloomed into one of the most promising young careers in music. Known for her silky, seductive voice and well put-together visuals, her brand is cohesive and she seems primed to make a serious pass at the position of Queen of R&B.

As elite as her contributions have been over the past two years, her talent and vision were introduced to the world long before her popular success, in the form of a 7 track EP titled Pho.

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Game Related — CD Review

game related art.jpg

By Damani McNeil

Tucked away in the sleepy San Francisco hills, Larry June has quietly been putting together one of the most exciting tears the rap industry has seen in recent memory. Fresh off the heels of a year in which he released five full-length projects, Larry has linked back up with his friend and producer extraordinaire Cardo Got Wings, to release a new tape called Game Related. Despite the understandable focus on Larry — he and Cardo are the only artists on every song — the tape should definitely be regarded as a collective project: it also relies heavily on contributions from Payroll Giovanni and Kid HBK, two of Cardo’s long time collaborators.

The tape is imbued with the same energy that makes Larry’s solo projects so appealing. Game Related recalls the days of Too $hort and Mac Dre, speaking about the experiences of pimps and drug dealers as they move through their lives, both business and personal.

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