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Jazz - Released June 17, 2016 | ECM

Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released March 26, 2001 | ACT Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Although there is close interplay between the three musicians and drummer Peter Erskine gets top billing, this set is primarily of interest due to the versatility of guitarist Nguyên Lê. Lê's playing ranges from a lazy introspective style similar to Bill Frisell to fiery and rockish improvising. The 11 group originals generally lack any memorable melodies and instead set moods in which the musicians improvise together. Despite the talk of the group being a democracy, Lê is mostly in the lead, with bassist Michel Benita having a fair number of solos and Erskine being in a supportive role. Much of this set is overly sleepy, leaving listeners waiting for something to happen but, despite the high musicianship of the musicians, little does. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 25, 2008 | ACT Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
A good seven years after their first recorded foray into the trio format, guitarist Nguyên Lê, drummer Peter Erskine (of Weather Report fame), and bassist Michel Benita recombine for another session. The sound actually does hold some parallels to the Weather Report aesthetic, perhaps due to the involvement of Erskine's pen in a chunk of the tracks. The performances are exploratory, but controlled. With guest sax player Stéphane Guillaume in tow, the album opens with the title track, showcasing the flow of some parallel lines among the leads before going into a wide-open guitar solo. Another piece penned by Benita, "Rotha & Priska," moves into more chaotic territory, with the band clashing sounds together a bit in a bout of deconstruction. Lê's "Jive Five" gets a little more of a groove building, and Erskine's "Song for Jaco" proves a bit more reflective. With "Twelve," the band starts ramping back up slowly (and gives Benita a nice solo), and "Plan 9" brings back Guillaume for a nice bop-inflected bit. Lê takes a nice turn toward the rock end of the spectrum in "Kokopanitsa," with some strong note-bending and scale-burning throughout, and then toward a more ethereal sound in "Romanichel." Benita takes the focus back in "Montreal" with a strong bassline, and the sole Guillaume composition proves itself a loping, funky number. The album closes on one last Lê composition, featuring a fairly sparse interplay between the core trio members. The album has a lot to show, ranging from strong fusion pieces to slow electric nightclub ballads. There's always a touch of fusion inherent in the focus on the electric guitar, but the compositions could often be part of a free jazz or even post-bop setting. Worth a spin for a look at what's going on in the collaborative hotbeds of Paris. © Adam Greenberg /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 1, 1996 | ECM

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released April 6, 2018 | Fuzzy Music LLC

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Jazz - Released September 1, 1994 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 12, 1999 | ECM

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released January 15, 2016 | Fuzzy Music

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Jazz - Released February 17, 2017 | Fuzzy Music

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Jazz - Released June 28, 2006 | Musefx Records

This intriguing set for pianist George Cables is in some ways a throwback to the 1970s. Although he has often played hard bop in recent times, in the '70s he was more eclectic, so he is heard on both acoustic and electric pianos. The music (all his originals except for the spiritual "Go Down Moses") is soulful and sometimes funky, hinting at 1970s fusion and pop in spots while still swinging. Cables is heard with two different rhythm sections (either bassist Abraham Laboriel and drummer Peter Erskine or bassist Alphonso Johnson and drummer Vinny Coliauta) with guest appearances from Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet and altoist Gary Bartz. This small label release is worth searching for. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1982 | Fantasy Records

Drummer Peter Erskine's debut as a leader (originally made for Contemporary and reissued on CD in the OJC series) finds him using top players (most of whom had played with Steps Ahead) in various combinations. Erskine performs a few of his own originals (including an 11-minute "All's Well That Ends" and a short drum solo) plus "My Ship," Wayne Shorter's "E.S.P.," and Bob Mintzer's "Change of Mind." With such musicians as trumpeter Randy Brecker, tenors Michael Brecker and Mintzer, pianist Kenny Kirkland, and vibraphonist Mike Mainieri getting some solo space, this post-bop music (from an often-overlooked set) is of consistent high quality. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 18, 2006 | Amigo

Swedish saxophonist Lennart Aberg was touched by the music of trumpeter Don Cherry when Cherry lived in Sweden. This recording revisits Cherry's spirit without copying or assimilating it, but does embellish and expand it from an instrumental standpoint. Cherry's work with Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble provides a springboard for Aberg, as for the most part you hear him leading a 15-piece band through charts that are atmospheric, a bit melancholic, and definitely Euro-centric. Special guests are picture perfect drummer Peter Erskine and lyrical trumpet soloist Palle Mikkelborg, who complement a group of Aberg's Swedish friends, including standout baritone saxophonist Alberto Pinton and pianist Daniel Karlsson. The centerpiece of the CD is a segment from Cherry's "Relativity Suite" which evokes the spirit and mountainous ambience of the Alps, with the horns speaking over white wafting clouds. Those familiar with the suite will recognize the quick 5/4 modal "Tantra," clarion calls, and mix of African, Eastern Indian and minimalism signifying "Mali Doussn'gouni" and the peaceful late-night timeless Native American ritual feel in "Desireless." "In Memoriam" and "Folkvisa" are somber, funereal, reverent, and revenant pieces featuring Aberg's poignant tenor and Karlsson's introspective piano, while "Kashmir" uses more colors from the cerebral, angelic singing horn section, no-time being used liberally. A light funk identifies "Rain" very reminiscent of a Gil Evans or Mike Gibbs arrangement, while the only small ensemble piece "Arthur" is as regal as the title might suggest, mixing meters and speeds between 7/8 & 4/4 in a neo-bop mode with Aberg's tenor skating around à la Michael Brecker, while "Amarone" is in a straight eight rhythm with distinct five beat flourishes utilizing a unison horn underpinning, approaching Baroque timbres. The dynamics between high and low-end woodwinds throughout is breathtaking, and Erskine is at his usual very high level. This is an intriguing and provocative project, which deserves universal attention. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 13, 2007 | MAMA Records

Bob Florence has built a reputation as a solid arranger and composer who has amassed quite a discography that extended nearly a half-century by the time this studio recording was made in the spring of 2006. Leading an all-star West Coast-based big band sprinkled with a few guest soloists, the pianist starts things off with his imaginative "Eternal Licks & Grooves," an IAJE-commissioned work saluting Count Basie that utilizes a repeated lick from Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" but not in a traditional swing setting. Claude Debussy's French Impressionist work "Claire de Lune" seems like a brand new composition after Florence applies his master strokes on the charts for his band, transforming it from a quiet ballad to an upbeat cooker. Branislaw Kaper's "Invitation" is a favorite of singers and instrumentalists alike, typically played in a bossa nova setting; Florence's approach is more reserved, gaining steam gradually and providing an excellent solo showcase for tenor saxophonist Jeff Driskill and trumpeter Steve Huffsteter. Finally, "Appearing in Cleveland" serves as a finale, saluting bandleader Stan Kenton and incorporating several of his most famous compositions in aFlorence's imaginative extended suite. Highly recommended! This CD was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award as Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released October 19, 1999 | Starsing

You might justifiably expect sparks to fly on this collaborative effort, given the careers of Ehrlich and his compatriots, trio members Michael Formanek and Peter Erskine. Unfortunately, it rarely happens, and while all three are exquisite players individually, this disappointing, often tepid recording stands as an opportunity not fully realized. In part it might be the result of different styles: Ehrlich, of course, is the more adventurous of the group, but Erskine, whose heart is usually in more commercial ventures, seems comfortable with the music. The pieces are all originals by the trio members, but there are times when a certain boredom pervades the music. To be fair, there are some aggressive, exciting moments, too, but they are the exception. Ehrlich continues to show remarkable versatility on alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet, and flute (where he is particularly lyrical). © Steven Loewy /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 2, 2014 | Detroit Music Factory