Reviews

one of New York’s leading jazz musicians

New York Times

Album Reviews

Akua’s Dance (2017)

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“The power Dixon projects may indeed owe something to her ax. But as she flows through the repertoire that ranges from her own compositions to Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It All Away”, Sade’s “The Sweetest Taboo” and the spiritual “I’m Gonna Tell God All Of My Troubles,” it’s clear Dixon could make music from sheer depth experience if she were limited to a diddley-bo.”

Howard Mandel, Downbeat

“Akua Dixon has forged a solid career playing and arranging string sections and with her own innovative recordings. Her latest, “Akua’s Dance,” out Friday on her own Akua’s Music imprint, features unique ensembles and stunning arrangements on a wide range of originals, jazz repertoire and pop tunes.”

Martin Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

“A visage of joyousness fills this album cover. Cellist Akua Dixon, with back arched and eyes closed, can’t contain herself. A knowing smile washes over her face as she bathes in the light with cello in hand. It’s a picture that perfectly illustrates the artist’s place in the moment: Dixon has reached a point of supreme confidence, where percipience permeates her every move and guides her every turn. She doesn’t miss a step on Akua’s Dance.”

Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“This is an album that is really difficult to sum up to adequately describe in words to do it, and the graft and craft invested in it, justice. The music must speak for itself. It might be a ‘Marmite moment’ for some, but for most it should inspire and stimulate, stoking the fires of inner most passions and emotions, and at the very least; greatly impress for the sheer quality of the musicianship and pushing of the jazz envelope. Bravo.”

Christopher Weston, Music Republic Magazine

“All of Dixon’s recordings are equally stirring and spirited which the accomplished cellist/violinist infuses with her characteristic brilliance and charisma. Akua’s Dance is not an exception. In addition, it is, perhaps, her most cohesive and most polished work to date.”

Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

“Dixon plays the violin like a cellist, emphasizing long, slow lines and never going for fast, showy solos. This gives the music a stateliness that risks turning it into chamber jazz, but Lewis’ drumming keeps it swinging.”

Phil Freeman, Stereogum

“Certainly music for grown ups and anyone who wants to be one, breath taking is an easy way to describe this fine outing. Well done throughout.”

Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Akua Dixon is the dean of jazz cello…As string music goes in 2016, in any style of music, it doesn’t get any more impactful than this.”

“When an artist has shown she can do just about everything, it’s always interesting to see what she does when she has the opportunity to turn her focus to her own projects. That’s what cellist, composer and singer Akua Dixon is doing these days.”

“The important cellists, of whom Akua Dixon is surely one, are almost by definition incredible thinkers (in the non-verbal medium of notes). The most important of these inspire thought in their listeners. Akua’s Dance triggered in this one a series of musings on the nature of maturity, musical and otherwise.”

Raul da Gama, Jazz da Gama

“On Akua’s Dance, Ms. Dixon employs two different, but equally brilliant trios to accompany her lush and jazzy cello. Victor Lewis is the constant between the two, and displays throughout this album the usual inimitable taste, sensitivity and drive for which he is known. But, it is Ms. Dixon who is the brightest star in this constellation of stellar artists with her masterful playing and vocals (check out “Throw It Away”). With this album of beautiful, moving and heartfelt music, Ms. Dixon steps out front as one of the most interesting musician/composers on the scene!”

ALBANY JAZZ – Top 5 of 2017

“An excellent outing!”

George Harris, Jazz Weekly

Authoritative, stylish and fresh

Newsday

Album Reviews

Akua Dixon (2015)

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“hot-jazz edge and improvisational brio.”

Gene Santoro, Chamber Music America

“a beautiful, sometimes exquisite recording”

Michael J. West, The Jazz Times

“Akua Dixon boldly goes where few practitioners of the cello have gone.” “This brilliantly conceived and executed musical endeavor is really worth checking out.”

D. Glenn Daniels, The Jazz Page

“The arrangements are effective and languidly jazzed in a beautiful way…If you revel in the possibilities of what string ensembles bring to the music and crave more of it, here is the place to be.”

Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate

“the cellist paints her music with a tremendous colour palette and a poetic sweep in every bar gilded with changes of voicing and inner lines that evoke intimations of baroque splendour swirling in the blues.”

Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Network

“Akua Dixon … plays a resonant and beautiful cello and in addition wrote all the arrangements on this warm and often fascinating recording. … A rare talent both as player and arranger.”

George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

“an album that oozes excitement, style, and harmonic swing.”

George Harris, JazzWeekly.com

“Highly recommended.”

Brenda Nelson-Strauss, Black Grooves

“The real highlight is ‘A Gozar Con Mi Combo’ by the great bassist Cachao Lopez, a murderously swinging Cuban descarga in which John Blake, Regina Carter, Ina Paris, and bassist Kenny Davis take a delirious round of contrasting bowed or plucked solos. This is the finest moment of a very strong set.”

Jerome Wilson, Cadence

“A solid bet for anyone that ever wanted to hear more jazz from Leonard Bernstein, this pro knows how to hit to all fields and make it all come out right.”

Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“enthralling…sparkles with life…charms the ears from the start”

Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“a dazzling string conclave that surveys the cellist/composer/arranger’s expansive stylistic reach.”

Arnaldo Desoutiero, Jazz Station

“Simple elegance…” “a fresh and vibrant approach” “arranged with great care and executed with even greater success.” “Akua Dixon is certainly a pioneer and visionary in her own right” “A tremendous recording that richly deserves serious consideration by critics across the globe.”

Brent Black, Critical Jazz

“Akua Dixon is the most accomplished cellist in jazz history. Her brand new for 2015 recording on her very own Akua’s Music label adds to her impressive list of accomplishments and to her living legacy.”

Arturo Gomez, KUVO Jazz

“lively, classy renditions of jazz standards”

Anthony Dean-Harris, Downbeat

“a very worthwhile listen”

Gary Walker, WBGO music director

…highly imaginative and beautifully textured arrangements

Washington Post

Album Reviews

Moving On (2012)

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“she most certainly will chart her own course as one of the leading lights of the cello in any form of music with her compositions on that instrument as well as with her astounding virtuosity as well.”

Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Network

Articles

International Musician, February 2021

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Dan Ouellette, Downbeat Magazine, April 2017

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Howard Mandel, Downbeat Magazine, March 2017

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