Reviews & Press

for ‘Akua’s Dance’, 2017



“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. Full review here.


Downbeat April 2017 Downbeat April 2017 2
See full size Downbeat Article by Dan Ouellette from April 2017 here. 


“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. Full review here.


“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. Full review here. 


“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. Full review here. 


“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. Review here. 


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. Full review. 


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. Feature here. 


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. Feature here. 


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“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.” Alan Young.  Full review here. 


“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. Full review here. 


“An excellent outing!” George Harris. Full review here.

ALBANY JAZZ – Top 5 of 2017
“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!”






for ‘Akua Dixon’, 2015

Chamber Music America, Spring 2015 Issue
“hot-jazz edge and improvisational brio.” Gene Santoro
Full feature here.


“With her new self-titled release, Dixon strings us along for a fascinating trip through the worlds of Charles Mingus, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini and more. The creativity of bassist Kenny Davis, Ina Paris on viola, violinists Regina Carter (an alum of Quartette Indigo), Gwen Lester, Chala Yancy, Patrisa Tomassini and John Blake, Jr. on one of his last recordings, make this ten-track effort a very worthwhile listen.” Gary Walker
Full review here.


“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
Full review here.


All About Jazz
“With the release of her debut—Moving On (Self Produced, 2012)—and this follow-up, Dixon is finally getting the attention she deserves.” Dan Bilawsky
Full review here.


Critical Jazz
“A tremendous recording that richly deserves serious consideration by critics across the globe.” Brent Black
Full review here.


Jazz Station
“Her new self-ttled CD, “Akua Dixon,” is a dazzling string conclave that surveys the cellist/composer/arranger’s expansive stylistic reach.” Arnaldo Desouteiro
Full review here.


Midwest Record
“Soild stuff for the jazzbo that appreciates a visceral edge.” Chris Spector
Full review here.


Cadence Magazine
“The finest moment of a very strong set.” Jerome Wilson
Full review here.


Jazz Society of Oregon
“Dixon is a rare talent both as player and arranger. She could well be a rising star.” George Fendel
Full review here.


Black Grooves
“How lucky we are that she’s decided to share these gems. This album is highly recommended.” Brenda Nelson-Strauss
Full review here.


Jazz Weekly
“By the time the strings close out in a polyphonous “Poiciana” you’ll have been swept away by an album that oozes excitement, style and harmonic swing. A tough lady to beat!” George Harris
Full review here.


Latin Jazz Network
“Anything that Ms. Dixon does is breathtaking. Everything she does is breathlessly awaited and held in high esteem.” Raul da Gama
Full review here.


Gapplegate Music Review
“If you are like I am, 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. Yes! More!” Grego Applegate Edwards
Full review here.


The Jazz Page
“This brilliantly conceived and executed musical endeavor is really worth checking out.”
Full review here.


Downbeat Magazine
“For her second album, cellist Akua Dixon has put together an extremely talented group of musicians to take up lively, classy renditions of jazz standards.” Anthony Dean Harris
Full review here.


Jazz Times
“Akua Dixon is a beautiful, sometimes exquisite recording.” Michael J West
Full review here.