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7Dreams: The Story of a Country, a Friendship and a Sound

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One of the things that is great about the digital age is how easy it is to get access to music from different parts of the world. Pluralism is the keyword. Jazz is not just one thing and each country has its specific take on the jazz tradition. However, sometimes jazz musicians of a particular country forget their own heritage because they are too busy following the latest trend. This is not the case with Nicolas Simion, Romanian ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Parrott: Round Tripper

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More than ten thousand miles separate New York and Australia, but saxophonist Lisa Parrott's music bridges that gap. On Round Tripper, the Australian-born, New York-based Parrott makes music that speaks to her connections to both locales and the bonds that she's made in both places over the years. Round Tripper finds Parrot working with an integrated American-Australian outfit: Omnipresent drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Chris Lightcap represent the former category while guitarist Carl Dewhurst, one of Parrot's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet

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With the passing of Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler--Kenny Wheeler to his legion of friends and fans--the world lost yet another significant figure in the history of jazz from the mid-'60s through to the second decade of the new millennium, the artist that Norma Winstone (more often than not his singer of choice) called “the Duke Ellington of our times." While Wheeler had, since 2004, been releasing his music on the Italian Cam Jazz label, but it seems wholly appropriate that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Segal: Mental Images

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Guitarist and composer Gene Segal has put the intervening years between Mental Images and his recording debut, Hypnotic (Innova Records, 2009), to good use. While Segal still loves the funk, as the opening “Healing Feeling" definitively shows, the remainder of the album doesn't easily fit into any one musical pigeonhole;unless there's a category at your local music store called “accomplished, original jazz-rock from out of left-field."Russian-born and Brooklyn-raised, Segal has assembled quite a band for “Mental Images." Jon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Harriott Quintet: Abstract/Southern Horizons/Free Form

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Swing Low, Sweet Harriott I don't think Joe Harriott's entire catalogue has ever been available at one time. Even in his heyday in the sixties, much of the 1950s material was unavailable. From the seventies onwards, things got really dire. Now that so much is out of copyright, Harriott's work is increasingly being reissued in CD packages, albeit in ways that are confusing and which duplicate other recently released recordings. In 2012, Proper Records put out ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Klaxton: Starcode

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Oftentimes the back story behind the motivation and inspiration for songs compiled on a record are just as fascinating as the music itself. Case in point is trumpeter Chris Klaxton, whose interest in subjects as diverse as astrophysics, the intellectual philosophies of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, and spiritual continuity of life, culminated in his recording Starcode. Though all of this might sound complicated when applied to jazz, his music is grounded and accessible,implemented with profound sensitivity.The title track is ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

John Coltrane: Exploring the Mystery of A Love Supreme, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album, A Love Supreme. Here is a critical engagement of various parts of A Love Supreme by UC-Berkeley professor and author Dr. Scott Saul. The excerpt is taken from his award winning book Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. Saul provides a penetrating analysis of the deep spirituality embedded in Coltrane's iconic album, supported by a sharp musical ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet

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In the end, time--as is its wont--caught up with Kenny Wheeler, the much-loved Canadian-born trumpeter/flugelhornist and composer who made England his home for over sixty years. Happily, he was able to hear the results of the two-day Abbey Road sessions that produced, Songs for Quintet before he passed away last September 18. These Wheeler originals reveal the inevitable fragility that had crept into Wheeler's delivery--even since the remarkable Mirrors (Edition Records, 2013)--due to declining health but just as clearly emphasize ...



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