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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Jazz Articles

ARTIST PROFILES April 24, 2014

EJ Park: Touching Us Softly with Her Song

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By VICTOR L. SCHERMER

[The early strivings of jazz musicians tell us important things about their work throughout their careers. In this article, Vic Schermer, senior staff writer for All About Jazz, who has followed the lives of many musicians, offers a personal and musical portrait of EJ Park, a jazz vocalist who recently completed her studies in one of the top university jazz programs and is embarking on an exciting career.] Her name is EJ Park. She's a young woman from Gwangju, South Korea. She disembarks from a plane in a city and country she's never been to before. She's a ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 24, 2014

Jazz in Church 2014, Bucharest, Romania

By ADRIANA CARCU

Jazz in Church Lutheran Church Bucharest April 3-6, 2014 The second edition of the Bucharest Jazz in Church Festival found the best way to establish a valuable musical tradition, not only in Romania, but also the wider, European jazz arena. Featuring musicians from France, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary as well as Romanian artists, the organizers provided four days of solid musical substance and enticing creative diversity. By aptly balancing the toned down character of the performances and lending each evening a specific, unmistakable sonority, the festival marked further ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS April 24, 2014

Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron: Play Morricone 1 & 2

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By GABRIEL MEDINA ARENAS

Film lovers all over the world recognize Ennio Morricone as one of the best score composers of all time. His music has been used in more than 500 movies and TV shows. About 60 of them have won Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA awards and other honors. Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron started a trio in 1984 and one of their most interesting projects has been to create and record jazz arrangements for some of Ennio Morricone's vast list of compositions. Pieranunzi has recorded in dozens of films whose soundtracks were composed by Morricone and ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 23, 2014

Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson at Jazz at Kitano

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By DAN BILAWSKY

Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson Jazz at Kitano New York, NY April 19, 2014 Some relationships are beyond close, bordering on the sacred. There's the strong bond between husband and wife, the high level of trust between friend and confidant, and, perhaps most interestingly, the intimate connection between singer and pianist. That last pairing may seem out of place and trivial in nature to some, but anybody who's ever encountered such a combination knows that it truly belongs on this list. For a pianist and singer to establish a long term ...

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MULTIPLE REVIEWS April 23, 2014

Smoke Sessions: A Threesome from Herring, Jackson, & Hazeltine

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By C. ANDREW HOVAN

With the launch of their own label at the start of 2014, Smoke Jazz Club widened their circle by committing to tape performances by some of New York's finest musicians and dispersing this music via downloads and discs. A decidedly bare bones operation, the in-house production team has done a great job of capturing the ambiance of the room and everything from mastering to graphic design is dedicated to establishing an identity of quality and craftsmanship. Vincent Herring The Uptown Shuffle Smoke Sessions 2013 Following on the heels of their vinyl ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS April 23, 2014

Natsuki Tamura: Dragon Nat

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By DAVE WAYNE

The instrumentalist begins his career as, essentially, a solo artist. Whether is practicing long tones or scales or drum rudiments, nearly everyone who plays a musical instrument starts out unaccompanied. On the road to mastery, most musicians spend thousands of hours playing alone. In jazz, solo recordings by musicians other than pianists or guitarists are a relatively recent phenomenon, and the prospect of listening to a horn or drum soloist playing unaccompanied for an hour or more may seem daunting, both the the player and to the audience. To the listener, a solo performance may seem dry or arcane; after ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 22, 2014

Vossa Jazz 2014

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By BRUCE LINDSAY

Vossa Jazz Voss, Norway April 11-14, 2014 Vossa Jazz: a jazz festival that's about more than just jazz, an event that takes place at the same point in the calendar every year but not on the same days, a place to celebrate hundreds of years of musical tradition and to encourage music's future with highly-prestigious annual commissions of new work. All of those things, in a small town tucked away among the mountains and fjords of Norway. The phrase “small festival, big heart" has probably been applied to other events across the world, but ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 22, 2014

Diana Krall Sextet at Mesa Arts Center

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By PATRICIA MYERS

Diana Krall Sextet Mesa Arts Center Mesa, Arizona April 8, 2014 Diana Krall applied her sultry voice and dynamic piano style to a captivating if surprising concert that combined jazz with tender childhood memories, silent-film clips and Seinfeld-style mischievous humor. In a stage setting that resembled an old-time theater, Krall mostly performed music from the 1920s and 1930s, saying she loved old music and silent movies,and that she had heard many of the songs on her father's Gramophone, which was positioned stage left throughout the evening. Singing and playing both a grand piano ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS April 22, 2014

The Bad Plus: The Rite Of Spring

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By DAN BILAWSKY

Calculation and risk, bombast and glory, a complete shunning of expectations, and a penchant for the provocative, percussive and dramatic. It's hard to know if that description is meant to be applied to Igor Stravinsky's most heralded work or the collectively-operated trio known as The Bad Plus; it's hard to make that distinction because it rings true for both. One hundred years separate the premiere of The Rite Of Spring, which caused a riot, and the recording of this album. In the interim, everything has changed and nothing has changed. Listeners still get lulled into and out ...

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INTERVIEWS April 21, 2014

Jiyoung Lee: Snobs, Addicts & Royalty

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By IAN PATTERSON

Jiyoung Lee, pianist/keyboardist and leader of Korean jazz-funk sextet Jazz Snobs Funk Addicts probably has to pinch herself from time to time. Encouraged from a young age by her parents to pursue a life as a classical pianist, Lee instead opted for the greater expressive freedom--and the economic uncertainty-- offered by jazz. Her journey so far has been an inspiring one. Within a few short years of taking the plunge, Lee found herself studying jazz in Texas, where she played with some of the very best North American jazz musicians and recorded a solo album. She also toured ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 21, 2014

Chick Corea At Town Hall

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By MIKE PERCIACCANTE

Chick Corea Town Hall New York, NY April 10, 2014 With the coronation of rock's royalty taking place a mere six miles across town in Brooklyn at “The House That Jay Z Built" (The Barclays Center), one of jazz' princes took the stage at Manhattan's Town Hall. Chick Corea's solo piano performance was an intimate and spectacular evening comprised of stories, solo piano improvisations and his extraordinary versions of some of the best loved entries in the Great American Songbook. For those in-the-know, Chick Corea needs no introduction. He's a master musician, multiple ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS April 21, 2014

Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son

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By PHIL BARNES

Remember D'Angelo? Takuya Kuroda and his producer Jose James certainly do--this excellent collection has that loose, swampy, stoned feel from 'Voodoo' closer than anyone since, putting across that feel of thick, still air on a scorching hot, languid, afternoon perfectly. D'Angelo worked because he signposted a way to fuse the classic jazz influenced soul of say Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Al Green and even Prince to modern hip hop grooves without diminishing either genre. By putting that sound into a soulful jazz context Kuroda has arguably chosen to accentuate one of the elements in that original mix so that the ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 20, 2014

Helen Sung at Jazz @ Jack's, Denver, CO

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By GEOFF ANDERSON

Helen Sung Jazz @ Jack's 2014 Craft Brewers Conference Denver, CO April 9, 2014 Astaire and Rogers; Bogart and Bacall; Sponge Bob and Patrick... The entertainment world is full of classic pairings. Wednesday night's classic pairing was jazz and craft beer. Dropped in the middle of the 2014 Craft Brewers Conference in jny: Denver, pianist Helen Sung, affiliated with North Coast Brewing Company, put together a virtuoso quintet to match the virtuoso beer on tap. A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Sung naturally plays some of the ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS April 20, 2014

Colin Edwin - Lorenzo Feliciati: Twinscapes

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By JOHN EPHLAND

From the bottom up, Twinscapes is a long time coming, and not just for bass players. Sonically, this 11-track suite plays on your ears and mind in ways that can defy gravity, combining soft audial touches to go along with earthy funk, the residue left a kind of smoke that lingers but filters, inevitably it seems, upwards. Twinscapes really is a kind of novel treatment of the electric bass, not that this sort of thing hasn't been done before. Think Bill Laswell, for starters. And, of course, the acoustic bass also has its masters in altogether spare environs. ...

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