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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash: Duologue

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Saxophone and drum duos aren't as rare as some might believe, but a good percentage of such encounters are challenging, left-leaning affairs. John Coltrane's edgy encounters with Rashied Ali on Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1974) emboldened many in the so-called avant-garde to marry these instruments time and again over the ensuing decades, yet few centrists seem as interested or willing to explore that territory. That's why a recording such as this, featuring man-for-all-seasons saxophonist Steve Wilson and paragon-of-class drummer Lewis Nash, is so special. Nash, an occasional leader and first-call side man who's worked with everybody from vocalist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Gascoyne O'Higgins Quartet: The Real Note Vol. 2

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It's the facts. Many inquisitive people spend their lives in pursuit of the facts. For the questing jazz musician, by contrast, the contrafacts take precedence. That's certainly the case for the UK's Gascoyne O'Higgins Quartet. The band's second collection of such tunes based on the chord changes from Songbook standards, The Real Note Vol. 2, features nine of them. Bassist Geoff Gascoyne and saxophonist Dave O'Higgins co-lead the group, which is completed by pianist Graham Harvey and drummer Sebastian De Krom. It would be hard to find a more experienced or intuitive quartet on the UK jazz scene. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Hiatt at Shelburne Museum

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John Hiatt & the Combo The Green at Shelburne Museum Shelburne, Vermont July 10, 2014 John Hiatt has become a past master at creating songs populated with characters full of real-life detail . Playing with the Combo on the Green at Shelburne Museum, he offered a selection of his original material that painted a self-portrait rendered even more vivid by the expertise of the musicians around him. And it began from the very first selection, “Master of Disaster." While at one time this might have been a wry self-reference, as Hiatt concluded each ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Cosgrove: Alternating Current

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Alternating Current is a completely entrancing recording that captures three master players listening and responding in real time. Both Matthew Shipp and William Parker thrive in the completely improvised arena, which is why drummer Jeff Cosgrove wanted them for this project. A second reason might have been that neither musician had ever played a composition by Paul Motian, who is one of Cosgrove's idols, along with Andrew Cyrille, who has connections with all three musicians and who helped bring them together for this project. Completely improvised music has to find its own internal way of carrying ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Cowboy Mouth at B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill

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Cowboy Mouth with the Cringe B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill New York, NY July 17, 2014 Cowboy Mouth is a rock 'n' roll band formed in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the early 1990s during grunge's heyday. Its sound is best described as a musical gumbo mixing gritty rock, punk, blues, new wave, swamp pop, rockabilly and a touch of New Orleans funk. Some of the band's most popular songs include “Voodoo Shoppe," “Joe Strummer," “Light It On Fire," “Everybody Loves Jill," “Disconnected," and “Jenny Says." It has also covered Bruce Springsteen ("Born To ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Wyatt: Borough Of Kings

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The borough of Kings (County)--a.k.a. Brooklyn, NY--has been saxophonist Eric Wyatt's home base from birth. It was there that he was exposed to jazz, met some of the legends of the music, and began to forge his own voice on saxophone. Here, on his fifth album to date, he delivers an intense brew that speaks volumes about what he's learned during his time in Brooklyn. Wyatt is a no holds barred player with an edge to his work. Thankfully, he found some simpatico quartet mates that are willing and able to match his energy level on this ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Daniel Lanois: My Music for Billy Bob

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Translating guitarist/producer Daniel Lanois' evocative guitar and ability to create stratified soundscapes into soundtrack music for actor Billy Bob Thornton's directorial debut Sling Blade may seem an unusual choice, but the outcome turns into an interesting and unique blend of his darker, moodier incidental guitar and a variety of other instrumental touches. Lanois' music has always been about mood and ambience and other people have benefited from his unusual gift of capturing or creating all kinds of ambiences. This multitalented musician, thinker and a driving force behind the creation of many great records is a creator of sonic witchcraft. His ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeremy Lyons: Vestige

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It's been a good year for Jeremy Lyons. In March, the Belfast tenor saxophonist's dectet opened the Brilliant Corners 2014 jazz festival with a resounding set before an enthusiastic home audience. Here, stripped back to the more intimate surroundings of a quartet, Lyons' debut as leader brings together seasoned pros from the UK jazz scene on a set of his original compositions that are straight ahead in conception. The rhythm section of bassist Vicky Tilson and drummer Buster Birch is both empathetic and energizing, buoying and cajoling the lead lines pursued by Lyons and guitarist Ben McDonnell. Lyons ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vinicius Cantuaria and Bebel Gilberto at Celebrate Brooklyn

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Vinicius Cantuaria and Bebel Gilberto Brasil Summerfest at Celebrate Brooklyn Brooklyn, New York July 18, 2014 On the opening night of the third edition of the city-wide Brasil Summerfest, guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria took the stage with his quintet. He played a semi-acoustic guitar and started with a syncopated instrumental interlude that led into Gilberto Gil's “Procissão," a tune whose irony-filled lyrics wax critical against the blind faith of religious communities in Brazil. His delivery was quite personal, often singing down to a whisper, and leaving plenty of space for his improvisational riffing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ross Hammond: Humanity Suite

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Guitarist Ross Hammond is building upon his conspicuous artistic persona as a new wave jazz and improvisational guitarist, composer who aligns with fellow West Coast denizens, including seminal Southern California based woodwind ace Vinny Golia and others. With a dozen albums under his belt, the guitarist has exponentially pushed the envelope, largely with great success. He also possesses an idiosyncratic style, where unanticipated curveballs, off-center phrasings and variable use of distortion techniques have become a primary component of his rangy articulations. Humanity Suite--reviewed on LP format--is one continuous, extended work that translates Hammond's emotive sensibilities into a long-form musical statement, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Vocal Art of Norwegian Stine Janvin Motland

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Norwegian vocal artist Stine Janvin Motland is known for highly original, extended vocal techniques. Her range and imagination mark new frontiers for the natural acoustics of the human voice. Motland previously recorded with drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg in MotSol, and with he and local sax hero Frode Gjerstad, plus American cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm in the quartet VCDC. She has slap worked with her home-town, Stavanger-based Kitchen Orchestra and collaborated with other Scandinavian sonic innovators like Maja Ratkje and Mats Gustafson. Her two solo albums feature two different forms. Stine Janvin motland OK Wow +3dB 2014 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Klas Nevrin Ensemble: Live At Lederman

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Swedish pianist and composer Klas Nevrin, known for his ongoing collaborations with reed player Fredrik Ljungkvist in Ljungkvist's bands Yun Kan 5 and Yun Kan 10 and in the Norwegian- Swedish quartet Honeyleap, suggests a new arresting sonic aesthetic in his new solo album. His compositions forge a middle path between the rock-inspired lineage of free jazz and the ultra- minimalist school of contemporary improvisation, without settling for any of these contrasting aesthetics. Furthermore, Nevrin applied alternative, non-Western micro-tonal intonation systems to his compositions, such as the Indian Raga or the Balinese Gamelan, following innovative composers and improvisers who were ...

THE VINYL POST

Something Smoky and Something Blue

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With Vincent Herring's alto providing the clarion call that ushers in the troops for a quicksilver performance entitled “Elation," it became clear that the analog warmth of this particular vinyl release possessed a tangible charm that was undeniable. So while this reviewer had previously reviewed Herring's The Uptown Shuffle as heard in the CD format and found the overall set quite enjoyable, there seemed to be a more visceral punch to the performance on vinyl that somehow managed to form a stronger connection. This would hold true of the other performances contained on a very limited edition ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Audrey Martin: Living Room

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Music and therapy aren't so different. In fact, many view music as therapy; it provides an outlet for expression for those who create, it helps those on the receiving end to find meaning in life, and it provides the means for people on both sides to look inside and beyond themselves. Countless individuals understand the nexus between these two worlds, as it's what draws them toward music in the first place, but vocalist Audrey Martin has actually lived it. Martin's passion for the arts was evident early on. She studied theater, voice, and dance in college, but ...



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