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Abdullah Ibrahim at Zankel Hall

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Abdullah Ibrahim Zankel Hall Ubuntu: Music And Arts Of South Africa New York, NY October 17, 2014 Ubuntu. It's one little six-letter word that carries a world of meaning within its frame. The term itself, roughly translated to mean “I am because you are," took root as a philosophy for black youth liberation in the '40s and '50s, but over time, ubuntu has taken on a life beyond a specific movement. It's a word that, while broad in scope, has clear implications tied to its use in South African history and culture: it's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Andy Milne and Dapp Theory: Forward in All Directions

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Not all albums register immediately, sometimes it takes a while for unusual and individual music to settle in your subconscious, reveal itself incrementally as little details emerge with familiarity. This new release from Andy Milne and Dapp Theory, on Whirlwind records in the UK, is a good case in point Toronto born Pianist and keyboard player Milne first emerged from Steve Coleman's Five Elements, and played with many of the prime M-Base musicians including the likes of Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby. While he retains many creative irons in the fire this is the third album over a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Zoor: Volumes A + B

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Zoor is a French trio consisting of tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, electric guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage and drummer Antonin Gerbal. All three have considerable experience with other bands -Gerbal in the jazz trio Peeping Tom and the improv trio R Mutt, both with releases on Umlaut, of which Gerbal was a co-founder in 2009. Denzler is well known for his albums on Potlatch, notably his innovative solo sax record Tenor (Potlatch, 2010) and in the sax quartet Propagations (Potlatch, 2007); he has also recorded with Mariage for Creative Sources. But, prior to Zoor, Denzler and Mariage's main collaboration was in the ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Introducing Johnny Griffin – Blue Note 1533

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In jazz and rock--heck, even in classical music--there is a sacred throne for those who play fast. Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson occupy such thrones. So do Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. Fast is fun. Johnny Griffin played fast--very fast. The evidence is here in Griffin's very first album, Introducing Johnny Griffin. It's a 1956 date with a quartet that includes Wynton Kelly on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums. For 70 years, Griffin was a jazz giant, and this album, his first as a leader, is among his very best. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Connie Crothers: Concert In Paris

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Connie Crothers' piano sounds like nothing you've heard before. Sure, it's acoustic, she plays melodies, she can be inside or outside the music. One thing she isn't, though, is wishy-washy. One of her latest, Concert In Paris, is a solo effort. And for anyone who loves the intimacy of a solo-piano recital, this one more jazz than classical in nature; for anyone who digs the feeling of being played to and for in a cozy setting; for anyone who likes to step back and let the beautiful sounds of an acoustic piano mesmerize you with extended personal musical statements; then ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Natsuki Tamura, Alexander Frangenheim: Nax

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Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has long straddled the divide between free improvisation and lyrical jazz. The latter has been adequately and beautifully represented in his work with Gato Libre. That quartet features his wife and occasional duo partner--the pianist and accordionist Satoko Fujii--and combines elements of folk, chamber and modern jazz. In contrast, much of his solo work such as A Song for Jyaki (Leo Records, 1998) is full of distorted multi-phonic explorations. Nax, a duo outing with German bassist Alexander Frangenheim, goes much further outside the parameters of jazz or music in general. An artist in multiple disciplines, Frangenheim bridges ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Azure: Hiptronics

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Such is the musical shift between Azure's When She Smiles (Azuremusic, 2009) and Hiptronics that they sound like different bands; effectively, they are. The main songwriter, classically influenced pianist Pierre-Francois Blanchard has been replaced by keyboardist Federico Solazzo and only co-founder, guitarist Rogier Schneemann remains from the original group, which has grown to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Rik Mol. In interior design terms it would be akin to gutting a property and going for a futuristic styling with a little 1970s retro thrown in--think Woody Allen's Sleeper with a funk-cum-hip hop soundtrack. The old Azure ...



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