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April 2015

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Dear Mr. P.C.: I just played a long solo gig at a fancy mansion. The hosts offered me appetizers, but since I was playing it was hard to eat without getting food on my hands and the piano. I just wound up eating three tiny morsels. Then dinner time came, but it was only for the guests seated at the table. As I played, I heard the chef describe each amazing course before he served it. It was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Waldrop Big Band: Time Within Itself

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Drummer Michael Waldrop has named his inaugural album as leader of a big band Time Within Itself. An even more appropriate name might have been It's About Time. Waldrop, who has taught for the past decade or so at Eastern Washington University, boasts a resume as long as one's arm. It includes a master's degree from the University of Memphis and a doctorate from the University of North Texas where he was a member of the celebrated One O'Clock Lab ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Adam Holzman: The Deform Variations

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He's been Steven Wilson's keyboardist of choice (and rightfully so) since the British progressive rocker first hit the road in 2011, after years fronting Porcupine Tree, in support of the Kscope artist's first two albums as a solo artist--2009's Insurgentes and 2011's Grace for Drowning. But while Adam Holzman continues to work with Wilson to this day--appearing on two subsequent studio albums, 2013's The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories and the recently released Hand. Cannot. Erase. (2015), ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roberto Magris Trio & Herb Geller: An Evening with Herb Geller & the Roberto Magris Trio: Live in Europe 2009

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Italian pianist Roberto Magris pays tribute to one of the most unheralded and exceptional alto saxophonist of our time on An Evening With Herb Geller & The Roberto Magris Trio: Live In Europe 2009, documenting the last recording before his passing in late 2013. A traditional old-style American saxophonist prominent as a West coast jazz master, Geller left the United States fifty-years ago after the death of his first wife and had been living in Hamburg, Germany making a living ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ferdinando Argenti: Look For The Silver Lining

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Ferdinando Argenti, who originally hails from Pisa in Italy but now resides a few miles outside of Boston, is a musician of diverse talent, not just in his piano playing and singing, but also in his compositional skills. The opener Chick Corea's “Friends" is an homage to its composer, replete with sprightly, florid lines played at an engagingly moderate pace. Meanwhile his own “Pitero" sees Argenti employing a melodica, a relatively rare instrument in jazz and which provides a harmonica-like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Irene Schweizer / Jurg Wickihalder: Spring

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On his only previous session in duet with piano -A Feeling For Someone (Intakt, 2008) -Swiss reedman Jurg Wickihalder's indebtedness to that master of the straight horn Steve Lacy was still evident. But on Spring, in the company of the iconoclastic pianist Irene Schweizer, Wickihalder sounds entirely his own man. Both principals boast serious avant-garde credentials, Schweizer as one of the first European pianists to assimilate the lessons of Cecil Taylor, and Wickihalder more recently as a member of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Morten Kargaard Septet: Origin

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The Danish jazz scene is very alive and eclectic as shown by Origin, composer and guitarist Morten Kargaard's beautiful album that defies all attempts at attaching a label. The question, “What is jazz?" is not answered within the album's musical universe and for that matter, neither is the even wider notion of “creative improvised music." Kargaard composed and arranged all of the music for septet with a very interesting instrumentation besides his acoustic guitar: oboe, English ...

INTERVIEWS

J.J. Johnson: An Eminent Life in Music

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This interview with trombonist J.J. Johnson along with Joshua Berrett and Louis G. Bourgois III, authors of his biography, The Musical World of J.J. Johnson (Scarecrow Press) was first published at All About Jazz in November 1999. All About Jazz: Congratulations to Josh and Louis on your new book--and to J.J. for now having a scholarly reference devoted to your outstanding contributions to music. Just for the fun of it, which three recordings and/or scores would you take ...



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