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Fahir Atakoglu: Istanbul Blues

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The history of jazz has been one of fusion. Its musicians and composers have continually drawn upon a huge range of different musics to create the rich and diverse tapestry that is world jazz today. Jazz is an evolving tradition of music-making. And how often, in the life stories of individual jazz musicians, do we see these same patterns operating at microcosm? When it comes to the music of Turkish-born pianist-composer Fahir Atakoglu, we might define it broadly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

C.B.G: Les Indignés

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The acronym “CBG" is the proxy for the Celano/Baggiani Group. The improvisational group is based in the Netherlands and has been active for more than ten years. Guitarist Guillermo Celano and drummer Marcos Baggiani have been the mainstays in a rotation that has experienced a number of personnel changes as they have veered between quartet and quintet formations across six albums. On Les Indignés, CBG assumes the smaller-size combo. The core members are joined by bassist Clemens van der Feen ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

India to Italy, Brazil to Slovenia–Where WON'T Jazz Go?

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Avataar Petal Self-Produced 2016 While growing up in the Northern Ontario mining town of Sunbury, he was known as “Sam." But in his early twenties, Sundar Viswanathan reconnected with his Indian name and heritage, and, through several conservatory courses spanning North Indian classical to Turkish maquam music, dove deeply into his Indian musical roots as a saxophonist and composer. “I had to transcribe flute and sitar improvisations as part of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Jackson: Akustik InventYours

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Guitarist Ron Jackson, known as a composer, performer, and educator in a wide range of contexts in his present headquarters of New York City, has enjoyed an adventurous life. Born in the Philippines to a military family, he moved many times as a child, music being his constant companion. Though now known for his work as a jazz aficionado, Jackson always had a soft spot for the acoustic guitar. Moved by the unplugged adventures of Steve Howe, Leo Kottke, Michael ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benjamin Duboc/Julien Desprez/Julien Loutelier: Tournesol

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The free improvisations by Benjamin Duboc, Julien Desprez, and Julien Loutelier on Tournesol or “Sunflower" bring to mind the lyrics to “Love Dance," a minor crossover hit for George Benson in 1980: “From too much talk to loving touches/Love touches when pure emotion takes the moment/We take the chance/Turn up the quiet, love wants to dance." It's not so much the music that makes you want to cuddle up with your loved one, it's the hushed tone (unless, of course, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión Latin-Jazz Big Band: True Flight

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Latin music has been popular in New York City since the beginning of the twentieth century. The post-war migration of Hispanics into Spanish Harlem and the Bronx brought about a major cultural shift in the area, music being an essential element, and with that came a plethora of clubs and dance venues. The orchestras of Machito, Mario Bauza and Tito Puente, synonymous with the era, set the standard for the Latin music that endures today. Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Michael Joseph Harris

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About Michael Joseph Harris Michael Joseph Harris began playing guitar at age 12. At 16 he won accolades as a jazz guitarist with the Downbeat Magazine award-winning Chantilly High Jazz Band. He studied with guitarist Rick Whitehead during high school and Jack Petersen at North Texas State University. Soon after, as a young guitarist in Washington, D.C., he played with popular Latin Jazz group Bossalingo. Harris moved to jny: Baltimore in 2006 and became a father in 2008. In ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2015

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In 1975, Howard University, a bulwark of higher education in our nation's capital since 1867, formed its first Jazz Ensemble and named a young trumpeter / educator, Fred Irby III, as director. One year later, Irby ushered the ensemble into a recording studio to verify its prowess, a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for forty years. Irby remains at the helm today, and HUJE 2015 is the latest in an ever-expanding catalogue of impressive albums produced by the university's flagship ...


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