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David Ricard Big Band: Holidays with a Bang!

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Bang! is an apt description of David Ricard's approach to big-band endeavors in general and holiday music in particular. The bassist / arranger's talented ensemble comes out swinging hard on Holidays with a Bang! and keeps its collective foot on the accelerator throughout this charming laundry list of well-worn seasonal favorites given a fresh new appearance thanks to Ricard's burnished arrangements. Ricard, a seasoned composer for such cartoons as Tom and Jerry, the Pink Panther and Pals and Maya & Miguel, implanted his singular emblem on the band's inaugural recording, Hey, I Know This Song, on which ...


Blood, Sweat, Drum + Bass with Palle Mikkelborg & David Liebman: In the Spirit of....

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It is not long ago that a lush six-CD box set called A Good Time Was Had By All (Storyville, 2014) was released to celebrate the 50th birthday of The Danish Radio Big Band. The Danish Radio Big Band is indeed an institution in Danish jazz and so much so that it sometimes overshadows two of the other excellent big bands in the country: Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and Blood Sweat Drum + Bass Big Band. The latter has its own box set release coming out, a combined CD/DVD-release that shows the power and invention of the experimental big band led ...


The David Ullmann 8: Corduroy

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I have to admit to suffering a bit of cognitive dissonance upon listening to David Ullmann's Corduroy. Ullmann's original compositions, expertly played by an ensemble comprised of Brooklyn's top-drawer modern jazz talent, are ostensibly inspired by television themes from the 70s. For me, 70s television themes evoke gritty, urban sounds full of clavinet, fuzz-wah Rhodes, funky drums, thumping Fender bass, and blues-rock guitar. You know... like Mannix, Streets of San Francisco, Baretta, Barney Miller, Sanford and Son, and... well... you get the picture. Anyway, that's what I was watching. So, I dug into Corduroy (a fabric that Ullmann inexplicably associates ...


Tara Davidson: Duets

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Saxophonist Tara Davidson has continually expanded the size of her band to suit each of her recording projects. Until now, that is. After working with a quartet, a quintet, and a nonet on record, Davidson has gone the other way, trimming things back and releasing a collection of artful duets that pair her with some of her favorite musician friends. Four of Davidson's six duet partners--tenor saxophonist Mike Murley, pianist David Braid, tenor saxophonist Trevor Hogg, and bassist Andrew Downing--have appeared on other Davidson releases. The remaining two--pianist Laila Biali and guitarist David Occhipinti--have developed strong connections ...


David Bowie: Excerpts from 1.Outside and Earthling

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The '80s were very good to singer David Bowie, and maybe too good for his own good. After producing Let's Dance(EMI, 1983), his best selling one, which was followed by a very successful world tour, he went on to reproduce his successes in a very grand and hefty way, mostly by reproducing the same pop formula endlessly. That resulted in a string of below average pop records that only served to increase his popularity and income rather than breaking new music ground for others to follow like he always did. By the end of the '80s, the taken course of ...


David Virelles: Mboko

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For a relatively young musician nearing his 31st birthday in 2014, pianist David Virelles has managed to both garner a strong reputation and emerge with a singular voice in a relatively short period of time. While his early experiences in North America were within the confines of what might be expected from a Cuban expat, playing with Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett, whose career has been predicated on a decades-long fascination with the music of Virelles' native country, in recent years he's emerged as a much broader artist. The first recording to give notice was, perhaps, saxophonist/composer David Binney's wonderful 2011 ...


David Neves: Progress Report

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At twenty-five years of age, Boston-based trumpeter David Neves can't be expected to boast a big recorded with/played with resume. But he can boast a first rate education--Berklee and the New England Conservatory. And with his Progress Report, a marvelous debut as leader, Neves blows way beyond expectations for a new kid on the block. Neves offers up nine of his distinctive and engaging original compositions in the company of a group of stellar sidemen. With a continuity of mood and style, something often eschewed in debuts for the purposes of “showing everything they've got," the atmosphere of ...

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