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David Sylvian: There's a Light That Enters Houses With No Other House in Sight

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David Sylvian's extended flight from pop stardom in the middle years of the 1980s was an enthralling counterpoint to that decade's facile obsession with surface and relapse into materialism. While mainstream pop retreated from the innovations and musical openness of post-punk into the empty banalities of bean counting corporate rock, Sylvian among a few others appeared to plot a different idiosyncratic path routed in improvised music and jazz. Central to this were his often inspired choices of collaborators such as the late Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hassell, Bill Nelson, Riuichi Sakamoto and Robert Fripp that opened a window on ...


Holiday 2014: A David Ian Christmas

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Canadian David Ian is a space oddity. Embodied in a single musical psyche is one, a speed-metal guitarist shredding the Marshalls and two, a sensitive jazz pianist finely crafting holiday music circa 1960. Necessarily, Ian channels Vince Guaraldi, that quasar about which all holiday jazz music orbits. But he is no mere imitator, using his considerable talent for arranging to contemporize his performance. David Ian Vintage Christmas Prescott Records 2011 Pianist David Ian very carefully puts together a holiday recording that could have arisen from a single-malt scotch opened ...


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 ...

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