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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band: Vertebrats

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This is a bit of a monster. The David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band is a big Big Band--27 musicians--with impressive musical scope, mixing improvisation with written charts, original pieces with tunes by some of the best known and most respected composers of the last 300 years. Vertebrats is the band's third album--a richly varied, ambitious recording. There's almost 90 minutes of music across these two CDs. It's organised into a series of six suites each of four ...

REDISCOVERY

David Friesen: Waterfall Rainbow

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David FriesenWaterfall RainbowInner City1977 Today's Rediscovery is Waterfall Rainbow, from a bassist who garnered significant attention back in the '70s and '80s, but sadly never sustained it for reasons unknown--certainly nothing to do with his talent--and has, in the decades since, remained an active player, but one largely forgotten by the general jazz public. After taking a relatively bold step and making Color Pool (Muse, 1975), his first album as a leader, a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Gibson: Boom!

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Trombonist David Gibson's Boom!--his sixth leader date, and third release on the Posi-Tone imprint--is something of a fresh start. His two previous releases--A Little Somethin' (Posi-Tone, 2009) and End Of The Tunnel (Posi-Tone, 2011)--were cut from the same cloth, as each largely focused on funk, soul jazz, and swing; both albums also featured the same quartet--Gibson on trombone, Julius Tolentino on alto saxophone, labelmate Jared Gold on organ, and Quincy Davis on drums. Now, Gibson returns with a new group--a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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 ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

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

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...



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