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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Don Pullen: Richard's Tune

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Idiosyncratic pianist Don Pullen's debut as a leader, Richard's Tune (Sackville, 1974) already bore marks of his unique style and singular improvisational approach. Delmark reissued this superb solo outing in 2014 augmenting it with previously unreleased material from the same session making it all the more satisfying.Pullen peppers “KaDiJi," one of the bonus works on the CD, with his signature circular phrases. Edgy dissonance and dulcet spirituality coexist as the tightly woven harmonic lines flow towards the ringing, ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Top Ten Christmas Jazz Recordings Of All-Time

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While moldy Christmas songs and great jazz seem as compatible as egg nog and Tanqueray, there have been instances where the planets have aligned to create songs that display the best of both genres. Ten instances, to be exact, and you'll find them below. Do you agree? Then post your holiday toast to my list. Don't agree? Post the all-time Christmas jazz song of your choice at the All About Jazz Forum. I will save a special lump ...

REDISCOVERY

Don Byron: Tuskegee Experiments

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For this column I step away from my avoidance of personalization because its roots and intent are, indeed, very, very personal. The germination of this column began as the result of two coinciding events. First, after months of relative inactivity due to a health matter that, while thankfully non-life threatening and treatable, could take several more months to get me back to my usual breakneck speed and has slowed my writing to a crawl, I began to feel ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomás Doncker Band: Big Apple Blues

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Close on the heels of his first full-length album, a tribute to Howlin' Wolf, guitarist Tomàs Doncker released his second collaboration with Pulitzer prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Big Apple Blues (True Groove 2014), on October 21. Their first collaboration, The Mercy Suite (Future Roots Music 2009), featured the likes of Meshell N'degeocello among others. Their latest effort features original music by Doncker and his band as well as an interesting blend of lighthearted bluesy tunes alongside more thought-provoking cuts ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Glanden: Remembering Clifford Brown

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Benny Golson's timeless ballad, “I Remember Clifford" is but one measure of the reverence and love with which Clifford Brown was regarded by musicians, friends, family, and fans. The affection in which he was held during his lifetime was made all the more poignant by his untimely death at the peak of his rapidly advancing career. Over the years, legends and myths have grown up around Brownie, and, although most are based on loving memories, many of the details of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Berdon Kirksaether & the Twang Bar Kings: Latenighters Under a Full Moon

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It is really no longer appropriate to call American Music American. It is Global music and that is all it can be. Gone are those days when shellac and vinyl discs had to be exported. Music from anywhere on earth is as close as one's computer. Norwegian blues? Why not? Guitarist and composer Berdon Kirksaether has made a cottage industry of it at home, first as part of the locally renowned CIA and now as leader of the ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Donna Deussen: High Wire and On the Street Where You Live

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More telling than her Berklee College of Music magna cum laude degree is singer Donna Deussen's private instruction under Tierney Sutton. Sutton is second only to Cassandra Wilson when considering the seismic styleistic shifts in jazz vocals over the past 20 years. Deussen integrates her instruction intelligently, avoiding imitation. Her lessons learned are made her own. Duessen has released two recordings, about ten years apart. Side-by-side, They offer a staccato look at the singer's evolution. In a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Heather Rigdon: Everything To Me

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Vocalist Heather Rigdon walks a pop-jazz path here, but her work is anything but fluff. In less than thirty minutes, she delivers songs that chronicle the ups and downs of relationships, the natural wonders of day to day existence, and the insecurities and strengths that live within us all. Almost all of the eight songs that make up this program tend to work around the edges of coupledom in different manners. “And So It Goes," for example, ...



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