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BOOK REVIEWS

Amanda Petrusich – Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records

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Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records Amanda Petrusich 272 Pages ISBN: # 978-1451667059 Scribner 2014 The text for Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was based on the Old Testament scripture of Deuteronomy 32:35: “Their foot shall slide in due time." But, rather than referring to the Christian unconverted, this admonition applies equally well to those humans innocently taking ownership of a dusty and scratched 78 rpm 10-inch shellac disc from ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Baby do Brasil at Blue Note Jazz Club

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Baby do Brasil Brasil Summerfest at Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY July 21, 2014 On her second performance as part of the lineup for the 2014 edition of Brasil Summerfest (she performed the previous evening at the South Street Seaport), legendary Brazilian singer Baby do Brasil was backed by a stellar band. Rounded out by Skoota (drums ), Mike Ciro (guitar), Jon Deley (keyboards), Ze Grey (bass ) Daniel Sadownick (percussion), Julie Acosta (trumpet), and Mark Miller (trombone), they kicked off the set with a Portuguese-language gospel-meets-funk tune featuring strong ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ljubljana Jazz Festival 2014

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2014 Ljubljana Jazz Festival 2014 Ljubljana, Slovenia July 2-5, 2014 Ljubljana--capital of the Republic of Slovenia, member of EU, neighbored by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy--hosts the oldest jazz festival in Europe, which held its 55th edition this year. The event is usually organized by Cankarjev House--Cankarjev Dom, in Slovenian--a prestigious, state-run cultural centre in midtown Ljubljana, residing in one half of an impressive twin tower building, the other part being the National Bank of Slovenia. Ljubljana is situated near the Alps in the west and the Adriatic part of the Mediterranean Sea in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Laurie Antonioli: Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell

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The concept of a jazz-informed program of Joni Mitchell tunes isn't exactly novel anymore. Herbie Hancock's high profile River: The Joni Letters (Verve, 2007) took home two Grammy Awards; vocalist Tierney Sutton got some well-deserved attention when she put her own spin on Mitchell's work with After Blue (BFM, 2013); somewhat under-the-radar releases from artists like David Lahm and Rachel Z have made something of an impact on a smaller scale; and numerous other albums that aren't necessarily built around Mitchell's work have been sprinkled with her songs. Joni Mitchell has become something of a lodestar for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harrison Birtwistle: Chamber Music

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Released in celebration of composer Harrison Birtwistle's 80th birthday; his Chamber Music on the ECM label, is a collection of introspective, minimalistic and superbly abstract mesmerizing works. The four pieces share a subtle yet definite theatricality and a sense of deep contemplation that has a visceral impact.His “Trio" opens with pianist Till Fellner's furious, rapid-fire percussive notes followed by the gentle brooding strings. This contrast sets a tense ambience that is maintained throughout the composition by alternating Fellner's independent and assertive monologues with violinist Lisa Batiashvili's and cellist Adrian Brendel's angular yet supremely lyrical duets. The trio only ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francesco Lo Castro: Chasing Beauty

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Positive energy flows and pleasing melodies abound in Chasing Beauty by guitarist and composer Francesco Lo Castro, the fifth album released on his own label. Using an array of outstanding musicians, voice and instrumentation, Lo Castro creates a sonic canvass that's reminiscent of artists Pat Metheny and Mike Stern. Throughout the disc, Lo Castro displays an innate skill and sensibility in relation to his supporting musicians, instinctively knowing when to hold back and also when to unleash their joyful vigor. The opening track “Dresdin" sets the aura of the entire album, creating an atmospheric quality and keen sense ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Reginald Cyntje: Elements of Life

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Born on the island of Dominica and raised on St. Thomas, USVI, trombonist Reginald Cyntje has been mixing cultural heritage with black American music from the beginning. Growing up in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), Cyntje was immersed in the rich cultural music known as Quelbe (the official music of the USVI), which is based primarily on African, European and North American cultures and musical structures. One of the key characteristics of Quelbe is that there is improvising in the music and this was one of the key elements that Cyntje delighted in. Cyntje states “One of my favorite Quelbe ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gian-Carla Tisera: Nora La Bella

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Gian-Carla Tisera was raised in Bolivia and completed her Masters in Opera Performance at the University of Southern California. In 2004, she recorded Bolivian Baroque with Florilegium early music ensemble under the Dutch label Channel Classics and has toured with Florilegium throughout Europe, Bolivia, Turkey, Singapore and the United States. In 2012 Tisera produced and recorded her debut album, which was co-produced by Elio Villafranca. The album featured arrangements of opera arias and Latin American songs displaying her operatic singing style that is fused improvisations containing a strong foundation in the jazz dialect. Tisera's music focuses on combining classical and ...

DRUMMER TO DRUMMER

John Riley: Inspiring Innovation

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Foremost an innovator, John Riley has always been a “drummer's drummer" in the world of straight-ahead jazz. With nearly a hundred recordings, a dozen videos, and five books under his belt, Riley is a veritable font of knowledge in the bebop realm. In this article, we take a look back at some of his musical endeavors including recording with Miles Davis, working with Quincy Jones, and playing drums with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. We'll also examine the changing landscape of music and discuss how younger drummers can find inspiration. All About Jazz: I've been a fan of yours ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sean Jones: Im•pro•vise-Never Before Seen

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Sean Jones, the former lead trumpeter of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, never hides behind anything or anyone when he plays. That being said, it's still worth noting that he's pulled back the curtain on this one, revealing more of himself than in the past. This album--his seventh album in ten years on the Mack Avenue imprint--has no overdubs, no percussive window dressing, no other horns sharing space in the front line, and no guests. It's Jones at his most pure and powerful, delivering, as he himself says, “A reintroduction of who I am." Jones' range ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Ajamian: A Way A Land Of Life

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While the talented cast dazzles, what comes across most strongly on this 42-minute LP is the controlling mind of bassist Jason Ajemian. Part of the fertile underground scene in Chicago, Ajemian has featured with Ken Vandermark and Matt Bauder, as well as cornetist Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra. But none of that really prepares one for the strength of this quartet date. The spirited interaction he draws from a front line of Mazurek and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby is one of the main pluses on this excellent set, effortlessly underpinned by drummer Chad Taylor who covers all bases between texture ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

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Odean Pope Quartet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA July 19, 2014 Legendary tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, in addition to his international status and iconic recordings, often appears in Philadelphia, his home town, but usually in festivals, concerts, and other situations where he is part of a bigger mix. His one evening show at Chris' Jazz Café gave listeners a special opportunity to hear him in an intimate setting where they could really attend to the subtlety of his playing in addition to his intricate long runs fueled by his innovative circular breathing. For the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jerrold Dubyk Quintet: Invitations

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Canadian saxophonist Jerrold Dubyk delivers his third album as leader on Invitations , where he blends an array of fresh original music with a few cover tunes in forging an audacious musical experience of modern-styled jazz. An educator by profession, Dubyk is the Director of Music at Strathcona High school as well as serving on the faculties of Macewan University and the University of Alberta. However, recording has been keeping the educator busy as he also unveils an album of semi-improvised music entitled PREQUAL by his Edmonton-based quartet. On this project, the saxophonist reunites with his Vancouver bandmates ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Your Shipp Has Come In

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These two guest appearances demonstrate that pianist Matthew Shipp has become an elder statesman in the jazz world. How that happened can be boiled down to two simple elements. One: he has created a unique sound and language for improvised music and two: Shipp has become a doyen of cutting edge music making and opinion. Perhaps all of this could be foretold from his early apprenticeship in David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell's bands, and his collaborations with the likes of William Parker, Joe Morris, and Mat Maneri. He has also explored classical music, hip-hop, and electronica as ...



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