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The Jazz Mandolin Project in Burlington, Vermont Feb. 20, 2009

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The Jazz Mandolin Project Club Metronome Burlington, Vermont February 20th, 2009

On the second of just two stops within their northeast home base, The Jazz Mandolin Project, led by Jamie Masefield, played like a finely-tuned unit of musicians who had spent weeks on the road. Noticeable right from the start, the high-quality sound in Burlington Vermont's Club Metronome was a harbinger of things to come as the fidelity continued full and clear throughout the three-hour performance, the arresting sound a direct reflection of the musicianship itself.

Opening with a comparatively short run through ...

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The Jazz Mandolin Project: Mixed Media, Mixed Messages

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The Jazz Mandolin Project FlynnSpace Burlington, Vermont April 8, 2006

Because Jamie Masefield's independence is matched only by his artistic integrity, it was perhaps inevitable that, after a decade of working on his Jazz Mandolin Project, he would venture into the realm of multimedia. The first of two nights at Burlington's intimate FlyynSpace found the Vermont native offering his presentation based on a Tolstoy short story with mixed results, but that's no reflection on his skills, those of his band--or ultimately, his own ambition.

For any artists in any medium, it's tricky to be ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Mandolin Project: The Deep Forbidden Lake

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While the Jazz Mandolin Project has been a collective of sorts in the past, with a revolving door membership that has included Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and bassist Stacey Starkweather, it's really always been mandolin player Jamie Masefield's baby. And so, the Project's latest release, The Deep Forbidden Lake, is essentially a Jamie Masefield solo effort, with pianist/accordionist Gil Goldstein and bassist Greg Cohen sitting in as guests.

Whereas earlier JMP releases were sometimes lumped in with jam bands like the String Cheese Incident and Phish, The Deep Forbidden Lake is far removed from that aesthetic. More a collection of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jazz Mandolin Project: The Deep Forbidden Lake

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The Deep Forbidden Lake is not by any means a return to roots for the Jazz Mandolin Project, since Jamie Masefield's very first albums under the JMP moniker were with three-man lineups including drums. This new effort is rather a distillation of his ideas, a sort of folk-chamber music in which he, bassist Greg Cohen, and keyboardist Gil Goldstein explore the nuances of melody provided by a wide selection of compositions, the breadth of which clearly illustrates Jamie's eclectic taste (the result of which can bring tunes from Hendrix, Weather Report, and Sonny Rollins into his live sets).

Far from ...

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The Jazz Mandolin Project at Higher Ground

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There may be no more distinctive jazz-fusion band than Jazz Mandolin Project. Jamie Masefield’s use of the mandolin guarantees surprises, but even seeing him and his band in the past would not prepare you for the extended sets they delivered in the Winooski Vermont club this February night.

It’s probably appropriate that the band really took off when they used Weather Report’s “Black Market” as a launching pad to explore not just the rhythmic and melodic potential of the tune, but the command of each musician’s instrument as well. The bass of Scott Ritchie, clear and pronounced in the mix ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jazz Mandolin Project: Jungle Tango

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The Jazz Mandolin Project may be touted as a cutting-edge band exploring new instrumentation and sonorities, but after listening to their new album Jungle Tango several times over the last three weeks, I don't hear it. What I do hear is an ensemble with inspired interplay, all fine players, and yes, there is a mandolinist--band founder Jamie Masefield--in the group.

The band is based around a nucleus of acoustic bass, drums, and mandolin with additional contributions by Gil Goldstein (accordion and piano) and Chris Lovejoy (percussion) on various pieces. The pieces where Goldstein joins the ensemble represent the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Mandolin Project: Jazz Mandolin Project

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I must admit that, when I first received this album, I thought to myself, “Jazz Mandolin?! WHAT?!" That they were from the “very exciting Burlington, VT music scene" made me all the more querulous. If The Project is any indication, however, I may be on my way to Burlington very soon, for when I eventually relented and listened to the album, I was pleasantly surprised! This was not the solo to “Maggie May" or even the backing basis of “Mandolin Wind" (from which many come to know and consider the mandolin as a popular instrument). It was something exciting and ...



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