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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Locke: Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads Vol.1

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The successful combination of two chordal instruments--like vibes and piano--requires giant ears and mutual respect in order to avoid melodic pile-ups and harmonic collisions. On this CD, vibraphonist and composer Joe Locke and pianist Ryan Cohan provide a textbook example of how this is done. They are happily aided and abetted by bassist and co-producer David Finck and drummer Jaimeo Brown, who consistently demonstrate the same high level of musicianship. The result is a warmly recorded and completely satisfying set.The session begins with the deep, velvety, funky pulse introduced by Finck on “Ain't No Sunshine," and continues on ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Joe Locke: Lay Down My Heart - Blues & Ballads Vol 1

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In a rarefied space, Joe Locke continues to evolve, engage and impress. There simply isn't another vibraphonist of his generation with Locke's stellar chops, thorough understanding of history/tradition--not just of jazz, but of music, period--and ability to build programs based on thematic concepts that not only stand out in his gradually growing discography, but fit contextually within it to create an actual oeuvre, an ever- expanding body of work that represents an artist whose number one priority is always the music--always the song. In the last year, since signing with Motéma Music, Locke has released Signing (2012), the forward-looking studio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Locke: Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads Vol.1

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The ever versatile vibraphonist extraordinaire Joe Locke returns to his early days of music-making, where he once felt that jazz was, is and “should always be, people music." On his third recording for the Motema label, Locke presents Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads Vol. 1 designed as a vehicle for people everywhere who need a respite from the troubles of the world through a landscape of light blues and soft ballads. Joining the vibraphonist for this date is long-time collaborator and friend bassist David Finck who lends his talents in helping to anchor a brash quartet in a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Locke: Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads, Vol. 1

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Vibraphonist Joe Locke doesn't seem to want to put his mallets down for very long. As soon as he arrived at Motéma Music, he released the modern-leaning Signing (Motéma Music, 2012) with the Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, and partnered up with Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra for the somewhat serene Wish Upon A Star (Motéma Music, 2013). Now, less than six months after that symphony-enhanced songbook hit shelves, he delivers Lay Down My Heart, a collection of blues and ballads. The idea of such an expansive musical personality boxing himself into such narrow territory may make this project seem ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Joe Locke Quartet with Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra: Wish Upon a Star

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When Joe Locke signed with Motéma Records in 2012, the vibraphonist was finally allowed an opportunity to more freely explore a broader range of interests, bolstered by the comfort of his affiliation with a label known for its strong artist support. His first release for the label, Signing (2012), was the long overdue follow-up to The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group's tremendous debut, Live in Seattle (Origin, 2006), and despite being unjustly overlooked in some quarters was, without a doubt, one of the year's best records--a potent combination of collective telepathy, finessed fire, contemporary grooves and elegant lyricism. With ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, Half Moon Bay, CA, July 8, 2012

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Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer GroupDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaJuly 8, 2012Vibraphonist Joe Locke and keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer have both played the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society at the Douglas Beach House before Sunday July 8th, 2012, but with this appearance of the Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, the pair brought a fresh power to the venue, the likes of which may not be topped by any gathering of musicians in the near future. Along with Joe Locke on the vibes, Geoffrey Keezer on the Steinway Grand Piano and his Yamaha Motif XS8 ...

INTERVIEWS

Joe Locke: Chemistry and Camaraderie

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Even within a musical genre noted for its artists' restless creativity and ability to meld and merge with other styles, vibraphonist Joe Locke stands out as exceptional for his unceasing musical curiosity and sweeping vision. Since his arrival on the New York jazz scene nearly 30 years ago, Locke has amassed a performance résumé that includes work with artists ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to Gunther Schuller to Cecil Taylor, a catalogue of nearly 30 albums as a bandleader, and a place as one of the most influential vibraphonists in jazz history.A highly skilled collaborator whose musical voice melds ...



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