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Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience

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The following is an excerpt from the “Lennie Tristano: The Passionate Intellectual" chapter of Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience by Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter (Bella Musica Publishing, 2015). World War II and the atomic bomb changed not only the political landscape, but art, architecture and music as well. In architecture, “Googie" or “Ray-Gun Gothic" combined many of the traditional elements introduced by Frank Lloyd Wright almost forty years ...


Bill Evans: Sublime Sideman

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We already know what a tremendous voice Bill Evans has had in jazz history, and most of the major jazz pianists that he has influenced. Most jazz aficionados know most of the tunes Evans has composed and most of the tunes that were in his ever-changing repertoire. But, a subject that hardly gets enough attention concerning Evans are his superlative skills as a consummate sideman. What we're discussing are two totally separate categories. It takes a certain kind of mentality ...


Live From Birmingham: Alabama 3, Craobh Rua, Fanfare Ciocărlia & Wrangler

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Alabama 3 The Robin March 18, 2015 Herald the hedonism! An Alabama 3 gig typically presents a rolling rock'n'roll party vibration, but adopts electronic practices, as well as being saturated in rootsy juices. Delta blues, dub, country, soul, gospel, hip hop and house are all pulped up in this anarchic collective's bloody sack of styles, and slung full-face into the assembled audience, who also appear to be drawn from a bewildering variety of ...


Michael Eaton: Individuation

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Individuation, as a concept, can be seen as a parallel to the process of making music. In speaking one's own voice through an instrument and/or through composition, individuals manage to direct their imagination and unconscious into something tangible. Saxophonist Michael Eaton knows a thing or two about this, as demonstrated on his aptly-titled debut. On Individuation, Eaton delivers a program of distinctive originals. Cycling thoughts, sharp twists in direction, scissoring lines, fervent expressions, fenced-in passages, open pastures, ...


Daniel Herskedal: Slow Eastbound Train

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Sometimes, album titles tell all: sometimes they tell little or nothing. Slow Eastbound Train sits somewhere in between. Train? No obvious examples. Eastbound? Hmm. Slow? That pretty much describes the pace of much of the music on this album, by Norwegian musician and composer Daniel Herskedal. But none of these three words come close to describing the grace, inventiveness and beauty of this lovely recording. Herskedal plays tuba and bass trumpet, both with a fluidity and melodic strength ...


John David Simon: Phantasm

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Veteran saxophonist John David Simon delivers his third album as leader swinging through a repertoire of ten straight ahead mainstream material on the very classy Phantasm, featuring a blend of sparkling original statements and fresh new arrangements of several standards from such icons as the great John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Pat Martino among others. The South Philadelphia native who currently resides in New York City, performs as a free-lance musician and is also employed as an educator. As a ...


Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson: For Pops | A Tribute To Muddy Waters

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For this CD release, Mud Morganfield pays tribute and shows love to his father, the legendary blues artist Muddy Waters. Listening to the Mud Morganfield and Kim Wilson disc For Pops | A Tribute To Muddy Waters, the energy of the first track “Gone to Main Street" is impressive. Morganfield's deep bluesy vocals are richly supported with a solid band featuring Wilson on harmonica. The liner notes mention the group had a house party the night before the ...


Jess Rowland: Spambots

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San Francisco-based sound artist, synthesist and commissioned composer Jess Rowland assembles a freaky android-like aural fest via text-to-speech loops, cyclical narrations and perhaps modern era Beat poetry atop supercharged electronics and dissimilar tonalities. Running at LP length, Rowland and drummer Pete Stalsky don't overcook matters. Her overlapping narrations, sometimes built on short phrases and a mélange of effects ride above the drummer's staggered cadences. Yet the duo intersperses crunching distortion and electro-mechanical type sounds into the mix. Rowland ...


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