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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Lalama Brothers: Erie Avenue

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The Lalama brothers have logged plenty of miles in the jazz world, but Erie Avenue, so named for the street where the brothers grew up in West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, is the first record they've ever put out together. Pianist Dave Lalama has worked with everybody from drum titan Buddy Rich to vocal icon Anita O'Day, and he currently helms Hofstra University's jazz program. Saxophonist Ralph Lalama is a talented leader, sought after sideman, and mainstay in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Each man has carved out his own niche over the years, but time has done nothing to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dave Lalama Big Band: The Hofstra Project

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As an academic, pianist Dave Lalama's resume includes being a founding faculty member of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music Jazz Program, as well as a current professor at Hofstra University where hundreds of students, colleagues and musicians have all been a part of his distinguished professional life. As a musician, his background includes performances with many legendary bandleaders, among them Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and Mel Lewis. The combination of having worked with so many talented musicians throughout his career as well as experiencing the big band landscape with the best in the business, culminated in the decision to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dave Lalama Big Band: The Hofstra Project

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Pianist Dave Lalama is living proof that the divide between real-world practitioner and first-class educator is often imaginary. Lalama's résumé includes time spent with super singers like Eddie Jefferson and Anita O'Day, and big band icons like Road Father Woody Herman and super drummer Buddy Rich, but these performance credits don't tell the whole story about this artist-cum-teacher. From the early '80s onward, he was passing on his knowledge to the next generation through his work at institutions like New York University and the Manhattan School of Music, but he also ventured out of the city and set up shop ...

REASSESSING

Lee Konitz and Martial Solal: Star Eyes 1983

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Lee Konitz and Martial SolalStar Eyes 1983Hatology2009 Even in his eighties, pianist Martial Solal has proven to be the Higgs' Boson of jazz. He readily demonstrates the substantial mass he brings to music most recently on his uniformly excellent Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Cam Jazz, 2008). This recording is sub-atomic, elemental jazz ,or, in the literary vernacular, post-modern, deconstructive jazz. Solal dismantled the Great American Songbook, revealing the provocative intellect and seamy interior of this great songwriting. He also demonstrated that free improvisation can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ricardo Villalobos / Max Loderbauer: Re: ECM

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Over the past decade or so, the ECM label has been flirting with elements of electronic music in varying degrees. Evan Parker's Towards The Margins (1997) introduced electronic manipulation in the live processing of sound as a new improvisational tool, embellishing the saxophonist's already avant-garde collection of instrumentation. Since then, subtle machinations have crept into other releases from the label, But with Re:ECM, label head/producer Manfred Eicher has made a clear and bold statement--a full embracement of electronic music-making. Over the course of two discs, acclaimed DJ/producers Richard Villalobos and Max Loderbauer redefine a wealth of varied ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ricardo Villalobos / Max Loderbauer: Re: ECM

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Ricardo Villalobos / Max Loderbauer Re: ECM ECM Records 2011 The concept of remix-- using studio technology to deconstruct, reshape and reconstruct extant recordings--is far from new, but the past decade has seen a considerable expansion of purview. Once more closely aligned with the club scene, remixes are no longer solely about relentless beats for dancing; instead, as Norway's Punkt Festival has been demonstrating for seven years, they can be about expanding sonic landscapes, sometimes taking but a single motif from a source performance--or even ideas from multiple performances--to create a new composition where any ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Student Ensemble and Martial Solal: Philadelphia, April 9, 2011

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Berklee Global Jazz Institute/ Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University Martial Solal Perelman Theater,Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts,Philadelphia, PA Saturday, April 9, 2011 This was the final concert of the 2010-2011 season of the popular Jazz Up Close series, celebrating the legendary Thelonious Monk, organized by pianist/curator Danilo Pérez. It consisted of two disparate sets. The first brought together young musicians from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, based in Boston, and the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, Philadelphia. Their combined forces performed music based upon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Martial Solal: Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love

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"Tonight is a very important night because we recording the show. I have to be good and you have to be good too," Solal jokes to his Village Vanguard audience in New York, but it would not be surprising if the pianist felt some pressure. The few appearances that Solal has made in the US are startling, considering that he is one of the greatest pianists in the history of Jazz. Solal, born Algiers in 1927, has worked most of his life in Paris with a varied cast of collaborators, including Hampton Hawes, Lee Konitz, Johnny Griffin, ...

INTERVIEWS

Ralph Lalama: Steppin' Out, Steppin' Forward

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Ralph Lalama's rich tenor saxophone voice has been heard for years on the New York City scene, perhaps most notably with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and its predecessors, first led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, and later by just Lewis. He's a guy who grew up when rock music was fully bursting on the American scene, but maintains that not much of that music touched him. He came from a family that listened to jazz and the American Popular Song canon, and he chose that direction.

“The feeling of it," is the turn-on of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ralph Lalama Quartet: The Audience

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Covers can become trite very quickly, but when arrangements are fresh and performance is equal to the task, they can become as endearing as new masterpieces. The Audience, by Ralpha Lalama Quartet, has that quality with its mix of lesser-known jazz songs, a little pop and some original interludes. Lalama, a tenor saxophonist, has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for 30 years, many of them spent with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He was also a member of Joe Lovano's Grammy-winning Nonet. Joining Lalama are bassist Rick Petrone, guitarist John Hart and drummer Joe Corsello. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ralph Lalama Quartet: The Audience

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Dexter Gordon achieved a post-bebop tenor saxophone sound that was Somewhere between the sleepy, vibrato-less tone of Lester Young and the falling-off- the-edge wail of John Coltrane. Yonkers native Ralph Lalama comes It is out of this tradition. On his fifth recording as a leader and his first release since 2008's successful Energy Fields (Mighty Quinn), Lalama elbows his way to the center with his virile, muscular tenor tone.

Lalama has been an important sideman in several seminal bands, including a membership in Woody Herman's 1976 Thundering Herd, a 25-year stint with the [{Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra}} and Joe Lovano's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ralph Lalama: The Audience

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A few choice items from the American Popular Songbook, tunes by Wayne Shorter, Duke Pearson, and Stevie Wonder, plus three brief duo improvisations, all rendered in a recognizable mainstream style by a band that includes two primary soloists and a bass and drums team. On the face of it, Ralph Lalama's second Mighty Quinn release appears rather modest relative to the ever expanding, unceasing advance of jazz and improvised music in the 21st Century. Nevertheless, throughout the ten tracks of The Audience the group delivers something as substantial as their forward leaning colleagues. Lalama and his cohorts, who occasionally play ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ralph Lalama: The Audience

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Tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama is a respected jazz journeyman probably best known for his more than 25-year tenure with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He's also played and recorded with the Joe Lovano Nonet, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and drummer Joe Morello's group, among others. But he's had relatively few opportunities to record as a leader. His 2008 release, the well-received Energy Fields (Mighty Quinn), was his first in over a decade and his first ever for a US label. So it's nice to see him back so soon with a worthy follow-up. Lalama is a powerhouse ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lee Konitz & Martial Solal: Star Eyes 1983

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This CD reissue of the original vinyl release signifies a timeless program between two giants of modern jazz. French pianist Martial Solal and American alto saxophonist Lee Konitz are two stylists who merge years of experience for a collaboration of synergistic interplay, serving as a motivating factor here. Solal's legendary performances with Django Reinhardt and other luminaries of the day, set a foundation for a career that has spanned decades, performing with the crème de la crème of jazz artists. Konitz' affiliation with forward-thinking pianist Lennie Tristano, amid his voluminous discography, subliminally underscores the mindset of two masters at work. ...



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