Recent Articles

THE BIG QUESTION

What is your preferred music listening format?

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Compact disc sales are in steady decline as most younger listeners opt for streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube. Millennials are also the driving force behind vinyl sales growth (since 2008) as 9.2 million units were sold in 2014, up 51.8% from 2013. I was a heavy vinyl collector growing up, made mixtapes, dropped cassettes and vinyl in favor of CDs in the mid 1980s, then years later reintroduced vinyl into my collection while increasing streaming through ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oded Lev-Ari: Threading

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There's more to music than often meets the eye. While educated jazz fans often laud and focus on the artists whose names adorn the cover of albums and the sidemen that support and converse with them, far fewer people applaud the work of figures like Oded Lev-Ari--those men of many hats who work out of sight, producing, arranging, and orchestrating for the better-known names. Over the past decade, Lev-Ari's guiding hands have helped to sculpt the sound ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Creating Structure

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Saxophonist Rich Halley, home-based in Portland, Oregon, has put out seventeen CDs. A good handful of those, pre-2006, were released on the now-dormant Louie Records. These were mostly chordless trio and quartet affairs that showcased Halley's talent for creating category four maelstroms that gelled and bopped their way into surprisingly catchy, damned near mainstream grooves. Pine Eagle Records, Halley's record label, was born in 2010, and the saxophonist and his like minded friends--trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Vocal Jazz: 1969-2001

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The Dark Age followed by the Renaissance. The tumultuous changes of the 1960s radically changed the American musical landscape. Jazz fell off the American cultural radar, nightclubs closed their doors and record companies moved on to rock. With few opportunities to work and little money to be made, jazz became a music played by the dedicated for the devoted. Jazz singers, who had always acted as a bridge between the jazz and non-jazz audience, found that the middle ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diatribes: Great Stone / Blood Dunza

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The duo Diatribes--d'incise (a.k.a. Laurent Peter) and Cyril Bondi--are the driving forces behind the INSUB label on which many of their recordings have been released, either as Diatribes or within other groupings. Great Stone / Blood Durza is not the duo's first release on a label other than INSUB, but it is noteworthy for other reasons; it is released on vinyl in an edition limited to 300 copies and it is explicitly making connections between Diatribes' electro-acoustic improvisation and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

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Daniel Bennett is an extremely talented player (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe and piano) and composer whose music has a simple, light and lyrical quality which hides quite a bit complexity going on underneath. There is also more than a bit of wry satire thrown into the mix. While his brand of music will most likely not attract the “downtown" crowd, that is not his aim. What he wants to do is to craft melodies which will ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All Is Said

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Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's The Hook Up features artists who are among the more prominent representatives of new directions in jazz and improvisation. Here, the leader acts as an instigator and propulsive factor via his rhythmically shaped works, comprised of rolling, tumbling and splintered movements, etched with budding thematic developments. Guitarist Mary Halvorson's distinctive phraseology comes to the forefront amid her liquefying and bent notes, eliciting otherworldly backdrops in parallel with her dynamic soloing sprees with the hornists. The ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jeff Beck at the Paramount

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Jeff Beck The Paramount Huntington, NY April 15, 2015 Jeff Beck is rock royalty. He has twice been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame--as a member of the Yardbirds (in 1992) and as a solo performer (in 2009). His career has spanned over 50 years (first appearing on a record in 1964 playing guitar on the Fitz and Startz single “I'm Not Running Away." In 1965, he ...



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