Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

The Bad Plus & Joshua Redman at the Michigan Theater

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The Bad Plus & Joshua Redman The Michigan Theater Ann Arbor, Michigan April 23, 2016 Over the course of some twenty years, The Bad Plus has honed its own brand of music making, tapping into a plethora of styles and grooves to develop their own musical hybrid. Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King know how to push the envelope with their repertoire of original material and crafty alterations of material ranging ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Across the Universe

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Back in the day, record companies would occasionally issue “Greatest Hits" compilation albums. Usually cheaply packaged (no gatefold, no credits, no liner notes, etc.), these collections were a convenient way to have all of an artist's big hits (plus some filler) in one convenient location. Record companies reaped huge profits from these collections and, perhaps, took a little contractual pressure off of the artist. With the advent of streaming and iTunes, Greatest Hits collections have been rendered unnecessary. What's replaced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Albert Vila: The Unquiet Sky

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Belgium-based Spanish jazz guitarist Albert Vila delivers his fourth album as leader with The Unquiet Sky, offering a tad more music than a standard album with a presentation of fourteen original compositions of modern-styled jazz that's quite appealing. There's little question whose recording this is as the leader's electric guitar voice becomes the center-piece of the disc from the opening tune. Except for two tracks documented in Barcelona, Spain (Vila's home town), the project was recorded in New ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Peter Murphy at (le) Poisson Rouge

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Peter Murphy (le) Poisson Rouge New York, NY April 22, 2016 Peter Murphy is an icon, a chameleon who often sheds one creative skin in favor of a deeper layer. The 58-year- old has worn many hats through the years, from reigning as the vocalist of Bauhaus, a solo artist, collaborator with Mick Karn in Dali's Car, in a cameo as “The Cold One" in 2010's The Twilight Saga: The Eclipse, portraying “Blown Away Guy" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

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Saxophonist Noah Preminger got this backwards. His latest release, Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground should have preceded the 2015 recording Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar. Same quartet of trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Ian Froman. Same theme, the Delta Blues. The reverse order observation is a historical one. Where John Coltrane would record an album of shortish compositions, then take them to the Village Vanguard to expand them to album length tracks, Preminger ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Goran Ivanovic Trio: Goran Ivanovic Trio

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Virtuoso Serbian guitarist Goran Ivanovic has been busy performing, if not recording since the 2008 Folk Tales and the 2006 Goran Ivanovic Group, with the only subsequent album being the 2009 Guitar Duo with Andreas Kapsalis. That void has been remedied with the very impressive Goran Ivanovic Trio, although listeners familiar with the first two recordings might miss the extra counterpoint of a second solo voice. Matt Ulery continues holding down the bass duties, but Peter Tashjian replaces ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Jon Irabagon: Inaction is an Action & Behind the Sky

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It's a rare musician who can find ways to excel in multiple contexts, but saxophonist/composer Jon Irabagon is just such an artist. His timeline contains entries as collaborator as well as leader and his respective contributions are equally distinctive, suggesting his humility is equaled only by his independence. Because the nuances of his compositions are as fine as those of his musicianship, the sum effect of Irabagon's artistic arc conjures up the compelling notion that he is not only an ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Quanta April – Five Women IV: Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Eisele, Stacy Sullivan, Eileen Howard, Lauren White

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We are enjoying a rich period of jazz vocals creation; the story continues... Ella Fitzgerald Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set Verve 2016 Ella Fitzgerald is certainly the vocalist to include first in this review as hers is one of the few voices that are the jazz vocals gold standard. The Universal Music Group, owner of the Verve Records catalog, have discovered yet one more way to repackage ...


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