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Tineke Postma/Greg Osby: Sonic Halo

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Greg Osby has influenced legions of saxophonists over the past two-plus decades. On Sonic Halo, one of those players stands tall beside him. Once upon a time, Osby and dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma had a mentor-mentee relationship, but that was then, and this is now. Both players are equals on this probing venture. Nine tracks--five from Postma's pen, three from Osby, and an abstraction on a standard ("Body And Soul")--give this pair ample room to feel each other out ("Sea Skies"), travel angular pathways ("Facets"), look straight into the face of uncertainty ("Source"), and succumb to the ...


South Africa at the South Bank

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The Dedication Orchestra and Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya The South Bank Centre London Jazz Festival November 15, 2014 The London Jazz Festival is now in its twenty-second year. It's a vast, sprawling event and its venues criss-cross a city that never quite seems to end, whilst its musical styles span the globe from the USA to Australia and from South Africa to Norway. Saturday 15th November saw South Africa in two distinctly different guises at the South Bank Centre. I've been coming here since 1969 and, for me, its position on the ...


Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian: Hamburg '72

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With Sleeper: Tokyo, April 16, 1979 (2012) and Magico: Carta de Amor (2012), ECM Records began digging into its archives, unearthing two live recordings that revealed even more about a collection of artists whose reputations were already plenty secure as some of the label's most important from its early years--in the first case, pianist Keith Jarrett's Scandinavian-centric “Belonging Quartet," with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen; in the second, the Transatlantic trio of Norway's Garbarek, Brazilian pianist/guitarist Egberto Gismonti and American bassist Charlie Haden. Hamburg '72 is another significant find: a live recording that, unlike Sleeper ...


Alex Belhaj's Crescent City Quartet: Sugar Blues

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Trad jazz isn't trending on Twitter or climbing the charts, but that doesn't mean it's completely irrelevant in today's musical landscape. There's still a segment of people, both on the delivering and listening ends, who enjoy the way multiple horns can snake around one another in a polyphonic dance of joy, supported and driven by guitar and bass below. Many of these people find themselves drawn to New Orleans, where the music first took firm shape, and that's where the story of this project begins. Michigan-based guitarist Alex Belhaj visited New Orleans in the spring of 2010, ...


Carmen Lundy: Soul To Soul

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There are records created through years of preparation and production that take a lifetime to achieve. Soul to Soul by vocalist Carmen Lundy, indeed falls in that category, yet defies categorization. Lundy is setting her own course, while other singers seek safe refuge in tepid covers of popular standards. She offers original material delivered with authenticity that can only come from a seasoned jazz veteran. Studying the roster of musicians on this record, there is no surprise that the outcome is poised and polished. Securing and featuring pianists Patrice Rushen and Geri Allen was a major coup for ...


All-Star Trio at Philly’s Hip Square on the Square

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Ever since Lennie Tristano recorded his landmark album Live at the Confucius Restaurant in 1955, Chinese food and jazz have teamed up. The All-Star Trio continues the tradition at Philadelphia's Square on the Square, a Chinese restaurant on 19th and Chestnut. It's a regular Wednesday night gig for the spirited trio of pianist Andy Kahn, drummer Bruce Klauber and bassist Nicholas Krolak. Sometimes Peggy King shows up--the All-Stars brought her out of retirement--and the group backs her up on some of the tunes for which she is known, like “I'm Beginning to see the Light" and “Any Questions," ...


Manuel Valera Sr.: Recuerdos

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Recuerdos might translate as “Remembrances," but save for maybe a track or two, this album is clearly not about nostalgia--it is a contemporary Latin jazz album filled with inspired moments--among these “Solitude," a tune in which veteran saxophonist Manuel Valeras, Sr. and his son (pianist Manuel Valera) share a close duet. “Si La Comprienderas" opens the disc with an up-tempo groove, and “Si Te Contara" has a very modern feel thanks to the solid backing from the rhythm section of bassist Hans Glawischnig drummer Ludwig Afonso and percussionist Mauricio Herrera. The same can be said of “Alma Con Alma," a ...

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