Jazz Articles

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Michael Joseph Harris

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About Michael Joseph Harris Michael Joseph Harris began playing guitar at age 12. At 16 he won accolades as a jazz guitarist with the Downbeat Magazine award-winning Chantilly High Jazz Band. He studied with guitarist Rick Whitehead during high school and Jack Petersen at North Texas State University. Soon after, as a young guitarist in Washington, D.C., he played with popular Latin Jazz group Bossalingo. Harris moved to jny: Baltimore in 2006 and became a father in 2008. In ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2015

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In 1975, Howard University, a bulwark of higher education in our nation's capital since 1867, formed its first Jazz Ensemble and named a young trumpeter / educator, Fred Irby III, as director. One year later, Irby ushered the ensemble into a recording studio to verify its prowess, a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for forty years. Irby remains at the helm today, and HUJE 2015 is the latest in an ever-expanding catalogue of impressive albums produced by the university's flagship ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Laurin Talese: Gorgeous Chaos

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True talent, like water, will rise and seek its own level. With a lifetime of readiness and recognizing opportunity, vocalist Laurin Talese brings a natural sense of self-awareness into Gorgeous Chaos, her riveting debut as a jazz chanteuse. The acapella gospel tinged phrasing that Talese conveys on the opening “Someone To Watch Over Me," conveys the vulnerability of her voice, revealing a transcendent quality. Halfway through the song, the tender piano by Eric Wortham enters apropos, suggesting a ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Carla Bley & Jack DeJohnette: ECM Trios

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Two different approaches to the trio, led by veteran ECM bandleaders. Big band composer/pianist Carla Bley continues her recent run of chamber ensemble recordings, reconvening her trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow, most recently heard on Trios (ECM, 2013). The grouping gives much more focus on her piano playing than her large group projects, where she was composer first, accompanist (and soloist) second. Drummer/composer Jack DeJohnette introduces a new trio with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and electric bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

: Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics

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It's not often you hear of Miles Davis complementing trumpet players, but apparently prolific studio player Mac Gollehon was one of the rare exceptions. Nicknamed “chops" by the jazz icon (according to myth anyway), Gollehon has a very impressive resume; arranging and playing lead trumpet on over 500 gold/platinum records, he worked with big names like the late master David Bowie on his legendary “Let's Dance," 80's favorites Duran Duran and the inimitable Rick James to name just a few. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Parker's Trio Theory: Alive Out There

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Fans of post-apocalyptic stories need not worry about whether they still will have rock music once the electric grids go down. That is, if we can turn the clocks back to the days when jazz musicians were rockstars. Perhaps the supposition of the band, Mike Parker's Trio Theory, is just that. Kill all the living dead, because this acoustic music is electrifying. Parker, an American-born bassist, now living in the jazz-rich city of Krakow, assembled a trio with ...

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 ...


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