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THE AUDIOPHILE

An Ode to Vinyl

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Snap, crackle, pop! Is that the sound of a bowl of Rice Krispies or an abused record? In a blind test, 7 out of 10 listeners couldn't tell the difference between a record from a broken home and milk activating that morning bowl of puffed air. It's a sad fact: records can sound dreadful. Yet...Records are back. And, ironically, one of the main reasons for their unlikely resurgence is because of their great sound quality. But can anyone really tell? ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Drums and Piano: Denny Zeitlin and Kasper Tom

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The meeting between drums and piano is one of the more rare combinations in jazz, but it is possible to find fine examples of this particular genre. Just think of the encounter between Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and drummer Paul Motian on Flux & Change (Soul Note, 1995) and Australian pianist Mike Nock's collaboration with drummer Laurenz Pike on Kindred (FWM Records, 2012). Pianist Denny Zeitlin and the Danish drummer Kasper Tom have added two more albums ...

Curtis Fuller: The Opener – Blue Note 1567

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From the very first notes, it's obvious that Curtis Fuller's The Opener is something completely different. Yes, it's bop. Yes, it features the usual lineup of two horns, piano, bass and drums. And yes, one of those horns is saxman Hank Mobley, who, by law, was required to appear on every single Blue Note album in the 1950s and '60s. (Or maybe it only seems that way.) But wait--what's going on with those four opening notes? ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allison Neale: I Wished on the Moon

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There was a time, roughly half a century ago, when West Coast jazz was seen as the hippest music on the planet, its leading lights known and praised far and wide for espousing a brand of “cool jazz" that stood in stark contrast to its more heated East Coast counterpart. Much like any other trend, the West Coast jazz that once reigned supreme gradually faded away, leaving its partisans dismayed and understandably concerned that it might never return. The fact ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Schlippenbach Trio: Features

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In a change of pace from their previous outing--the superb long form concert recording Bauhaus Dessau (Intakt, 2010) -the longstanding Schlippenbach Trio has created a program of 15 concise improvisations, captured during a two day stopover in Zurich during their customary winter tour schedule. Such practice stands as far from unprecedented in the unit's 43 year history. Inevitably they have mellowed since their early days (after all both pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and saxophonist Evan Parker are over 70 now) ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Brotzmann/Keiji Haino/Jim O'Rourke: Two City Blues 2

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The music of legendary jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann is at its finest when the great man has something to push against. Typically these performances find him collaborating with drummers like Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love, Steve Noble, or Nasheet Waits. The music is built upon a power-versus-power formula. The drummer bloodies his nose, and he's off--throwing roundhouse punches and haymakers.It's something altogether different, and just the same here, where he is in the company of two guitarists, Jim O'Rourke ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Olie Brice / Tobias Delius / Mark Sanders: Somersaults

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Hot on the heels of Immune to Clockwork (Multikulti Project, 2014) by his own quintet comes another fine album featuring bassist Olie Brice. He organised the December 2014 studio recording session for Somersaults which features a trio in which Brice is joined by drummer Mark Sanders, with whom he frequently plays (notably in the Riverloam Trio with Polish saxophonist Mikolaj Trzaska, arguably a dry run for this grouping). This trio is completed by long-time ICP Orchestra member Tobias Delius on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Parker’s Unified Theory: Embrace The Wild

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For an all-acoustic jazz unit this band transmits an electrifying presence. New York reared bassist, composer Mike Parker's residence in Poland is a fruitful one, evidenced by the quality of musicianship he garners for this set that integrates manifold genres into the jazz vernacular. Along with little big band type horns charts and other variables, the bassist lays down a corpulent and fluid bottom-end. The quintet is apt to rock your socks off. As they kick it off ...



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