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LIVE REVIEWS

Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014

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Penang Island Jazz Festival Bayview Beach Resort Malaysia December 4-7, 2014 It was business as usual at the Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014, following the tenth anniversary celebrations of the previous year. That milestone was no small feat for Festival Director Paul Augustin, business partner Chin Choo Yeun and their loyal team, in a region where jazz of all stripes--with the notable exception of smooth jazz--occupies the bottom rung of the popular music ladder. Along the way, the PIJF has not only established itself as the longest-running jazz festival in Malaysia but as one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Galliano: Sentimentale

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Accordionist Richard Galliano is a true innovator of both the extemporized role of his instrument and of the fusion of French folk music with jazz. His breathtaking instrumental facility combined with a creative ingenuity makes his oeuvre, particularly the series of superb albums on Dreyfus Jazz, uniquely satisfying. In view of this, his release on the non-for-profit Resonance Label, Sentimentale is a bit of a letdown. A couple of Galliano compositions, and a few jazz, Bossa Nova and pop standards are among the dozen of tracks that constitute the album. Despite the diversity of their origins the superlative ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Rex Richardson: Bugles Over Zagreb: The Music of Doug Richards and Blue Shift

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Rex Richardson Bugles Over Zagreb: The Music of Doug Richards Self Produced 2014 Master class trumpeter virtuoso Rex Richardson is one of a rare breed of jazz musicians who can successfully straddle the worlds of classical and jazz without sounding like he's a mere overnight guest when performing in either genre. His focused, fiery delivery and high wire act of technical prowess is uncompromised whether soloing for orchestras in Slovenia and Manchester or fronting a jazz combo in a club in Richmond, Virginia where he resides as resident professor of trumpet, jazz improvisation ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Indigo Mist: Cuong Vu - Richard Karpen: That The Days Go By And Never Come Again

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Pioneering trumpeter, composer Cuong Vu and pianist Richard Karpen push the envelope by not releasing a cut and dry tribute to Duke Ellington and his counterpart Billy Strayhorn . With a standard jazz quartet supported by iPad and electronics performers, to say this album follows mainstream jazz guidelines would be a miscue of sorts. Unconventional wisdom and atypical treatments accentuate this production of three Ellington-Strayhorn compositions and several originals by the quartet. According to Vu, the spirit of Ellington and Strayhorn presided during the recording session, amid references to the music taking on the semblance of an extended ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Oppenheim: Greenhorn in a Red State

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Saxophonist Richard Oppenheim's Greenhorn in a Red State is a delightful album with a tight, simmering groove and filled with musically unique twist and turns. Inspired by his relocation to San Antonio from New York and the relative culture shock this entailed the seven originals are witty, nostalgic and restless. The front line of Oppenheim's alto and his wife flautist Katchie Cartwright's piccolo gives the melodies a singular agility and elasticity. Cartwright's breezy resonant tone glides over Oppenheim's greasy vibrating sound as the two woodwinds perform a provocative sensual dance on the funk infused “Mean Old Bastrop." Pianist ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Keith Richards on Keith Richards

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Keith Richards on Keith Richards Interviews and Encounters Edited by Sean Egan 288 pages ISBN: 9781613747889 Chicago Review Press 2013 There is an enduring appeal when it comes to the lives of Keith Richards and the other Rolling Stones that has spawned a myriad of biography books throughout the years. But no matter how many biographies and testimonies are published, a whole new avalanche of books are written each new year that again still attracts new readership regardless if the biographers are miles and miles distanced from the inner circles of the band ...

HARDLY STRICTLY JAZZ

Pryor Experiences

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If it seems like everything is being anthologized into a box set these days, that's because it is. While on a trip to Amoeba Music (the enormous record store from where I live about a block), I took stock of all kinds of box sets. There was even one of the Mitch Miller Sing Along With stuff. Oh joy. The thought of being trapped in a room with someone who could get through even one disc of that... Horrors.In those pre-Seinfeld days, standup comedians made live albums (roughly one per year), played Vegas showrooms, toured nightclubs, appeared on ...



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