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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Wagner / Hamid Drake / Nobu Ozaki: Trio

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With time to reflect on the Katrina tragedy, jazz artists with ties to New Orleans have been emerging to tell their stories. Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Kali Z. Fasteau, James “Blood" Ulmer and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band are among those who have committed their concerns to tape. Accompanied by drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Nobu Ozaki, saxophonist (and New Orleans native) Rob Wagner delivers his own take on the event.

As a creative modernist with regular gigs in the Big Easy, Wagner's mere presence invalidates the prevailing stereotype of New Orleans as nothing more than ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Wagner / Hamid Drake / Nobu Ozaki: Trio

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Since the post-Hurricane Katrina exodus from New Orleans, the city's fabled music scene parallels the uncertainties of habitation and commerce issues. Here, modern jazz saxophonist Rob Wagner aligns with a killer rhythm section for a set recorded in December of 2005 at the French Quarter's thoroughly hip Café' Brasil. And while many musicians have scurried about trying to make an earnest living outside the Crescent City, drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Nobu Ozaki trekked to New Orleans six months after Katrina caught everyone off-guard. In effect, Wagner and elder statesman/saxophonist Kidd Jordan have signified the Crescent City's modernist movement. This ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Wagner Trio: Lost Children

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Modern/free jazz saxophonist Kidd Jordan is arguably New Orleans' most forward-thinking artist, manifested in his freeform endeavors with drummer Andrew Cyrille and work with pianist Joel Futterman, among others. Multi-reedman Rob Wagner can be added to the same list of New Orleans' more adventurous jazz practitioners. And while Hurricane Katrina has forced many folks into evacuation mode because of a lack of work and other problems, Wagner has imprinted his stamp of jazz modernism within the region.

Presently in New York City, Wagner will be returning to the Crescent City with the intention of resuming his ongoing stint at the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Wagner: Walking, Crying, Laughing, Running

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Robert Wagner's reeds exude a soulful sound. The New Orleans-based woodwind musician goes on extended improvisational romps on this trio recording while his band of bassist James Singleton and drummer James Alsanders lays down a solid foundation for his lift-off. Wagner's expansive solos filter from his tenor, alto, or soprano with gliding consistency. He does not display jagged edges or raspy abrasiveness in his delivery but instead allows the streams of notes to pour out in smoothly flowing waves of sound.

One of the more compelling songs on the disc is 'Arthur Blythe.' Wagner spins out a tune very much ...



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