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Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra: MTO Plays Sly

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Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory OrchestraMTO Plays SlyThe Royal Potato Family2011 The Sly Stone songbook is a solid gold thing, and it is strange that it is so rarely revisited. Then again, repertory tributes are generally paid to artists who have passed. Stone is still with us, although, it sometimes seems, only just: over the last few decades, he has been ravaged by “personal problems" which would likely have finished off any mere mortal. The man who promised the late 1960s/early 1970s counterculture that he wanted to take it higher, and whose ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Bernstein / Marcus Rojas / Kresten Osgood: Tattoos and Mushrooms

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The line-up of slide trumpet, tuba and drums is, to say the least, somewhat unusual in jazz. As is the choice of Hank Williams' “So Lonesome I Could Cry" as a vehicle for improvisation. On Tattoos and Mushrooms, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, tubaist Marcus Rojas and drummer Kresten Osgood go boldly into aural regions where no man has gone before. To put it another way, this is not what Count Basie called “music to pat your foot to." Indeed, there are some deeply disturbing sounds on this album. Bernstein is best known for his work ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra: We Are MTO

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Jazz is fun again. Yes, in the hands of a showman like Steven Bernstein it can be a ball. Whether he is fronting his band Sexmob, playing sideman to Bobby Previte, or arranging tracks for Mario Pavone, he means to entertain us. And entertainment as in “that's show biz folks." Maybe it was his early work with John Lurie's Lounge Lizards or his experience researching regional jazz bands as the musical director for Robert Altman's film Kansas City (1996) that turned him into a showman. He may have a love of cartoons from the 1930s and '40s, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra: We Are MTO

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From his career-defining work on the score to Robert Altman's film Kansas City to his recent arrangements for producer Hal Wilner's various projects, trumpeter Steven Bernstein has ascended from the ranks of the underground to attain a level of recognition that few musicians of his caliber receive.

Bernstein's rough and tumble Sex Mob quartet has been tearing down musical boundaries for well over a decade, but it is his large ensemble, the Millennial Territory Orchestra (MTO), that offers the most complete view of his multifarious abilities. Conducting a phenomenal group of soloists, he limits his wildly expressive brass ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2008: Days 6-8

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Days 1-3 | Days 4-5 | Days 6-8 | Days 9-11

McCoy Tyner Trio with Ravi Coltrane/Bran Van 3000 Catherine Russell/Steely Dan Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra/McCoy Tyner Big Band Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Quebec, Canada July 1-3, 2008

Now nearing its thirty-year anniversary, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal continues to create a universe unto itself. With six square city blocks closed in the city's downtown core, it's an eleven-day party that's marked by high spirits and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Bernstein: Diaspora Suite

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Diaspora Suite is the fourth installment of trumpeter Steven Bernstein's Diaspora series, which explores the connections between Jewish melodic traditions and contemporary styles. And it may be the most personal. The six-hour session was recorded in Oakland, California--Bernstein's hometown--and included musicians he's played with since grade school: multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, trombonist Jeff Cressman and drummer Josh Jones. The nonet is completed with additional drummer Scott Amendola, electric bassist Devin Hoff, clarinetist Ben Goldberg and the twin guitars of Nels Cline and John Schott (with additional post-session guitar “sweeteners from Will Bernard). The thick instrumentation nods to the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Bernstein: Diaspora Suite

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Diaspora Suite is trumpeter and bandleader Steven Bernstein's fourth recording (and first of all original material) in a series dedicated to radical reinterpretations of traditional Yiddish melodies. After a memorial for the late director Robert Altman (Bernstein scored Altman's Kansas City), he reflected on a quote from Altman, “Create an event and shoot it like you have no control over it."

Inspired by Altman's words, Bernstein recruited a group of long time associates in the Bay area for an afternoon recording session in his hometown of Oakland, California.

The result is a West Coast summit meeting, ...



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