Jazz Articles


Jon Irabagon: Inaction is an Action & Behind the Sky

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It's a rare musician who can find ways to excel in multiple contexts, but saxophonist/composer Jon Irabagon is just such an artist. His timeline contains entries as collaborator as well as leader and his respective contributions are equally distinctive, suggesting his humility is equaled only by his independence. Because the nuances of his compositions are as fine as those of his musicianship, the sum effect of Irabagon's artistic arc conjures up the compelling notion that he is not only an ...


Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues

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The co-founding siblings of the Black Crowes, Chris and Rich Robinson have taken markedly different approaches to their projects outside the confines of that now-defunct (?) band. During the group's first self-imposed hiatus the former put together a band to tour as well as record, ta sequence of events leading directly to the formation of his eponymous Brotherhood well in advance of the Crowes' ultimate fragmentation in 2015. Younger brother Rich worked at a more methodical pace, making records during ...


No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead

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No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead Peter Richardson 384 Pages ISBN: # 1250010624 St. Martin's Press 2015 The declarative tone Peter Richardson adopts and maintains throughout No Simple Highway renders his depiction of the evolution of the Grateful Dead seem like nothing less than destiny. In fact, the way this erudite writer follows the evolution of the band, it's as if any story of modern American culture would be ...


The Band Photographs 1968-1969

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The Band Photographs 1968-1969 Elliott Landy 160 Pages ISBN: # 149502251X Backbeat Books 2015 As much as the Band disavowed imagemaking, preferring to focus as strictly as possible on their music when they emerged from the shadows Bob Dylan's backing ensemble, when embarked upon their own career, they definitely nurtured a distinctive collective persona and the photography of Elliott Landy, in the midst of an illustrious career that found him capturing the essence ...


John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn

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John David Souther was an outlaw among outlaws in the Seventies clique of self-styled desperadoes of Los Angeles-based country rock. A frequent collaborator with, but never actually a member of, the Eagles, he readily admits, in one set of liner notes author Scott Schinder wisely devotes to the artist's own verbiage, that his iconoclastic nature didn't lend itself to ongoing group projects such as the admittedly contrived group David Geffen(founder of the Asylum Records label on which these solo titles ...


Grateful Dead: Dave's Picks Volume 17 - Selland Arena, Fresno, CA 7/19/1974

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The debate is ongoing and will certainly remain so, but with each Grateful Dead archive release from the “Wall of Sound" era, the 1973-4 phase of the iconic band's history rises further in prestige. And it should hardly be surprising, given that the impeccable sound translates through recording and Jeffrey Norman's remastering. On this title, that uncanny clarity allowed the group to play at an elevated level precisely because they could hear themselves so well, individually and collectively.


Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: Something Real

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Talk to anyone who saw Neil Young on his 2015 tour with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and no doubt you'll hear raves about the band as well as the Canadian rock icon. Nelson and co's Something Real reaffirms the complementary connection, but also posits the sons of Willie and their compatriots as a force to be reckoned with on their own. At least at first, it's startling to listen to this record and not just ...


Julian Lage: Arclight

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Anyone who saw guitarist Julian Lage in concert with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen in 2015 will be equally surprised and delighted by Arclight. On his Mack Avenue label debut: Lage proves himself not just a student of his instrument--as if that needed further affirmation given his previous solo work and collaborations with vibraphonist Gary Burton and guitarist Nels Cline--but an exceedingly fast learner in the art of studio recording. No question he benefits from ample ...

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