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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet

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In the end, time--as is its wont--caught up with Kenny Wheeler, the much-loved Canadian-born trumpeter/flugelhornist and composer who made England his home for over sixty years. Happily, he was able to hear the results of the two-day Abbey Road sessions that produced, Songs for Quintet before he passed away last September 18. These Wheeler originals reveal the inevitable fragility that had crept into Wheeler's delivery--even since the remarkable Mirrors (Edition Records, 2013)--due to declining health but just as clearly emphasize ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Krantz: Good Piranha Bad Piranha

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If Wayne Krantz seemed to be embracing vocals on Krantz Carlock Lefebvre (Abstract Logix, 2009), where he sang on a third of the tracks, then the transition seemed complete on Howie 61 (Abstract Logix, 2012), where he sang on eight of the ten tracks, with the guitar--at least as an improvisational tool--taking a back seat to more melodic concepts. Good Piranha Bad Piranha marks Krantz' return to instrumental territory and reunites him with long-standing sparring partners, Keith Carlock and Tim ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

D.F.F.: Pouric Songs

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D.F.F. is a seven-piece super-group founded by multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Dave Flynn and Pouric Songs is its stellar debut recording. The versatile Flynn is also the man behind the Clare Memory Orchestra--a fusion of Ireland's leading traditional and classical musicians--so it's no surprise that D.F.F. blends genres and colors so seamlessly. Pop, rock, African rhythms and folksy balladry have all gone into the melting pot to produce a vibrant, celebratory idiom. Acoustic and electric guitar rub shoulders with cello and mbira; congas, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sean Mac Erlaine: A Slender Song

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Multi-woodwind instrumentalist and electronics musician/composer Sean Mac Erlaine works in musical areas where seemingly disparate worlds merge: tradition and modernity; acoustic and electronic; improvised and structured sounds. These are the threads that run throughout his work. Slender Songs is a continuation of concepts that Mac Erlaine explored on Long After The Music is Gone (Ergodos Records, 2012), a haunting solo meditation inspired by the Irish landscape and its light. The ten selections here--culled from live performances between 2010 and 2013--range ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tommy Halferty Trio: Burkina

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Veteran Irish guitarist Tommy Halferty has played in numerous settings over the past four decades, from duos with Stephane Grappelli, John Abercrombie and John Etheridge to small ensemble forays with the likes of George Mraz, Lee Konitz and Benny Golson. Perhaps it's in a trio format, however, where Halferty feels most at home, crafting notable collaborations with John Wadham and Ronan Guilfoyle in the early 1980s, with Guilfoyle and Keith Copeland in the 1990s and with Jean Philippe and Christophe ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities

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Given the globe-trotting touring on the back of Unity Band (Nonesuch Records, 2012) and Kin ()(Nonesuch Records, 2014) with Pat Metheny's Unity Group it's a wonder that Chris Potter has had time for his own projects. Yet with The Sirens (ECM, 2013)--an acoustic suite inspired by Homer's Odyssey--Potter was in the composing form of his life. On Imaginary Cities Potter shows greater ambition still in blending a string quartet with his long-standing Underground band. Furthermore, electric bassist Fima Ephron and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chingari: Bombay Makossa

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Released just days before the death of pioneering mandolin maestro U. Srinivas, Bombay Makossa assumes an added poignancy as one of his last recorded ventures in a career that began as a child prodigy in the late 1970s. Though nearly all the tracks were penned by Ranjit Barot Chingari was intended as a trio of equals. Accordingly, there's a fine compositional balance in the arrangements and tight trio interplay throughout. Chingari means spark in Hindi and collective sparks certainly fly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Tyree/BT3: Burn it! LIVE

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Even prior to moving to New York from his native Washington DC in 2002 Ben Tyree was genre-bending in Miscellaneous Flux, fusing hip-hop, jazz and punk vocabulary. His outright debut as leader, re:Vision (Sonic Architectures, 2010) was a hard-grooving take on contemporary jazz-fusion featuring DJ Logic and John Medeski. That template flew out the window on Thoughtform Variations (Sonic Architectures, 2012), a bold solo acoustic venture of sophisticated harmonics and alternative tunings that drew on jazz, folk, blues and classical ...



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