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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hiroshi Fukutomi: Memory Stones

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Osaka-born, Berklee-trained and currently plying his craft in Tokyo, guitarist Hiroshi Fukutomi's second release as leader following Rings of Saturn (D-Musica, 2010) is a satisfyingly melodic affair. These ten originals reveal Fukutomi's ability to pen a good tune, as well as his dexterity on both electric and acoustic guitars. Pianist/Rhodes player Koichi Sato, bassist Koji Yasuda and drummer Ryo Noritake form a water-tight rhythm section and their individual prowess adds much to the success of this contemporary straight ahead session. ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Blood, Sweat, Drum + Bass: In the Spirit of...

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The 25-30 piece Danish big band Blood Sweat Drums + Bass isn't your typical big band. The juggernaut steered by Jens Christian “Chappe" Jensen meshes traditional jazz sections of trumpet, saxophone and trombone with electronics and electric guitar, and has incorporated DJs and rappers on occasion. And, as the name intimates, a pulsating rhythm section comprising two drummers and a percussionist and two bassists inject wicked grooves into the brew. In the Spirit of... (Blood Sweat Media, 2014) is a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan at Mengi

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Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan Mengi ReykjavĂ­k, Iceland May 8, 2015 (2nd show) “I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said guitarist Jakob Bro to the small, tightly packed audience at Mengi, a vibrant new arts space in downtown Reykjavik. This tour--which besides Iceland also made stops in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Greenland--had been some time in coming, for all concerned. It's been ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bray Jazz Festival 2015

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Bray Jazz Festival 2015 Various Venues Bray, Ireland May 1-3, 2015 Sunshine and squall. The sun and the clouds chased each other's tails throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend of the Bray Jazz Festival. In a way the weather mirrored the music--a pleasingly eclectic, bracing mixture--and the fortunes of the festival itself, which has been buffeted by the recent storms of funding cuts, yet remains unbowed. In spite of a reduced budget ...

INTERVIEWS

Andy Sheppard: Tales From the Bristol Underground Jazz Revolution

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"Jazz has always been an underground thing. It doesn't have the power and might of opera, but it should," says Andy Sheppard, shortly after the UK premier of Surrounded by Sea (ECM, 2015) at the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. “Everyone in the music industry has a respect for jazz music, and they should, I think, realize the value of what's come out of this thing called jazz and the echoes that run through all other genres of music now." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andy Sheppard Quartet: Surrounded By Sea

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Saxophonist/composer Andy Sheppard has found a home in ECM. It's maybe not the perfect home for an artist as eclectic as Sheppard, for it's hard to see some of his other projects--notably the Scofield/Lovanoesque quartet Hotel Bristol--fitting in with the ECM aesthetic. Still, Sheppard's melodic improvisational approach and the airy lyricism on Movements in Color (ECM, 2009) and Trio Libero (ECM, 2012) fitted the ECM blueprint beautifully and rank among his most seductive recordings. With Surrounded by Sea Sheppard expands ...

LIVE REVIEWS

12 Points 2015

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12 Points 2015 Project Arts Centrejny: Dublin, IrelandApril 15-18, 2015 In an international calendar absolutely bulging with jazz festivals, 12 Points--conceived in Dublin by Improvised Music Company in 2007--stands out as one of the more original. It's not just the diversity and quality of the music that sets Twelve Points apart, after all, there's no shortage of festivals boasting great, eclectic programmes. Nor is it just the fact that 12 Points alternates between Dublin and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

April Jazz 2015

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April Jazz 2015 National Concert Hall jny: Dublin April 10-12, 2015 April Jazz is the latest addition to Dublin's thriving jazz/improvised music scene. The weekend festival is part of the National Concert Hall's Perspectives program, a series of monthly concerts that spans modern bluegrass and fiddle soundscapes, alt country and contemporary piano recitals. Even within the three-day April Jazz festival there was a little of something for everyone, reflecting the eclectic nature of ...



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