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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Blue-Eyed Hawk: Under The Moon

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London-based quartet Blue-Eyed Hawk's debut recording has benefited from three years of gigging and the slow stewing of ideas. Collectively, singer Lauren Kinsella, trumpeter Laura Jurd, guitarist Alex Roth and drummer Corrie Dick sounds like the finished article, which whets the appetite for future chapters. With writing duties spread evenly, the quartet soars over wide stylistic terrain, from susurrus, folksy balladry and sophisticated pop to psychadelic rock and punkish struts. It all blends wonderfully, like a heady cross between Bjork, Patti Smith and Moetar. For label seekers, art-rock might satisfactorily describe Blue-Eyed Hawk's aesthetic, but boxes aside, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew McCormack: First Light

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English pianist Andrew McCormack came to wider attention in the UK with his debut Telescope (Dune, 2006) and his subsequent Rising Star BBC Jazz Award. McCormack was already an established figure on the London jazz scene through his association with Tomorrow's Warriors and J-Life though a decade on he's probably still best known as a sideman in the bands of Denys Baptiste, Jean Toussaint, and Gary Crosby's Nu-Troop, as well as for his duo collaborations with Jason Yarde. That may be about to change with McCormack's impressive follow-up, which captures the energy and flow of New York, where the music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marialy Pacheco: Introducing

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The album title is something of a misnomer as Introducing is Marialy Pacheco's seventh release as leader since Benediciones (Weltwunder Records, 2005). The jny:Melbourne-based Cuban's stock has certainly risen since that introduction, notably as a result of becoming the first female winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition in 2012. A noted classical pianist too, Pacheco has recited Bach with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and guested with the Queensland Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata of St. John's. For her Neuklang debut Pacheco delves deep into her roots, dishing up evocative Cuban-inspired originals and fresh arrangements of old chestnuts.

INTERVIEWS

Oz Noy: The Twisted Wizardry Of Oz

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Any blues played by Oz Noy would have to be a little twisted. Drawing on influences ranging from the classic jazz guitarists of yesteryear to the trailblazers of more recent vintage, Noy's instantly recognizable voice is also heavily influenced by blues and heavy metal guitarists. Two and a half years have passed since Twisted Blues Volume One (Abstract Logix, 2011), Noy's electrifying, knotty and visceral take on the blues featuring an all-star cast of the guitarist's regular collaborators. The format is pretty much the same on Twisted Blues Volume 2 (Abstract Logix, 2014), with old sparring partners joined ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian Vuust: Urban Hymn

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Multi-reedist/composer Christian Vuust has been a mainstay of the Danish jazz scene for close to thirty years. A professor at the Royal Academy of Music in his hometown of Aarhus, Vuust has crafted a significant discography as leader, working with some of Denmark's best jazz musicians. Urban Hyms marks a departure for Vuust, being his first CD recorded outside Denmark. Recorded in a single day in jny:New York, Jeff Ballard, Ben Street and Aaron Parks's sophisticated yet subtle support frames Vuust's original compositions, which draw deeply from European and American wells alike. Danish psalms have heavily influenced Vuust--he's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marius Neset/Trondheim Jazz Orchestra: Lion

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Lion is a good name for Marius Neset's first recording with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, for like a great cat, the Norwegian orchestra purrs and prowls, roars and pounces. Regardless of tempo--whether cruising or charging--there's majesty in the collective voice. Commissioned for the Molde Jazz Festival in 2012, the momentum from that performance took Neset and this twelve-piece orchestra into the recording studio with spectacular results. In fourteen years, the TJO has become something of a Norwegian national institution, reaching an ever-greater audience across Europe. Lion is another feather in its cap, following collaborations with Chick Corea, Pat ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything

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Like a kind of musical contortionist, Stefano Bollani keeps repositioning himself with eye-popping ease. The diversity and eclecticism of Bollani's projects are reflected in the sweeping breadth of his vocabulary; his output as leader on ECM alone, since his debut Piano Solo (ECM, 2006), is indicative of his adventurous spirit. That solo outing was followed by Orvieto (ECM, 2011), a joyous duologue with Chick Corea, whereas the exhilarating O Que Sera (ECM, 2013) coupled the Italian with Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda. With Bollani virtuosity is a given, but the pianist's first ECM effort fronting a group is a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ahmad Jamal & Yusef Lateef: Live At The Olympia

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Ahmad Jamal's live performances have been well represented in his discography over the past sixty years. Yet despite touring the globe, all Jamal's live recordings--with the exception of the DVD concert from Lebanon, Live at Baalbeck (Birdology, 2003)--document North American and European gigs. France has always accorded the Pittsburgh pianist a royal welcome, naming him an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007;the regard is mutual, as Live at the Olympia is Jamal's fourth live recording in the French capital since 1992. Recorded in June 2012, this double CD set captures the entire concert, with iconic multi-instrumentalist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: The Boston Record

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The jny:Boston crowd's roars on this live set from John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension's 2013 tour say as much about the dazzling interplay of the band as it does about McLaughlin's enduring appeal. For sure, McLaughlin remains one of jazz-fusion's major draws but the acclaim has little to do with nostalgia and everything to do with the excitement that his performances--in whatever guise--generate. This incarnation of the 4th Dimension seems to have inspired McLaughlin to his fieriest electric playing in years, as this recording demonstrates in spades. McLaughlin has always attracted virtusoso collaborators but in Ranjit Barot, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oz Noy: Twisted Blues Volume 2

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Two and a half years on from Twisted Blues Volume 1, guitar ace Oz Noy returns with another incendiary serving of jazz-inflected blues. In the intervening period Noy has hardly been idle, releasing a couple of instructional DVDs and touring regularly but his return to the recording studio with his blues bag is certainly welcome. As on Twisted Blues Vol 1, Noy surrounds himself with numerous collaborators--seventeen in total--and no two songs feature the same line-up. Though recorded two years after Volume 1, many of the same musicians are on call here, bringing a large chunk of stylistic continuity to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Gavin Bryars Ensemble At Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2014

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Gavin Bryars Ensemble St. Michael's Church Enniskillen N. Ireland August 1, 2014 That an anonymous homeless man, singing quietly to himself on a London street in 1971, should inspire a standing ovation and a well of emotions among the audience in St. Michael's Church forty three years later says much for the power of art to alter the way we view the world. Bassist/composer Bryars was briefly part of the 1960s British free- jazz/improvisation scene in the Sheffield-based trio Joseph Holbrooke, alongside guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Tony Oxley. When the trio ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Cage's Roaratorio, An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake at Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2014

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John Cage's Roaratorio, An Irish Circus On Finnegans Wake Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett FestivalMarble Arch Caves N. Ireland July 31, 2014 Standing on a street corner watching and listening to the world around you may not seem like an extraordinary event; after all, it's an everyday occurrence for millions of people around the world. For composer John Cage, it was a street corner--it just happened to be in Seville--and the infinite number of simultaneous visual and audible events he experienced while standing there that opened for him the world of theatre and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jason Anick: Tipping Point

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One of the Berklee College of Music's youngest instructors, violinist/mandolinist Jason Anick had already made a name for himself in 2008, when at twenty two years of age he was invited to tour with Grammy-winning guitarist John Jorgenson. Anick's tremendous virtuosity was to the fore on the acoustic Rhythm Future Quartet's Sleepless (Self Produced, 2011), a lively gypsy jazz romp--a genre he excels in. Tipping Point, however, showcases Anick's more contemporary songwriting acumen and the numerous stylistic strands that define his voice. Seamlessly fusing swing, bebop, hard-bop, classical, folk, as well as contemporary influences in his playing, it's a vibrant ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

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1st Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music Luslawice/Krakow Poland July 16-19, 2014 He was one of the great jazz virtuosos, right up there some would say with Django Reinhardt, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. Most frequently, however, he was compared to John Coltrane. The cruelly premature death of Polish jazz violinist Zbigniew Seifert at the age of 32 undoubtedly robbed jazz of one of its most exciting and original musical voices. The cancer that took Seifert in 1979, however, could not extinguish his light and he ...



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