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Lyn Horton's Top Releases of 2010

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William Parker Quartet Uncle Joe's Spirit House(AUM Fidelity) Matthew Shipp 4D(Thirsty Ear) David S. Ware Saturnian, Volume One(AUM Fidelity) Vox Arcana Aerial Age(Allos Documents) David Rempis and Frank RosalyCyrillic(482 Music) Joe McPhee / Dominic Duval / Jay Rosen / Mikolaj Trzaska Magic(Not Two) Wadada Leo Smith / Ed Blackwell Blue Mountain's Sun Drummer(Kabell) Hamid Drake and Bindu Reggaeology(RogueArt) Mike Pride and From Bacteria to Boys

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scanner with the Post Modern Jazz Quartet: Blink of An Eye

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From the very first sounds heard on Blink of An Eye's “Shadow Splice," a ground is gradually established with bass piano chords, a minor-key string bass arco line, a floating vibe resonance and steady pulse rising from the cymbals. As the Ellingtonian “Blues In C" evokes, the source of improvisational music is the tradition of jazz. No argument. But over time, the tools feeding into that tradition change and become a go-to part of the instrumental inventory, more so now than in the nascent application of electronics by Miles Davis or Ornette Coleman. British musician, Robin Rimbaud, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Parker Organ Quartet: Uncle Joe's Spirit House

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Defining his direction is one recognizable talent that composer/musician William Parker constantly demonstrates, though not in so many words; but within his art, the direction is clear as day. The musicians he chooses to fulfill his intentions are also exactly whom he needs, for he understands how they operate to blend in joyous confluence that is the realization of his music. In Uncle Joe's Spirit House, Parker's Organ Quartet constructs an aural Space addressing his own personal history. Dedicated to his Aunt Carrie Lee Edwards and Uncle Joe, wed 65 years, the recording is replete with Parker's ...

ARTIST PROFILES

David S. Ware: Planetary Musician

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On Sunday, June 27th, 2010, about a half-hour after its scheduled 9:30 pm appearance on the Abrons Art Center main performance stage in New York City, the David S. Ware Trio was setting up. The audience for this night of Vision Festival XV was its usual wandering and low-hum conversational self. William Parker stood by his upright bass way over on the left and, on the right, drummer Warren Smith settled down on a seat behind a larger than normal drum set, placed on a platform a couple of feet off the stage. Ware walked slowly to center stage to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer: Solo

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On the heels of being named Musician of the Year in June, 2010, by the Jazz Journalists Association, Vijay Iyer has released his first solo piano recording. Solo comes after the critical success of his trio's Historicity (ACT Music, 2009) and quartet's Tragicomic (Sunnyside, 2008). Iyer is a kind of Renaissance man, with a jaw-dropping biography on his website; it is a wonder how he can accomplish so much. But the much-ness in his life seems to distract from the kind of focus necessary to shape a solo presentation. Iyer likes covers, writing that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections: Emerald Hills

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All four of flutist Nicole Mitchell's groups reveal specific tangents which her music can follow. One of those groups--Sonic Projections, whose evolution grew out of paying tribute to George Lewis' book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008)--shows what Mitchell believes to be her rebellious side. Mitchell is herself a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM).

Sonic Projections consists of Mitchell, pianist Craig Taborn, tenor saxophonist David Boykin, and drummer Chad Taylor. There is no bass. Emerald Hills projects a thinking person's music.

The music is ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Wadada Leo Smith: A Vital Life Force

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“To teach and create and not expect or demand anything in return."--Wadada Leo Smith, quoted in an article printed in The Houston Chronicle, November 4, 2006

On the nine-by-eleven inch cover of the February, 2010, issue of Wire magazine is a full-page photo of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Only the upper half of his body is pictured. He is wearing a dark blue, nearly black, Mandarin collar jacket, which stands out against the dimly lit, grey stucco wall that acts as the photo's background. His black dreadlocks drape softly over his shoulders and behave like a hood covering his head. ...



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