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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shu Nakamura: A Day of Dreams

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Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, Brooklyn, New York-based Shu Nakamura plays guitars, keyboards and percussion on A Day of Dreams. Shu also displays his ability to compose, arrange and sing. Through learning, working, and teaching a variety of different kinds of music from his youth in Japan, Shu is more of a world musician than one existing in any single genre. A Day of Dreams features an eclectic, aurally expansive mix of music ranging from the celestial ambience of Sigur Rós to the sound patches of Radiohead, dropping back to terra firma, at times, with some heartfelt Japanese folk music, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mahogany Frog: Senna

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Mahogany Frog's Senna is named after the late Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna da Silva, who was also the recent focus of the British 2010 documentary film, Senna. The racing engine on the cover of the CD may be best-reflected in the energy of the music within. On its sixth CD, this four-man group based in Winnipeg, Canada has managed to expand their boundaries even further than their last release DO5 (Moonjune, 2006).Mahogany Frog is not mired by category, although if one had to be made, it might be “post-progressive rock." The group is more sophisticated than post-rock ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers

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Wadada Leo SmithTen Freedom SummersCuneiform Records2012Jazz music and the Civil Rights Movement in America have moved on parallel tracks from the 20th century up until the present. Freedom Suite (Riverside, 1958) by saxophonist Sonny Rollins, We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (Candid, 1960) by drummer Max Roach and also Attica Blues (Implulse, 1972) by saxophonist Archie Shepp are all strong statements that still retain their vital relevance and serve as period piece reminders of the way things were and suggested what the possibilities could be. Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Moraine: Metamorphic Rock

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Moraine is a progressive jazz-rock fusion group led by Seattle-based guitarist/composer Dennis Rea. The group's second CD, Metamorphic Rock: Live at NEARfest, from a live show held at the Bethlehem, PA festival in 2010, finds the band growing its sound to a more competitive level, moving beyond ideas covered on its studio debut, manifest deNsity (Moonjune, 2009). Although the set is very much a composed and focused effort, it contains much of the frenzied energy of Rea's free jazz/rock fusion work with his other group and its eponymous debut, Iron Kim Style (Moonjune, 2010). Rea and company create a sound ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Taylor's Universe: Kind of Red

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Leader of the band Taylor's Universe, multi- instrumentalist, composer, producer, and record label owner Robin Taylor hails from Denmark. With the title of his 30th release, Kind Of Red, Taylor cleverly tips a hat to the iconic album Kind of Blue (Sony, 1959) by trumpeter Miles Davis, and possibly also to King Crimson's Red (Atlantic, 1974). Taylor has had a number of releases under different banners over the last few decades. For all those needing to catch up, Kind of Red may serve as an appropriate introduction to Taylor and his music.The music is primarily progressive rock and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joelle Leandre / Phillip Greenlief: That Overt Desire Of Object

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Contrabassist Joëlle Léandre and West Coast woodwind player Phillip Greenlief work out 11 different compositions between their two respective instruments and voices on That Overt Desire of Object. The flexibility and space that each provides the other seems to be reflected in the line note comments about the negative effects of greed. The title is a variation of the Luis Buñuel movie That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), with a playing field that appears a bit more level when compared to the bassist's 2009 duo with Anthony Braxton, Duo (Heidelberg Loppem) 2007 (Leo Records, 2009).Each set of variations ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Cuneiform Records: Growing Progressive Music for 27 Years

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Twenty seven years is a long time for a niche progressive music label such as Cuneiform Records not just to survive, but to remain inventive and, in the best sense, ambitious. Steve Feigenbaum founded Cuneiform back in 1984, and with his wife, Joyce, runs it from Silver Springs, Maryland. Hosting bands such as Universe Zero, digging up and releasing archival material from groups such as Soft Machine, releasing consecutive double CDs from avant-garde jazz heroes such as trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, Cuneiform brags an impressive and eclectic roster of historic and contemporary artists. Cuneiform has expanded its ...



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