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EXTENDED ANALYSIS March 17, 2006

Chris Potter: Underground

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Chris PotterUndergroundSunnyside Records2006 Consensus is always the sought-after ideal in criticism. When writers can line up behind an artist and declare his or her greatness, the health of an art form is reinforced. We need to ordain geniuses to be reassured that this love of ours is still valid, and that our scribblings, you know, mean something. Jazz hasn't had a young mobilizing figure like this for quite some time, which motivates all the moaning about the death of the form. Many critics have placed moderate bets on ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS March 17, 2006

Fred Hersch: In Amsterdam: Live At The Bimhuis

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Fred Hersch In Amsterdam: Live At The Bimhuis Palmetto Records 2006

This live release by Fred Hersch is a rare creature: a solo piano recital that is never at a loss for lyrical and melodic ideas. The solo format exposes all of the musician's habits, pet themes and favored tones to our virgin ears without the benefit of the commanding physical pulse of a rhythm section. It's just Hersch and his thoughts. Thankfully, he's a smart and generous guy, tackling standards and original compositions with equal subtlety and invention.Hersch pushes gently undulating ...

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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS December 12, 2005

Duke Ellington: Love You Madly / A Concert of Sacred Music at Grace Cathedral

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Duke Ellington Love You Madly / A Concert of Sacred Music at Grace Cathedral Eagle Eye Media 2005

With the glut of Ellingtonia on the market, it's impossible to separate the sublime from the merely wonderful. This release leans toward the former. Split into two programs, the first a televised profile of Duke from 1965, the second a film of his first Sacred Concert, it is a package of off-hand delights.

Love You Madly is a glowing profile of Duke on a 1965 tour. Made by jazz- crit icon Ralph Gleason, it ...

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