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Jazz Articles

CATCHING UP WITH September 18, 2012

Medeski, Martin & Wood: Sound Sculpting

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Progressive keyboard trio Medeski, Martin & Wood has helped redefine the boarder where musical genres meet since the group's inception over 20 years ago. MMW has experimented with everything from song structure to acoustic-electric instrumental blends, all while appealing to both jazz-specific and mainstream audiences. Free Magic (Indirecto, 2012) is a fine example of MMW's exploratory spirit.Free Magic is five tracks of extended play taken from performances in 2007, when the band was on its first ever all-acoustic tour. The album starts with the earthy sounds of percussionist Billy Martin's balafon and ends with a laidback medley of ...

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LIVE REVIEWS April 14, 2012

Arturo Sandoval Live in Evanston with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra

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Arturo Sandoval with the Chicago Jazz OrchestraPick-Staiger Concert HallNorthwestern University Soundings Spring FestivalEvanston, ILApril 7, 2012Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval says he's happy some people still listen to music made by musicians playing instruments. In an age when people can download songs for 99 cents without knowing who arranged the songs or if human musicians put work into recording the tracks, jazz musicians are fortunate people still want to listen to them perform with saxophones, trumpets, trombones and pianos, Sandoval says.Sandoval expressed this appreciation of jazz fans and casually chided the concept of ...

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REASSESSING March 31, 2012

Roy Eldridge: In Paris

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Roy EldridgeIn ParisVogue1951Trumpeter Roy Eldridge left the United States for Paris in 1950 fearing that the emergence of bebop, which he had strongly influenced, would make his more traditional style of playing obsolete and lose him his formerly adoring audiences. Eldridge did not stay in Paris for as long as some of his colleagues, but he managed to produce some fine, swinging recordings during his time abroad. In Paris documents two vibrant, gem-filled, European recording sessions and still sounds hip over 60 years after it was made.The album, which also ...

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EXTENDED ANALYSIS March 30, 2012

Badbadnotgood: BBNGLIVE 2

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BADBADNOTGOODBBNG Live 2Self Produced2012Hip-hop grooves and electronics are not new to the jazz world. In the 1970s, forward-thinking jazz giants such as trumpeter Miles Davis and keyboardists Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea popularized the sound of electrified keyboards and horns supported by rhythm sections of slapping bass players, superhuman fusion drummers and funky electric guitarists. Since at least 2003, piano trio The Bad Plus has been deconstructing popular rock and electronica songs and even more recently pianist Robert Glasper released an album full of collaborations with rap stars and neo-soul singers.

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REASSESSING February 19, 2012

Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie: Ella and Basie!

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Ella Fitzgerald and Count BasieElla and Basie!Verve1963 In July 1963, singer Ella Fitzgerald and pianist Count Basie's orchestra entered the studio for their first full-length recording session as a collective. They produced a gem for both veteran jazz fans and novices. The album features both artists in top swinging form and it is concise enough to serve as an introduction to those just beginning to explore the Basie or Fitzgerald catalogs. Ella and Basie! presents the band in the role of accompanist and the group performs its task with ...

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