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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Stevens: Lucid

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Among other positives, British guitar-slinger Matt Stevens (Fierce, The Dead) reminds us why King Crimson founder, guitarist Robert Fripp has been such an influential force. And Stevens keeps it in the family by utilizing latter day Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto's fierce chops on one track. The guitarist's zinging sustain lines, gargantuan crunch chords and use of delays, loops and other sonic niceties is supplemented by his energizing compositions and picturesquely executed acoustic guitar interludes. But the proceedings zoom off the radar from the onset with the Crimson Red era piece “Oxymoron," complete with Stuart Marshall's resonating backbeats and the leader's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Saskia Laroo Band at Cotton Club

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Saskia Laroo Band Cotton Club Amsterdam, Netherlands October 18, 2014 jny: Amsterdam's Saskia Laroo is one of the many hard working, far traveling players who make jazz, indeed, a global village. Laroo's afternoon gig at a venerable, center city pub took place during the Amsterdam Dance Event, a huge music mix focused on techno/dance gatherings that run past sunrise. For the approximately two hours Laroo's band played, Cotton Club was as crowded and cheerful as any place in town. Swinging sounds may have blurred off the narrow, cramped confines ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pink Floyd: The Endless River

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In the past several months the world of music has been shaking with sudden announcements and surprising releases by various artists. When Pink Floyd announced that it will be releasing its 15th studio album it seemed like the Earth stopped rotating for a moment. After all, its band members quietly retired this seminal band from active music making and in the past 20 years concentrated more on archival releases and reissues, and turned their attention more on solo records or writing books and hobbies. 20 years after the band's beautiful and contemplative Division Bell (EMI, 1994) there comes a record ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

King Crimson: Starless - Live in Europe

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After seeing the “Seven-Headed Beast of Crim"--words used by the group's co-founder and only remaining original member, guitarist/keyboardist Robert Fripp, to describe the 2014 incarnation of King Crimson that just wrapped up a 20-date, 10-city American tour including two exhilarating nights at San Francisco's Warfield Theatre--now is the perfect time for a detailed look at Starless: Live in Europe, the third box released in as many years by the band celebrating its 45th year in 2014. While King Crimson 2014 may well have given it a run for its money, the four-piece incarnation that emerged from the quintet which released ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

McLaughlin, Barot, & Mbappe Remember Mandolin Shrinivas

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Uppalapu Shrinivas, best known as Mandolin Shrinivas, was born in 1969 in southeast India. At a very young age his affinity for the mandolin and his precocious musical talent was recognized by his father who placed him under the tutelage of an instructor in the carnatic school of Indian classical music. By the time he was nine years of age he was playing in public and quickly gaining fame in his native India. In 1983 at the age of 14 he was booked to perform at JazzFest in Berlin, and scheduled to play a short set after Miles ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nguyen Le With Michael Gibbs & NDR Bigband: Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon

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It's a bold concept; take Pink Floyd's iconic Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest, 1973) and reinterpret it in a big band jazz setting. With upwards of forty million copies sold, every note, every nuance of Floyd's eighth album is so firmly entrenched in the minds of the band's legion devotees that to tamper with the work in any way is to leave oneself open to facile criticism. French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê, however, is nothing if not adventurous. Lê has already demonstrated on Purple: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix (ACT Music, 2007) and Songs of Freedom (ACT Music, 2012)--his tribute ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Rik Wright

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Meet Rik Wright: A graph of Rik Wright's influences would read like a wave, running a gamut from jazz to rock and back again. As a guitarist he has taken on influences, often subconsciously, as varied as Andy Summers of The Police and John Abercrombie. Compositionally speaking, Wright hangs with a different crowd altogether, mingling instead with the spirits of Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. Of this alliterative trio, Miles has been a decidedly conscious influence in terms of process. And in fact, as becomes obvious once you acclimate to its flow, Wright's improvising strikes more of ...



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