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Jeff Beck in Cologne

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Jeff Beck Group E-Werk Cologne, Germany May 29, 2014 Sometimes a man's reputation proceeds him. Such was the case tonight, where an overflow crowd of 2,000 fans arrived early, and crammed into a steamy bunker of bricks to hear Jeff Beck's wonderous wails to the electric wind. With general admission ticket prices around an 80 buck exchange rate, it was good indication of respect. The price of admission proved to be merited, about twenty licks in. Luckily for hundreds of fans, sensational sounds were the primary pleasure, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion at Yoshi's

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Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion Yoshis Oakland , CA June 15, 2014 Dedicated. Stubborn. Outspoken. Perspicacious. These are some of the descriptions which come to mind when considering the personality and legacy of legendary drummer Ginger Baker. Baker first came to prominence as a member of the rock power trio Cream, with guitarist {{Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, establishing himself as a role model for many an aspiring teenage rock drummer. Later, he joined the super group Blind Faith, while his African Air Force group had, as a member, Phil Seamen--a British ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tim Bowness: Abandoned Dancehall Dreams

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In some ways, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams was inevitable. Just as Steven Wilson, his partner in No-Man, ultimately took what is, at the very least, a hiatus from, in addition to No-Man and other projects, his primary gig with Porcupine Tree--pursuing a solo career that's led to increasing success, most recently with the studio recording The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) and the live/studio EP Drive Home (both Kscope, 2013)--it appears that the time for singer Tim Bowness to step out on his own has also arrived. It's a risky move for an artist whose reputation has been ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond by Colin Harper

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Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond Colin Harper 480 Pages ISBN: 978-1908279514 Jawbone 2014 Few guitarists in the history of jazz have leapt onto the scene the way John McLaughlin did when the relatively new British expat made two very different appearances on albums by seminal American artists in 1969: first, with drummer Tony Williams' then-new group, Lifetime on the dense, intense and intentionally supersonically loud Emergency! (Polydor); and then on another groundbreaking but easier on the ears yet equally innovative recording, In a Silent Way (Columbia), the ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond by Colin Harper

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Exclusive extract adapted from Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond By Colin Harper. Published (UK and US) March 26, 2014 by Jawbone Press “British jazz is awash with young talent which, given a healthy set of circumstances and a fair share of work, could produce a generation of outstanding musicians." --Bob Houston, Melody Maker, January 1967 “As a job with security and prospects, being a jazz musician is just about on a par with shooting Niagara Falls in a barrel. Worse, in fact, because one of the greatest problems for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dewa Budjana (with Jimmy Johnson & Vinnie Colaiuta): Surya Namaskar

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For his seventh solo release, Indonesian guitar master Dewa Budjana garners support from the all-universe rhythm section of Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Jimmy Johnson (bass). Many of these works equate to a concentrated focus on song-forms, largely comprised of tuneful themes and elevated with a guts and determination modus operandi. Budjana presents the best of both worlds within a jazz rock and jazz fusion realm, where rich melodies and a dynamic slant offer a platform that resonates loud and clear. The band's assertive attack rules the roost, other than a few ballads where Budjana displays a soft touch ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dewa Budjana (with Jimmy Johnson & Vinnie Colaiuta): Surya Namaskar

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Guitarist Dewa Budjana's two releases on MoonJune Records in 2013, Dawai in Paradise and Joged Kahyangan introduced a talented musician whose Indonesian roots dovetailed with prog rock, jazz fusion and a melodic pop sensibility; Budjana showed tremendous chops but, as he demonstrates once again, he's perhaps primarily a tunesmith. Budjana draws from a similar well of influences on this recording but in contrast to Joged Kahyangan's charts Surya Namaskar boasts a freer, less constructed vibe with Budjana's solos coarser in tone. Mostly recorded in single-takes with some additional overdubbing, everything that Budjana touches--whether composed or improvised--is fundamentally melodic.

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaco Pastorius: Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions

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1976 was, for electric bassists, the year where everything changed. Jaco Pastorius hadn't quite emerged from nowhere, and the few prior recordings on which he could be found may have provided some hint of what was to come, but it was the quadruple punch of fellow legend-in-the-making Pat Metheny's leader debut Bright Size Life (ECM, 1976), singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell's classic Hejira (Elektra/Asylum, 1976), fusion super group Weather Report's Black Market (Columbia, 1976) and, most notably, the bassist's own Jaco Pastorius (Epic, 1976), whose opening track--a duet look at Charlie Parker's “Donna Lee" with percussionist Don Alias that spoke of instrumental ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: The Boston Record

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Ever since guitarist John McLaughlin formed the 4th Dimension--his first electric fusion band in a decade--fans have been hoping he'd dig a little further into his back catalog. The wait is over with The Boston Record, a live album recorded in 2013 at Boston's Berklee College of Music. This isn't 4th Dimension's first live album, though it is the first to feature the seven year-old group's current configuration. Ranjit Barot, first heard with McLaughlin on Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2009), replaced drummer Mark Mondesir on Now Here This (Abstract Logix, 2013), and is as outrageously virtuosic as ever; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dojo: Road Trip

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Fusion--long a dirty word in jazz circles--has enjoyed a renaissance in the last decade. In part it's due to the advocacy of lables such as Abstract Logix but the root cause is surely the fact that cross-pollination is increasingly the norm. And whilst fusion mightn't mean quite the same thing it did in the 1970s, these days there's a healthy to-heck-with-it environment whereby jazz, rock, funk and progressive rock can all co-exist in exciting hybrid forms. Dojo is a case in point. It's fourth release since 2004 leans more towards the beat-heavy, melodic end of the jazz-rock spectrum, with enough ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Miroslav Vitous Group: Miroslav Vitous Group

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With the ongoing demand for historic titles to see first-time CD issue, ECM has raised the ante even further with Re:solutions: seven classic recordings, released on CD (four available for the first time and one previously only available for a limited time in Japan), vinyl and high resolution digital formats. They're all important, but 1981's Miroslav Vitous Group stands out as one of the most significant, completing, as it does--and more than three decades after the fact--the Czech bassist's early '80s triptych that began with 1980's First Meeting and ended with 1983's Journey's End. First Meeting was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dewa Budjana: Joged Kahyangan

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A million-selling artist in Indonesia with pop-rock band Gigi, guitarist Dewa Budjana's solo projects informed by progressive rock, Indonesian folk and jazz fusion reveal a greater spirit of adventure. Budjana's second release of 2013 on the MoonJune label following Dawai in Paradise is similarly melodic, though differs significantly. Firstly, the word-fusion-meets-prog rock of Dawai in Paradise gives way to a more overtly contemporary jazz approach on Joged Kahyangan. Secondly, whereas the earlier release featured predominantly Indonesian musicians, Budjana harnesses heavyweight North American jazz musicians here, yielding a distinctly more Western-- though equally personal--aesthetic. Budjana's sixth solo release boasts ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dewa Budjana: Joged Kahyangan

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Guitarist, composer and producer Dewa Budjana is from Waikabubak, West Sumba, Indonesia. Budjana has been building a collection of jazz-inspired works and CDs, while also playing and composing for the rock band Gigi. Budjana's influences are varied and he has always infused the traditional sounds Indonesia no matter what genre he is exploring. Budjana's ability to bring together rock and jazz has firmly established his position as one of Indonesia's top guitarists. Budjana's courageous investigation of blending jazz with the traditional sounds of Indonesia emerged early on in his career and is evident in his group, Nusa Damai. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Steven Wilson: Remixing Yes, Jethro Tull & XTC

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While 2013 has largely been occupied by a world tour in support of his recent The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) (Kscope, 2013), Steven Wilson has, as he said he would in his 2012 All About Jazz interview, certainly kept up with the run of stereo and surround sound remix projects that have turned into a significant sideline to his own musical career. Since becoming involved with King Crimson's 40th Anniversary Series, beginning with the release of Lizard (1970), In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) and Red (1975)--all issued by DGM Live in 2009-- in ...



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