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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Christine Spero Group: Spero Plays Nyro

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Pianist and singer Christine Spero and her group perform the music of singer and songwriter Laura Nyro on Spero Plays Nyro, a stellar tribute to one of the most iconic composers of the 20th century best known for the way she cross-bred the jazz, R&B, Pop and blues genres. Spero and band reprise some of Nyro's most familiar compositions recorded by such groups as Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Fifth Dimension, Three Dog Night and even, Maynard Ferguson. Perhaps a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Anouar Brahem at Jazzablanca Festival 2015

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Anouar Brahem Hippodrome Anfa Jazzablanca Festival Casablanca, MoroccoApril 20, 2015 Tunisian oudist/ composer Anouar Brahem is widely acclaimed as a pioneer of the fusion between Middle Eastern music and jazz, with a career spanning over thirty years. In the beginning of the nineties he contributed to the oud celebration spreading in the western world through a music that brought together evasive poetry with elegant arrangements. Well-versed in classical Arabic tenets, his solos ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Edsel Gomez: Road to Udaipur

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Puerto Rican-born pianist Edsel Gomez hasn't recorded any albums as leader since his Grammy-nominated debut, Cubist Music, in 2007--he has been far too busy--but that doesn't mean he hasn't harbored such plans in the back of his mind. Now in his early 50s, Gomez decided the time was right to enter a studio again, the result of which is Road to Udaipur, a resplendent cornucopia of Latin-centered jazz that pays tacit homage to a pair of his mentors, Chick Corea ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ray Obiedo: There Goes That

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Noted guitarist Ray Obiedo's There Goes That (Rhythmus Records) is his first album since 1999's Modern World (Domo Records). Over his 4 decades plus career, Obeido has worked with an impressive Who's Who List of musicians including: Herbie Hancock, Bobbi Humphrey, George Duke, The Whispers, Brenda Russell, Pete Escovedo, Grover Washington, Jr., The Rippingtons and Lou Rawls; along with San Francisco Bay Area favorites Tower of Power and Grammy winner Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Band leader Obiedo has traveled ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On

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Versatile pianist Monty Alexander has been around long enough, and played through a myriad of styles and ensemble configurations, in a constant quest to get it right. Since his foray back to his Jamaican roots in “Jamento" (1978 Pablo Records) there has been numerous reggae influenced recordings highlighted by his covering the Bob Marley catalog in his 1999 Telarc release “Stir It Up." This struck a nerve with a responding public and rejuvenated his approach and direction, taking it back ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano: ilé

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"The word ilé, from the Lucumí tradition of Cuba, means home, earth." That single sentence, which gets the ball rolling for Omar Sosa's self-penned liner notes, says all that needs to be said about this return-to-roots project. Or does it? Ilé finds Sosa looking back to Camagüey, Cuba. He populates this album with musicians who hail from said locale--drummer Ernesto Simpson, multi-reedist Leandro Saint-Hill, and guests like Eladio “Don Pancho" Terry and Yosvany Terry--but listeners shouldn't be ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Sinikka Langeland: The half-finished heaven

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She may have debuted on ECM (and, consequently, far beyond the borders of her native Norway) with 2007's Starflowers, but Sinikka Langeland has, in fact, been around for more than two decades, with her first album, Langt Innpå Skoga, released on Norway's Grappa label in 1994. Composer, singer and master of the kantele--an antiquated Scandinavian dulcimer/zither variant that Langeland has turned into a living, breathing instrument--it was on Starflowers and her 2011 ECM follow-up with the same ensemble, The Land ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Paquito D'Rivera at Mount Vernon Country Club

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Paquito D'Rivera Mount Vernon Country Club Golden, Colorado February 27, 2015 Jazz. Pass it on. That was a big part of what happened Friday night at the Mount Vernon Country Club in the foothills west of jny: Denver. National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and multiple Grammy winner Paquito D'Rivera led an ensemble of primarily college students in an evening of Latin jazz. The groove was solid, the song selection impeccable and ...



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