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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 ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Search for Original African Music

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Although jazz emerged as an art form around the turn of the Twentieth century in the southern United States, its roots extend backward over several centuries. The music largely developed from a synthesis of many African and European forms that was achieved through the institution of slavery. Blacks were captured or purchased from specific “factory" areas in West Africa--the Portuguese took from Senegal and transported to Brazil, the English plundered the Ashantis of the Gold Coast and sold them in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alekos K. Vretos: K On Top

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All musical genre can be blended with one another. As I get older and more persnickety, I am coming to believe that just because two musical traditions can be blended that they necessarily should be. I have listened to countless experiments with cross-pollination that best have been left alone. Gratefully, this is not true of Greek musician and composer Alekos Vretos, who seamlessly divines the perfumed essence of Middle Eastern music, infusing that essence into jazz and creating a rich ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Anouar Brahem: Souvenance

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If we are, in the final analysis, the sum total of our experiences, then it stands to reason that the work of musicians (and other artists) is a reflection of the events that touch their lives. Souvenance means “recollection," and if there is not, as oudist Anouar Brahem claims, “a direct link between my compositions and the events taking place in Tunisia," then there's little doubt that the album's cover image--taken by Nacer Talef in the Tunisian capital of Tunis ...



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