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Kenny Burrell: Duke Ellington, The Great Paris Concert

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Kenny Burrell: University of California, Los Angeles, 7th May 2013 The record the maestro recorded in Paris in 1963; there are many great things on this recording. One that I particularly like--it's one of my favorite pieces in all of Ellingtonia and all music--is “Tone Parallel To Harlem," known as “Harlem Suite." This was commissioned in 1950 by Arturo Toscanini of The NBC Symphony Orchestra of New York. Duke Ellington at that point was pretty popular and also gaining recognition as a serious composer; at the time he was fifty one. That piece has ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Vol. 2 – Blue Note 1516

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Raise your hand if you've never heard of Jutta Hipp. Yeah, me either. And yet, there she is, brooding and shadowy on the cover of her first Blue Note album. Yes, she--a female rarity in the almost-all-male world of 1950s Blue Note. And not American, either. Like Becks and Volkswagen, Jutta Hipp is a German import, but unlike Volkswagen, Hipp is not so very different from her male American counterparts. First, a word about finding Jutta Hipp CDs. The two CDs of Hipp live at the Hickory House, recorded in 1955, are available only as imports, ...

INTERVIEWS

Avishai Cohen: From Darkness, a new trio studio album

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Avishai Cohen is prolific in music and words, a creative volcano who finds his raison d'être melting with the heart of his wooden instrument. Cohen, who arrived at the forefront of the jazz scene being part of the Chick Corea Sextet “Origin" (from 1996 to 2003), has developed a unique voice and personality as a bassist, but also as a composer and singer. Internationally renowned because of his Trio, accompanied by the pianist Shai Maestro and the drummer Mark Guiliana, it seems that he found in this number the perfect equilibrium to explore the vast world of the music roots ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Wellins and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Culloden Moor Suite

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It's over 268 years since the Battle of Culloden and yet the event continues to resonate in contemporary Scotland (which votes on independence just a few days after this album is released). Tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins wrote his Culloden Moor Suite in 1961, inspired by John Prebble's book, Culloden, released in the same year. The composition gets a new lease of life with this big band recording, from May 2013, which brings Wellins together with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. The SNJO has carved out a reputation as a top quality big band, with albums such as American Adventure (Spartacus ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Brownie Speaks: A Video Documentary: The Life, Music, and Legacy of Clifford Brown

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Brownie Speaks: A Video Documentary: The Life, Music, and Legacy of Clifford Brown Glanden Productions 2014 This thoroughly researched and fascinating documentary about legendary jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown reveals the full scope of the man and his music through extensive interviews, recordings, photos, and both new and archival film and video footage. It is the result of the labor and devotion of Don Glanden, pianist and Division Head of Graduate Jazz Studies at The University of the Arts in jny: Philadelphia, who, with his son, Brad Glanden, a media expert, spent many years researching and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jason Jackson: Inspiration

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Jason Jackson is an outstanding versatile and well-heeled New York-based trombonist. Somehow, you don't hear his name mentioned along with peers like Robin Eubanks, Steve Turre, Steve Davis, John Fedchock, and Conrad Herwig. Perhaps that's because Jackson plays first chair in big bands, studio work, and Broadway musicals. He doesn't often link up with small groups or front his own, where musicians achieve their notoriety. In addition, his style represents the by now “classic" meld of swing, bebop, and post bop rather than being exhortative, exploratory, and experimental. He hones well-crafted improvisations within the legacy of one of his mentors, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Bollenback: Portraits In Space And Time

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Guitarist Paul Bollenback is valued by listeners and musicians alike for his incisive and inventive guitar work, wholly in the tradition while simultaneously branching out beyond the same old same old. His playing has been a key ingredient--in some cases, the key ingredient--in much of organ kingpin Joey DeFrancesco's recorded output, saxophonist Jim Snidero's highly praised Savant dates, vocalist Chris McNulty's post-millennial releases, and elsewhere, but it's his own albums that truly provide a full picture of his talent(s). Bollenback doesn't subscribe to the churn-out-an-album-per-year philosophy, and he's never had to since he's remained extremely busy as a sideman and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mark Turner: Lathe of Heaven

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Given that he's participated on no fewer than six recordings on ECM over the past six years-- two this year alone, with drummer Billy Hart's sophomore effort for the label, One is the Other (2014), and pianist Stefano Bollani's career-defining Joy In Spite Of Everything (2014)--it's no surprise to find Mark Turner finally getting his own date on the venerable German label. That Lathe of Heaven is the saxophonist's first recording under his own name alone since 2001's Dharma Days (Warner Bros., 2001) only speaks to an approach to recording that is as painstakingly well thought-out as Turner's approach to ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Gil Melle – Patterns in Jazz – Blue Note 1517

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Sometimes, Blue Note surprises you. Often, the Blue Note catalogue is predictable, especially in the '50s and '60s. Some say it is too predictable. But if you dive deep, there are hidden gems slightly off the beaten hard-bop path. Case in point: Gil Melle's Patterns in Jazz. West Coast jazz was never at home at Blue Note. Stan Getz and Dave Brubeck did not record here. But Gil Melle did, briefly, before he went on to composing movie soundtracks. The name may be unfamiliar, but this 1956 album is definitely worth hearing.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Trio: O's Time

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It's hard to be innovative in the piano trio format. The last big change happened in the late fifties and early sixties, with pianist Bill Evans' groundbreaking trio featuring bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The democratization of input and interplay changed the trio game, and countless groups have worked on refining that Evans approach ever since. A more recent development has been bombast and the inclusion of rock and poplar tunes into the jazz piano trio endeavor--with varying degree of success. Rubato playing, the stretching of the varying of tempos, in a three way improvisational way, is pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mark Turner Quartet: Lathe of Heaven

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Saxophonist Mark Turner favors quality over quantity. Lathe of Heaven--his first outing as a leader since 2001--is his first on the ECM label. Turner has hardly been absent from the music scene as the intervening years have seen him as a sideman for guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and saxophonist David Binney among many others. He's gathered strong praise for his role on trumpeter Enrico Rava's fine New York Days (ECM, 2009) and as one-third of the trio Fly with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier. Turner cites saxophonists Wayne Marsh and John Coltrane as primary influences; not ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Conrad Herwig: The Latin Side Of Joe Henderson

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So what makes The Latin Side Of Joe Henderson different from trombonist Conrad Herwig's previous Latin Side albums? Well, for starters, Herwig played with Henderson for several years, an experience which gave him great insight into the music and the man who made it. Then there's the material itself. Henderson's music, more so than that of previous Latin Side honorees like Herbie Hancock or John Coltrane, is tailor-made for this type of project, as some of the songs already lean toward the Latin side. This album, recorded live at New York's Blue Note in July of 2012, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kristin Korb: Finding Home

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A home isn't just a physical space and a place to hang your hat; a home is wherever an individual finds comfort, acceptance, and personal fulfillment. On Finding Home, bassist-vocalist Kristin Korb explores the journey and process that brought her to such a place in her life. Korb, who grew up in Montana, found a new home in California a long time ago. She studied at the University of California at San Diego, became a pupil of the late Ray Brown, and eventually set up shop in 2002 in Los Angeles, developing a career as teacher, recording ...

INTERVIEWS

Nat Adderley: A Player's Player

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This interview was originally conducted in 1997. I met Nat Adderley in jny: San Diego, California in 1986 when I was working as a disc jockey at a jazz radio station and doing the PR for La Jolla Playhouse. We did an interview about a new production of a musical being revived at the progressive La Jolla Playhouse and premiered on Broadway later that year. “Shout Up a Morning," based on the folk hero John Henry, began as a musical collaboration between Nat and his brother Julian ("Cannonball") and Diane Charlotte Lampert, lyricist, with librettists Paul Avila and ...



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