Melissa Aldana and Lionel Loueke Summerstage at Charlie Parker Jazz Festival Marcus Garvey Park New York, NY August 23, 2014 Playing before a packed audience at Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana made her Charlie Parker Jazz Festival debut backed by a piano-less trio rounded out by Pablo Menares (bass) and Francisco Mela (drums), kicking off with a down-tempo take on George Gershwin's I Loves You Porgy" in which the bandleader took advantage of the blank spaces left in the music to improvise. She followed with the original ...read more
Meet Dave Fabris: The music of guitarist David Fabris has been steeped deeply in an eclectic pool of influences... His new CD, Lettuce Prey (Great Winds/Musea), is music that has the guts and glory of rock, the surprise and intrigue of jazz and the intricacy and depth of contemporary classical music. His diverse influences are also evident in the variety of performances and ensembles to his credit: He has recorded four albums (Hatology, Soulnote, NoBusiness) and toured internationally with his mentor, third stream pianist Ran Blake, to great acclaim. Blake joins The Knife" as a featured guest ...read more
Two of the most enduring voices avant-garde jazz belong to trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and reedman Henry Threadgill. Smith's The Great Lakes Suites, six of his distinctive compositions on a two CD set, teams the two icons inside the equilateral quartet that includes drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist John Lindberg. It sounds like a dream team, and it is. DeJohnette has played on Smith's Golden Quartet, Lindberg has joined the trumpeter in a variety of contexts, groups large and small. Threadgill is new to the fold. All the groups members--with the exception of Smith--were born and grew up ...read more
Like a kind of musical contortionist, Stefano Bollani keeps repositioning himself with eye-popping ease. The diversity and eclecticism of Bollani's projects are reflected in the sweeping breadth of his vocabulary; his output as leader on ECM alone, since his debut Piano Solo (ECM, 2006), is indicative of his adventurous spirit. That solo outing was followed by Orvieto (ECM, 2011), a joyous duologue with Chick Corea, whereas the exhilarating O Que Sera (ECM, 2013) coupled the Italian with Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda. With Bollani virtuosity is a given, but the pianist's first ECM effort fronting a group is a ...read more
The development of an individual voice on the contrabass is important to Eric Revis, one of the strongest players on the scene. His power and musicianship has endeared him to some of the finer musicians, and bands, in jazz. But Revis isn't content to let things lie there. Not that he has to be out front flexing his considerable bass muscles. That's not the point. Through bands that he forms, his compositions, his collaborations, he wants to grow as an artist. One who is always contributing to whatever proceedings he is involved in. One who makes his own ...read more
The formation of the Chicago Underground collective in the late '90s provided cornetist Rob Mazurek with an unrestrictive setting to explore the endless possibilities of creative improvised music with his Windy City peers. A lengthy sojourn in Brazil followed, resulting in a similar project--the São Paulo Underground. Mazurek's international activities subsequently established him as a prolific composer and industrious bandleader.It was the release of Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey, 2008), Mazurek's fortuitous collaboration with vanguard trumpeter Bill Dixon, that confirmed his credentials as a visionary avant-gardist. The equally enthralling Matter Anti-Matter (caught on tape in ...read more
A long-time fixture in the his native New York City jazz scene, trumpeter and flugelhorn player Brian Groder has devoted a considerable part of his career to the frequent use of free-form approaches. His previous trios have included bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Newman Taylor Baker. Groder has also worked with trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum and many others. On Reflexology he surrounds himself with very like-minded improvisers in bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen. Bisio has led virtually every level of formation from duo through sextet and is a prolific composer. He's also a member of Matthew Shipp's trio ...read more
Guitarist Gio Yáñez makes his debut as a bandleader and recording artist with Zero Point Energy. He leads an impressive group of Spanish and Portuguese musicians on a set of original compositions that draw on contemporary jazz and rock as well as on the music of Galicia, where the guitarist began his studies with players such as Marcos Pin and Manolo Gutierrez. There's a mid-album triumvirate of song titles that suggest more than a hint of doom-laden angst--"Please Don't Stop Your Fucking Drama," Here's The Wheel That Kills The Will" and Burial Of The Dead." Fear not, for ...read more
Meet Mark Egan:Over the past 30 years, Mark Egan's ability to groove, perfectly complement the music in any situation and solo expressively has made him one of the most in-demand bass players on the international music scene. While racking up credits with the likes of the Pat Metheny Group, saxophonists Steve Grossman, Dave Liebman, Stan Getz, Sonny Fortune and Bill Evans, vocalist Michael Franks, guitarists Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, Alex De Grassi, John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb and Vic Juris, the Duran Duran off-shoot group Arcadia, the Gil Evans Orchestra as well as pop stars Sting, Joan Osborne, ...read more
Meet Evan Shay: Evan Shay is a saxophonist and composer based in Montreal. He recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at McGill University with the distinction of Outstanding Achievement in Jazz Saxophone. He was also awarded the prestigious four-year Seymour Schulich Scholarship. Evan was a member of the top McGill Jazz Orchestra I for three years, and the McGill Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Evan completed two tours of France, and has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz Ã Vienne, Festi Jazz international de Rimouski, and at major venues across North America. He was awarded ...read more
Trumpeter Brian Groder distinctive style marks his intelligent versatility and superlative musicianship. This is, of course, not news for those familiar with his work. Whether in electronically tinged improvisational ensembles like Confusion Bleue, large orchestras or intimately small groups Groder's unconventional yet always engaging approach morphs to fit the setting while remaining singularly recognizable.His trio outing Reflexology is a sparse, haunting exploration of hard bop motifs that is simultaneously provocative and endowed with a visceral rhythmic sense. The loosely swinging Hexadox" for instance starts with a catchy head out of which emerges Groder's darkly melodic and intriguing extemporization. ...read more
Tharapita is a delightful recording that ultimately beguiles the listener through its emotional outlook and sheer gorgeous sound. Ingrid Hagel hails from Estonia and, as she states on her site, Tharapita" is the name of a thirteenth-century northern Estonian tribal god, which has been incorporated into the culture to evoke the unity between man and nature." Living now in Copenhagen, Denmark with its hustle and bustle, the music is Hagel's attempt to recreate the sensations, colours and landscapes of my childhood's country house and its surroundings." It is quite surprising, therefore, to be presented with music ...read more
Myriad3--the Toronto-based trio of pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin, and drummer Ernesto Cervini--may be the most noteworthy small group to emerge from Canada in years. Tell (Alma, 2013) introduced the band to the world, marking Myriad3 as an outfit with a post-modern outlook, respect for the traditions of this music, and the smarts not to let that respect get in the way of what it set out to do. Audacity, assurance, and the spirit of cooperation shine through on Myriad3's mind-blowing sophomore release. This band can do just about anything--and do it really well--but there's no ...read more
Discovering unheard John Coltrane material is the Holy Grail for serious music devotees, and the imminent release (Sept.23,2014) of a 1966 live date in the form of Offering: Live at Temple University on the Impulse! label (in conjunction with Resonance Records and Universal Music) to join The Olatunji Concert and One Down, One Up Live at the Half Note in the Coltrane archive is good news, indeed, for those wishing to explore the iconic saxophonist's later years. Adding significantly to the first-class feel of this production is the inclusion of a 23-page liner booklet written by the always perceptive Ashley ...read more
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