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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group: Samsara

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Trying to keep up with all of saxophonist Dave Liebman's musical exploits? Good luck. A year doesn't seem to go by when Liebman doesn't release multiple recordings with different bands on different labels. Take 2014 for example: it's a year that has already seen his big band-based A Tribute To Wayne Shorter (Mama Records, 2014), an exploratory venture with The Saxophone Summit on Artistshare, and a co-headlined release dubbed The Miami Jazz Project (Zoho, 2014). And then there's Liebman's live efforts. He still travels the globe, bringing his music to the people and maintaining his “road warrior" status in the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Necks at Cafe Oto

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The Necks Cafe Oto London October 8, 2014 It is always a good sign when the imposing windows of Cafe Oto are misted up. If one could see through the condensation, if one could, with just one finger, remove the minuscule droplets amassed on the vertical plains, one would almost invariably spot fine music in the making. A woman, glass of red wine in hand, explains to her neighbour that, yes, this is jazz, but no, this is not like any other jazz. And that, after all, one never knows what to ...

CATCHING UP WITH

LLoyd Swanton: The Necks Trust Each Other to Not Push the Music Too Fast

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The Australian jazz--improv--jam trio The Necks has been active for quarter century. Consisting of drummer Tony Buck, bassist Lloyd Swanton and keyboardist Chris Abrahams, The Necks' members are all seasoned jazzers who approach the trio's music rather differently. Drawing inspiration from electronica, systems music and rock, the Necks have reshaped the role of the jazz keyboard thus improvising with textures and space rather than just notes and chords. Characteristically, their performances are lengthy and their records often consist of one long composition. The trio is touring Europe and one of the places on their stops was the Skopje Jazz Festival. ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Andy Milne and Dapp Theory: Forward in All Directions

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Not all albums register immediately, sometimes it takes a while for unusual and individual music to settle in your subconscious, reveal itself incrementally as little details emerge with familiarity. This new release from Andy Milne and Dapp Theory, on Whirlwind records in the UK, is a good case in point Toronto born Pianist and keyboard player Milne first emerged from Steve Coleman's Five Elements, and played with many of the prime M-Base musicians including the likes of Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby. While he retains many creative irons in the fire this is the third album over a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Azure: Hiptronics

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Such is the musical shift between Azure's When She Smiles (Azuremusic, 2009) and Hiptronics that they sound like different bands; effectively, they are. The main songwriter, classically influenced pianist Pierre-Francois Blanchard has been replaced by keyboardist Federico Solazzo and only co-founder, guitarist Rogier Schneemann remains from the original group, which has grown to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Rik Mol. In interior design terms it would be akin to gutting a property and going for a futuristic styling with a little 1970s retro thrown in--think Woody Allen's Sleeper with a funk-cum-hip hop soundtrack. The old Azure ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Poetry of Places: Paula Shocron and Bjørn Solli

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There is something about places. A particular place can create a special mood. When it comes to music, a place can create a unique frame that adds inspiration and ambience. Just think of the music recorded at the Village Vanguard. The name itself is enough to send shivers down the spine. However, unique musical places do not have to be connected with legendary venues. Sometimes, a surprising setting can have an equally enchanting effect and this is the case with the albums from Argentinian pianist Paula Shocron and Norwegian guitarist Bjørn Vidar Solli. Paula ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tommy Igoe: The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy

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Known as one of the best drummers in the jazz world today, Tommy Igoe is also one of the most in-demand musicians around and since 2006, Igoe and the Birdland Big band have been holding residency at New York's Birdland Jazz Club which apparently, is not enough to keep the drummer grounded. Igoe now lives in San Francisco where--simultaneously with the Birdland Club gig--he is also holding weekly residency at the Bay Area's most famous jazz club, Yoshi's and now debuts his new 15-piece big band and self-titled album The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy. The conspiracy begins to ...



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