There's a richness, a depth, a density to his varied charts. And the soloists and ensemble passages inside those charts! Such has always been the case with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, then, and now. For real, gliding from the spirit of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, this edition of the VJO now embraces another one of its own: trombonist/composer/arranger/pianist Bob Brookmeyer, with Over Time: Music Of Bob Brookmeyer. And what different sound comes from this grand aggregate of 16, plus three on selected tracks. The richness heard in all those chromaticlasmatic (new word) and hard-charging charts of Jones,' ...read more
While it may be hard to believe, the reality is that the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra is nearing the end of its first half-century together. Formed in 1966 as the Thad Jones -Mel Lewis Orchestra, it continued on after Jones' departure as the Mel Lewis Orchestra, then as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra after Lewis' death in February 1990. During many of those years, the ensemble was enriched by the compositions and arrangements of the renowned Bob Brookmeyer (1929-2011), a master craftsman who always marched to his own drummer and let his unerring instincts guide his heart and his hand.read more
Los Lobos The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington VT October 1, 2014 Los Lobos are celebrating four decades together by returning to their acoustic roots on tour in support of their live release of late last year, Disconnected in New York (Shout Factory, 2013). And the band certainly celebrated on their return to Burlington after a five year absence, offering an progressively loose and raucous performance that nevertheless never lost its decidedly intimate mood for the course of the two sets. Perhaps because he had missed the previous two stops due ...read more
The life-as-football-game metaphor is central to this stunning album from pianist Emilio Solla. In 2012, Solla had an epiphany. He awoke to the realities of his existence, the finite nature of things, and the passage of time. He realized that he'd already played the first half of this game called life, working his way up and down the field while executing play after play. Now, in working his way into the second half, he's learned to play the game using the hard-earned wisdom gained during the first half to his advantage. And he's worked out some new ...read more
Van Morrison Limerick Jazz Festival University Concert Hall Limerick, Ireland September 25, 2014 Who would have thought that Van Morrison commands a following as loyal and dedicated as fans of the Grateful Dead? The tickets for the singer's concert in Limerick had sold out in an hour and a half, which must have been particularly satisfying for the organizers of the third Limerick Jazz Festival, but more remarkable were the pilgrimages people had made to catch the Celtic soul man. Fans had journeyed from America, England, Sweden and Switzerland. Many more ...read more
Given his fascination with media, the late Jim Morrison would no doubt be deeply bemused at the irony of the release of a Doors compilation on cd (a dying configuration) due its popularity as a Record Store Day 2014 issue on vinyl lp (the configuration that won't die). It's no accident that Bruce Harris' original liner notes for Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine have been retained (nor pure expedience either, though there's no indication these tracks have been remastered). The author puts the lead vocalist of the Doors and the rest of the band in the unique ...read more
From an early age composer/drummer/educator Tyshawn Sorey has found creative outlets in not just music but in painting and literature as well. Never one to compartmentalize his own imagination, he has enthusiastically explored blues, gospel, classical and music for dance so it seems quite natural that his current music defies categories. Whether listening or writing, he takes a non-judgmental approach to the way he engages with music, preferring possibilities over prescription. Sorey has recorded or performed with a veritable who's-who of modern music including trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Dave Douglas, saxophonists Anthony Braxton, John Zorn and Tim Berne, and ...read more
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