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THE VINYL POST

Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961

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Those of us who are diehard jazz collectors often loathe answering questions from neophytes as to a good starting place for building a jazz collection. Nonetheless, a short go-to list would probably include the iconic live sessions of Bill Evans and his trio captured on tape by Riverside Records back in June of 1961. For sheer improvisational genius and telepathic group interplay, these recordings can't be beat. Furthermore, the sonic magic that teleports you to your own personal table at the Village Vanguard has always been an undeniable perk of these sides. Upon initial examination, producer Orrin Keepnews ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vance Thompson's Five Plus Six: Such Sweet Thunder

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For the mathematically challenged, Vance Thompson's Five Plus Six equals eleven. In other words, it's Thompson's working quintet, the Marble City Five, amplified by half a dozen horns. On its debut recording, the Knoxville, TN-based ensemble performs music by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk and--brace yourself--country singer Dolly Parton. In fact, Parton's “Little Sparrow," the album's longest-playing track at 10:21, lends itself surprisingly well to the jazz idiom, thanks in part to Thompson's engaging chart, as does the Appalachian folk song “He's Gone Away" (dedicated to bassist Charlie Haden who died July 11, 2014). The session ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Bruce Lindsay's Favorite Albums Of 2014

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Christmas Comes But Once A Year, And When It Does It Brings... Lists. Lots of lists. Here's another. A quick glance at this particular list makes it clear that this has been, for me, a singers' year. Let me make it clear from the off--this isn't my list of the best vocal albums I've heard this year, it's my list of the best albums. Half of these recordings have a singer's name on the cover, most of the rest feature vocalists on the majority of their tracks--even the mainly instrumental album by The Puppeteers includes a bit of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

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Return the Tides is a heart-felt tribute to Rob Mazurek's mother, Kathleen Mazurek, who died on May 4, 2013, just days after receiving a diagnosis of late stage cancer. Her sudden and unexpected passing motivated Mazurek to honor her generous spirit through music that would, in his words, “clear a path for my mother into the unknown to ensure her safe journey to the next." Although currently based in Chicago, Mazurek returned to Brazil, where he lived from 2000-2008, to call upon his closest friends and associates for help with this project. In addition to his Sao Paulo ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Arthur Barron, David Liebman, Abel Pabon: The Miami Jazz Project

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Always on the lookout for outstanding players to join him, NEA Jazz Master saxophonist, flautist, and composer David Liebman finds in the The Miami Jazz Project a simpatico group of musicians to echo and recapitulate his interest in the post- Coltrane concatenation of fusion and world music where his career first took off in the 1970s. Liebman is the obvious inspiration for this album, which is spearheaded by one of his long-time saxophone colleagues, Arthur Baron, and features a rhythm section of Abel Pabón on keyboards, Josh Allen on acoustic and electric basses (with Eric England substituting on bass in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chad Eby Quartet: The Sweet Shel Suite

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Reading poet Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree once again as an adult, it is improbable that one would take away the same message as you did reading the book as a child. The boy in the story grows up playing in the branches of the tree and eating its fruit, eventually cutting the trunk for wood. In the end, the giving tree has nothing left to give, except for a stump to sit on. Is the book about unselfish friendship, or man's eco-terrorism? Is it counterpart to Siddhartha and unconditional love? The answer of course is yes, yes, and yes. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

InterStatic: Arise

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British-reared keyboardist Roy Powell (Mumpbeak, Naked Truth)has called Norway home for several years while serving as a prime motivator for this futuristic UK-based, record label via sideman duties, and co-leading groups such as Interstatic. The band pushes the envelope yet again on this psycho, acid-rock slant on the jazz organ trio format. Nonetheless, the trio ups the ante a bit on its third album, featuring ECM Records recording artist Jacob Young and notable session drummer Jarle Vespestad. A little genre-busting goes a long way, as the musicians project a no-holds-barred line of attack, incited by Davis' old school like wah-wah ...



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