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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Extended Analysis

April 24, 2014

Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron: Play Morricone 1 & 2

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By GABRIEL MEDINA ARENAS

Film lovers all over the world recognize Ennio Morricone as one of the best score composers of all time. His music has been used in more than 500 movies and TV shows. About 60 of them have won Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA awards and other honors. Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron started a trio in 1984 and one of their most interesting projects has been to create and record jazz arrangements for some of Ennio Morricone's vast list of compositions. Pieranunzi has recorded in dozens of films whose soundtracks were composed by Morricone and ...

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April 23, 2014

Natsuki Tamura: Dragon Nat

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By DAVE WAYNE

The instrumentalist begins his career as, essentially, a solo artist. Whether is practicing long tones or scales or drum rudiments, nearly everyone who plays a musical instrument starts out unaccompanied. On the road to mastery, most musicians spend thousands of hours playing alone. In jazz, solo recordings by musicians other than pianists or guitarists are a relatively recent phenomenon, and the prospect of listening to a horn or drum soloist playing unaccompanied for an hour or more may seem daunting, both the the player and to the audience. To the listener, a solo performance may seem dry or arcane; after ...

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April 22, 2014

The Bad Plus: The Rite Of Spring

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By DAN BILAWSKY

Calculation and risk, bombast and glory, a complete shunning of expectations, and a penchant for the provocative, percussive and dramatic. It's hard to know if that description is meant to be applied to Igor Stravinsky's most heralded work or the collectively-operated trio known as The Bad Plus; it's hard to make that distinction because it rings true for both. One hundred years separate the premiere of The Rite Of Spring, which caused a riot, and the recording of this album. In the interim, everything has changed and nothing has changed. Listeners still get lulled into and out ...

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April 21, 2014

Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son

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By PHIL BARNES

Remember D'Angelo? Takuya Kuroda and his producer Jose James certainly do--this excellent collection has that loose, swampy, stoned feel from 'Voodoo' closer than anyone since, putting across that feel of thick, still air on a scorching hot, languid, afternoon perfectly. D'Angelo worked because he signposted a way to fuse the classic jazz influenced soul of say Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Al Green and even Prince to modern hip hop grooves without diminishing either genre. By putting that sound into a soulful jazz context Kuroda has arguably chosen to accentuate one of the elements in that original mix so that the ...

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April 20, 2014

Colin Edwin - Lorenzo Feliciati: Twinscapes

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By JOHN EPHLAND

From the bottom up, Twinscapes is a long time coming, and not just for bass players. Sonically, this 11-track suite plays on your ears and mind in ways that can defy gravity, combining soft audial touches to go along with earthy funk, the residue left a kind of smoke that lingers but filters, inevitably it seems, upwards. Twinscapes really is a kind of novel treatment of the electric bass, not that this sort of thing hasn't been done before. Think Bill Laswell, for starters. And, of course, the acoustic bass also has its masters in altogether spare environs. ...

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April 20, 2014

Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey: Going Back Home

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By SAMMY STEIN

Wilko Johnson has been around for a long time. He will forever be associated with Dr Feelgood, the influential rhythm and blues band, but he has done many things since leaving the band in 1977. His distinctive guitar style, as well as his affable demeanor, have made him a bit of a national treasure. After leaving Dr Feelgood Johnson joined Solid Senders and, later in 1980, The Blockheads. He has played regularly with Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe as The Wilko Johnson Band since leaving The Blockheads in 1981. He was a major player in the golden ...

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April 19, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven - Recordings during War Time conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

German conductor and composer Wilhelm Furtwangler (1886--1954) remains a difficult enigma in music. Though never a member of Germany's NAZI party he was nevertheless associated with the regime both tacitly and unwittingly through the long-term efforts of Dr. Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Socially and politically naïve, Furtwangler believed that German Art and Politics existed in separate spheres, the former a self-determined forever force-of-nature gift and the latter, in Furtwangler's mind, a temporary convulsion of fascist nationalism that could never outlive the positive German Kultur. Perspective on Furtwangler is difficult get ahold of, but ...

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April 18, 2014

Chris Standring: Don't Talk, Dance!

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By JEFF WINBUSH

If jazz is to avoid being relegated to the pit of obsolescence where VCR's, pet rocks and NBC's fall lineup for the last five years has been consigned to it won't be enough to simply continue catering to the true believers and faithful die-hards that currently maintains the genre. Jazz will have to go places it hasn't been before and go after potential listeners who think of it as the music their grandparents listened to. One of those places are clubs where people gather not to be hipsters draining their glasses of wine and proclaiming how the masses ...

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April 17, 2014

Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline: Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

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By JOHN KELMAN

In retrospect, it was inevitable; why it took so long for veteran jazz jam band Medeski, Martin & Wood to get together with Nels Cline is anybody's guess. The über-guitarist has, since joining Wilco a decade ago, managed to significantly raise his visibility, but anybody who suggests that he's been “moonlighting" in the alt-country/alt-rock/alt-alt band to pay the rent hasn't been paying attention. Like keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood, Cline's career has been largely associated with jazz--well, before Wilco, that is; that's all changed now--through his lengthy association with Cryptogramophone Records and albums with his ...

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April 15, 2014

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: American Adventure

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By JOHN KELMAN

Sometimes an idea seems great on paper, but in execution doesn't exactly work out as planned. Other times, that same idea doesn't just look great, it actually exceeds already high expectations. When saxophonist Tommy Smith--almost single-handedly responsible for rebuilding a modern jazz scene in his home country of Scotland, where he returned after studying at Boston's Berklee College of Music in the 1980s and releasing a couple of well-regarded albums on Blue Note--brought his Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to the United States in the summer of 2013 for a short tour, he came up with the idea of hitting Avatar ...

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April 15, 2014

Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life: So Many Roads

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By DAN BILAWSKY

Music making, like life itself, is all about balance. In both worlds, highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies, harmony and melody, chaos and order, the clinical and the emotional, the simple and complex, and so much more are constantly being balanced on the scales. Rarely are things in perfect equilibrium, yet so many people strive to reach that place; bassist Anne Mette Iversen is one of those people, and So Many Roads is her musical treatise on the art of balance. This work initially took shape as a travel down imaginary highways, but Iversen quickly realized that ...

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April 14, 2014

Mark Weinstein: Latin Jazz Underground

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By DAN BILAWSKY

Has flautist Mark Weinstein run out of ideas on how to merge various dialects of Latin jazz with other musical tongues? The answer is a resounding “no." Latin Jazz Underground finds Weinstein saluting the loft jazz scene of the '70s by tackling the work of jazz iconoclasts-turned-icons--pianist Andrew Hill and saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Sam Rivers--and like- minded originals. That concept, in and of itself, doesn't distinguish this project, as plenty of people have traveled down those thorny paths, so the twist comes with the infusion of Afro-Cuban ideals. Such a marriage is a risky union, but ...

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April 14, 2014

Sons of Kemet: Burn

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By PHIL BARNES

The first thing you notice about Shabaka Hutchings' latest project, Sons of Kemet, is the unexpectedly large feel to the recording's soundscape. Not only does it have the hallmarks of a warmer analogue past but the reverb is at times extraordinary, being akin to hearing the band play in an immense auditorium with twice as many musicians as the relatively paltry core quartet listed in the credits. Drummer and producer Seb Rochford explained in interview that this was achieved by passing the band's microphones through echo machines from which he did live improvised takes that were underlaid behind the original ...

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April 13, 2014

Ola Kvernberg Trio: Northern Tapes

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By JOHN KELMAN

It's been three years since Ola Kvernberg released the ambitious Liarbird (Jazzland, 2011), a studio document of his 2010 Molde International Jazz Festival commission where guest Joshua Redman was recruited for the live performance, but where, far more than a ringer for Kvernberg, Redman was clearly awestruck by this virtuosic young violinist/composer. It's not that Kvernberg hasn't been busy, either: in addition to being a featured soloist, the same year, with Motorpsycho's progressive rock-heavy collaboration with Supersilent/Elephant9 keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Trondheimsolistene string ensemble for another staggering live performance later documented on the even more impressive ...

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