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WHAT IS JAZZ?

How Teachers can Swing in the Classroom

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I am a jazz aficionado as well as a philosophy professor. Being in front of a classroom teaching is my favorite place on earth, second to a good jazz club with hip friends. In the midst of a philosophy class, I may wax enthusiastic about the transcendent qualities of a John Coltrane saxophone solo or the preternatural swing of Buddy Rich's timekeeping or the song-writing and band-leading genius of Duke Ellington. These comments are not merely idiosyncratic. They reflect something of a philosophical theory of pedagogy that is steeped in jazz sensibilities. After over thirty years of teaching philosophy in ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Outbeat Jazz Festival 2014

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Outbeat Jazz Festival Philadelphia, PA September 18-21, 2014 The Outbeat Jazz Festival, touted as “America's First Queer Jazz Festival," where the “Q-word" has become an “in" word, proved to be an innovative event that brought the public's attention to the important role of gay (LGBT) jazz musicians and composers. A series of concerts and discussions drove the point home. It was no accident that the festival was held at venues in and around Center City, jny: Philadelphia, the locus of one of the most thriving and activist gay communities in the world. Sponsored by the ...

INTERVIEWS

Jon Armstrong: Limitless Enthusiasm

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Of those jazz men who are still left (of course today is a new day and jazz is dying again), the Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra's debut album Farewell, is something new to say hello to. The end is the beginning you know. Jon Armstrong has a (so-far) limitless enthusiasm for being in the thick of music, he is both mature experience and child psyche, surrounded by the vibrant jny: Los Angeles music scene, gifted with Daniel Rosenboom as his inspirational label manager and band mate, and playing for long enough that his chops are tighter than a banker's liability insurance. ...

INTERVIEWS

Wil Blades: Groooooovin'

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"I love the blues," says Wil Blades, a Hammond B3 whiz who didn't come to the instrument until he left his hometown of jny: Chicago and was going to college in California. He doesn't remember specific instances of being struck by a blues thunderbolt, but “I remember hearing it. It's part of the feeling I get when I play music." He started on drums at a young age and turned to guitar as a teenager--"I had those rock star aspirations when I was in middle school," the easy going Blades quipped--but when he started fooling with the B3, ...

THE BIG QUESTION

Can jazz become culturally relevant again? If so, how?

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Welcome to the debut of a provocative new column called “The Big Question," a regular feature that is designed to get you engaged and talking about the important issues facing jazz today. And we begin with a topic that has weighed on my mind for as long as this website has been in existence: “Can jazz become culturally relevant again? If so, how?" Please voice your personal thoughts on the subject by posting your comments below. All opinions and prejudices are welcome. Also, please share the link (http://bit.ly/1q0rQ8C) on your social media pages to help drive traffic back ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Victor Haskins: Embracing His Audience

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Victor Haskins is one of those young musicians who seems to be able to do it all. He's an award-winning trumpeter, composer/arranger and educator/clinician--all at 21 years old. His debut recording, The Truth (32 Bar Records, 2013) received significant well-deserved acclaim. Haskins, a young visionary, has developed ImproviStory, what he describes as a new and emerging form of audience-generated extemporaneous musical improvisation. We caught up with Victor as he prepares to perform ImproviStory at this year's Festival of New Trumpet Music later this month in New York. All About Jazz: Victor, on behalf of All About Jazz, ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

The Virtues of Jazz

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Any jazz aficionado knows the musical virtues of jazz, whether they are a musician, a jazz writer, or simply a committed jazz listener. In classical Western thought (that is, in the musings of cats like as Aristotle and Plato), a virtue is a kind of excellence in performance that flows from a settled habit. One who plays the flute as it ought to be played--the proper tone, pitch, and timing--displays a virtue or sharp skill in that musical instrument. One may be virtuous with respect to any endeavor worth doing, since anything worth doing is worth doing well. One who ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Mike Rivard: Entranced By The Music

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As globalization blends cultures and markets more and more everyday, it is only natural that artistic traditions and the artists that study them do the same. Mike Rivard is a leader in this regard, pioneering some of the most unique blends of musical styles and sounds today. Talking to him about his band Club D'elf and his new project, Grand Fatilla, revealed a number of diverse influences that shed some light on the roots of the one of a kind voice he and his many collaborators have been developing. All About Jazz: Where did you go to school? ...

September 2014

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Dear Mr. P.C. I play five nights a week in a restaurant, and there's a sign right at the entrance that says “Restrooms are for Customer Use Only." My problem is that it's a four-hour gig, and sometimes I have to go really bad by the end. Would it be out of line for me to ask the management if I could use the restroom once a night? --John Dear John: The problem is all the uncertainties it would create. For example: If you don't use the restroom one night, ...

DRUMMER TO DRUMMER

Mark Guiliana: Emulating The Source

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Over the past ten years, electronic music and jazz have developed a curious relationship. As programmers and DJs sought to remove the human element from their beats and loops, acoustic musicians sought to apply the tight, complex patterns of house and trance music to their traditional instruments. Drummer Mark Guiliana is at the forefront of this new vanguard of progressive acoustic artists. In this article we'll discuss his work with acclaimed pianist Brad Mehldau, his studies with renowned instructor John Riley, and his new record label Beat Music Productions. All About Jazz: I have to admit that I ...

INTERVIEWS

Eric Revis: Trajectory From The Tradition

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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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Jason Lindner: Beyond the Solo

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Jason Linder has been at the center of modern jazz's evolution for nearly two decades. His distinctive and flexible piano and synthesizer sound have placed him in a bewildering array of musical contexts and whether it's accompanying Anat Cohen, collaborating with Dafnis Prieto, or challenging the very edges of contemporary jazz--edges he has helped carve--Lindner consistently presents incisive musical forays that manipulate rhythm and sonic texture as much as they do melody and harmony. Equally articulate away from the piano, Lindner's position at the cross roads of creative jazz lends him a unique perspective and provocative insight into ...

INTERVIEWS

Omer Klein: Theme and Variations

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One of the numerous talents that Israel has produced in the last decade is pianist Omer Klein. He is a much sought-after guest at various music venues in Europe, Israel and the U.S and last April he had his first tour in Canada. Klein, grew up in Netanya, Israel. After he received a special scholarship Klein moved to jny: Boston where he attended the New England Conservatory. In 2006 he moved to New York where he quickly became a notable member of the NYC jazz scene. Nowadays Klein lives with his wife in Düsseldorf. He has given numerous master classes ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2014

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Copenhagen Jazz Festival Copenhagen July, 8-10, 2014 The ten-day Copenhagen Jazz Festival, with its 1,200 concerts, is maybe the largest of its kind in Europe. This number of concerts is the consequence of a unique concept. The core of the festival, with some international headliners, is a relatively small scale affair but there is a huge, still growing amount of associated venues (this year, 14 more) doing their own programming. All are coordinated and communicated by the central office of the core festival. Here the publicity before, during and after the festival is done, ...



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