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

Artist Profiles

November 26, 2013

Edmar Castaneda: A World Of Music

Edmar Castaneda: A World Of Music

By IAN PATTERSON

The harp may be the least common instrument in jazz/improvised music--even the humble kazoo gets more of a run out. Dating back over 5,000 years to ancient Mesopotamia, the harp in its various guises is common to nearly all cultures across the continents. Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America the harp is an important element of folk music. The harp is common in Celtic music too, though in Europe it's perhaps more usually associated with the sedate airs of mediaeval court music or through-composed baroque classical music. This unique instrument has certainly done the rounds but nobody, it's safe to ...

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November 22, 2013

Memories in Motian

Memories in Motian

By ZENO DE ROSSI

Soon after hearing about Paul Motian's passing (November 22, 2011) I felt the urge to delve (again) into his music. Later on, inspired by a moving writing by Ellery Eskelin (published on his website and reproduced below, by his kind permission), I thought it would have been interesting to collect brief memories from musicians which worked with him during his long career, as well as from those who were deeply influenced by him. So I started my research, contacting as many musicians as possible: many replied with enthusiasm, you will read their recollections here. ...

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September 2, 2013

George Duke: The Master of the Game

George Duke: The Master of the Game

By JEFF WINBUSH

[Editor's Note: The following piece was first published at AAJ contributor Jeff Winbush's The Domino Theory blog, and is reprinted here in tribute to George Duke, who passed away on August 5, 2013]I never caught George Duke live in concert. I never met the man in person. However, he did give me two hours of his extremely busy time to talk to me for a career-spanning interview. What came of it was the longest interview I had ever done before, after or since and after I finished it, I knew that it was good but man, was it ...

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August 23, 2013

Doug Mettome: A Brief Life in Bop

Doug Mettome: A Brief Life in Bop

By RICHARD J SALVUCCI

Douglas (Doug) Voll Mettome, the son of Nels P Mettome and Leafy Dawn Mettome was born into a prosperous family on March 19, 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he died on February 17, 1964. He was one of two children (a younger sister attended Northwestern University). Doug's musical career began early. His first training was on piano, but by the age of 12, he had begun to receive newspaper notice for his trumpet playing: “Doug played some bugle calls and a trumpet solo. When he played “Reveille..."91 year-old Charlie Shields woke up and saluted." (Salt Lake ...

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August 5, 2013

Django Bates: From Zero to Sixty in Five Days

Django Bates: From Zero to Sixty in Five Days

By JOHN KELMAN

It's rare enough to get to catch the premiere of a brand new work in a location as removed as Luleå, Sweden--just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic circle and in late May already experiencing 22-hour days and temperatures between 20 and 25 Celsius. But to get to experience the birth of a commission and to arrive on the same day as the artist and enter the rehearsal room at the same time? An unexpected pleasure. The chance to follow an artist and a group of musicians (many of whom were meeting each other for the very first time) through ...

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February 12, 2013

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shifts

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shifts

By CHRIS RICH

Pianist Matthew Shipp's artistic collaboration community is a counterpart to his business community. It is its own ecosystem of multidisciplinary work, scholarly conversations and mentorship.The TrioThe trio is Shipp's main vehicle. It is, by turns, his midnight train, his slow boat to China and a way of flying home. It takes a hike, rides a bike and covers lots of ground. It sails and it soars. And who can better describe it than the ensemble proprietor himself?“One thing I learned from my 16 years in the David S. Ware Quartet is the importance of ...

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December 4, 2012

Marcus Miller: Renaissance Man

Marcus Miller: Renaissance Man

By PHERALYN DOVE

[Editor's Note: On Sunday, November 25, 2012, All About Jazz learned that Marcus Miller sustained non-life-threatening injuries during a bus crash on the A2 highway in central Switzerland. Unfortunately, the driver was killed in the accident. Online sources report that the bus was carrying 13 people, including two drivers and the 11 members Miller's band. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. AAJ sends condolences to the victim's family and loved ones, as well as healing thoughts for everyone involved in this horrible tragedy.]A renaissance can be defined as a reawakening, a rebirth, or a resurgence. ...

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August 12, 2012

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shape

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shape

By CHRIS RICH

Pianist Matthew Shipp is very keenly attuned to the details and nuances of what has to be the most forlorn and anemic environment imaginable for anything a sensible person would call business. Think of it as the sort of business ecosystem that resembles the least habitable places on earth, say a fumarole at the bottom of an ocean.While showbiz jazz at least has a small business infrastructure commensurate with a mid-level touring rock band, free jazz has no such thing and tends to be a habitat for epiphytes or cacti.There is resource scarcity in a disrupted ...

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May 26, 2012

Celebrating Miles Davis with Quotes

Celebrating Miles Davis with Quotes

By MICHAEL RICCI

We're celebrating Miles Davis's birthday (May 26, 1926) with quotes about him and by him.All About Jazz senior writer R.J. DeLuke also compiled several from his past interviews with various ex-band members--and we included a salty one by Miles for good measure.If you know of a quote about Miles or one that can be attributed to him, please post it in the comments section below. I'll get us started. “He was just such a great artist. People would just come to see him. Three notes from him were often enough for people to say, ...

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October 31, 2011

Manfred Eicher: Through the Lens

Manfred Eicher: Through the Lens

By JOHN KELMAN

It begins in silence, always silence. Since the 1990s, all ECM recordings begin with five seconds of silence, and so, too, do directors Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer open their feature film on the heralded German record label and its enigmatic founder, Sounds and Silence: Travels with Manfred Eicher. As longtime ECM recording artist Keith Jarrett's performance of G.I. Gurdjieff's “Reading of Sacred Books," from the pianist's Sacred Hymns (1980), begins in the background, the film fades in on Eicher, sitting on a simple wooden chair beside an equally unadorned table, steeped in thought. Dissolving to the film's title, an ...

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March 8, 2011

John McNeil's Backbone

John McNeil's Backbone

By BEN WALTZER

Like many trumpeters, John McNeil has a unique brand above his upper lip where flesh meets metal. It looks like a setting sun, and was visible from up close, as he removed his instrument from his mouth, rose steadily from his stool, and grasped the microphone. “This is the part of any jazz gig where the band plays a blues and one of us talks over it. That's how you know it's jazz...I think," said McNeil, 62, to the audience spread out on the lawn before the gothic Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. McNeil's voice was deep ...

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June 26, 2010

Fred Anderson: 1929-2010

Fred Anderson: 1929-2010

By KURT GOTTSCHALK

There aren't many artists with so singular a vision as that of late Fred Anderson, who died June 24 at the age of 81. There are fewer to be certain if the list is restricted to members of that exalted and nebulous class called “masters." It's a word that, in jazz, gets thrown around a little too casually. A master composer might excel at writing for string quartet as well as symphony. A master musician might be fluent in a variety of instruments. But a mastery like Anderson's is harder to quantify. For much of his career, ...

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