Articles by David French

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Album Review

John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

Read "Good Night Songs" reviewed by David French


Good Night Songs documents a 2003 concert by a trio of two saxophonists--John Tchicai and Charlie Kohlhase--with guitarist Garrison Fewell. Though the lineup is unusual, the results are mesmerizing throughout this two-disc set.

Tchicai rose to prominence in the 1960s avant-garde scene in New York. He recorded with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, John Coltrane, and even John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Forty years later he continues to produce music that is pure, passionate and beyond categorization. ...

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Interview

Vince Giordano: Hot Jazz for The Aviator

Read "Vince Giordano:  Hot Jazz for The Aviator" reviewed by David French


Vince Giordano, 52, has long been the premier authority on performing 1920s and '30s jazz and popular music. Woody Allen, Madonna, Terry Zweigoff, Garrison Keillor and the New York Philharmonic have all used Giordano and his eleven-piece big band, the Nighthawks, to summon up the days of Busby Berkeley and bathtub gin. Most recently the Nighthawks recorded 22 note-perfect recreations of vintage hits for the soundtrack of The Aviator , Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic. Giordano appears in the film ...

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Profile

Chris Griffin: the Last of Goodman's Biting Brass

Read "Chris Griffin: the Last of Goodman's Biting Brass" reviewed by David French


Chris Griffin spent the afternoon of his 89th birthday in a Connecticut casino lounge listening to a big band play hits from the Swing Era. Most of the audience was older, many of them dancers who applauded favorites by Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra. Griffin sipped red wine in a booth with a good view of the band. Carefully dressed in a blazer and tie, he looked every bit the legend.

Griffin earned jazz immortality as a member ...

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Album Review

Roberto Juan Rodriguez: Baila! Gitano Baila!

Read "Baila! Gitano Baila!" reviewed by David French


The title of drummer/composer Roberto Juan Rodriguez's second CD on John Zorn's Tzadik label means “Dance! Gypsy Dance!", an invocation that conjures the swirling, mysterious and exuberant music that Septeto Rodriguez dishes up. As on his first CD, Rodriguez creates a new jazz that blends the rhythms of Cuba with the minor-key flavor of traditional Jewish melodies.

Rodriguez has performed with many big names, including Paul Simon and Gloria Estefan, but he seems happiest mixing it up with ...

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Album Review

Madeleine Peyroux: Careless Love

Read "Careless Love" reviewed by David French


Madeleine Peyroux's first release in eight years is a moody, haunting masterpiece that will soon be playing in every coffee house and cozy bar in the country. It's a whale of a record. Peyroux's voice is amazing--grainy, intimate and unaffected, with a bluesy lilt that at times recalls mid-career Billie Holiday. In fact, her singing recalls not just Holiday but the generation of singers who came up in the 1930s--people like Lee Wiley, Connie Boswell, Maxine Sullivan and Cliff Edwards--who ...


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