Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Album Review

Various Artists: Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


A labor of love, Cosmic Forest was compiled by Italian musician, producer and DJ Nicola Conte to both revisit and present to a new audience Conte's favorite “spiritual jazz" recordings from MPS Records' 1965--'75 catalog. Eight of these thirteen pieces came from albums released as part of the MPS label's mid-1970s “Jazz Meets the World" series masterminded by jazz activist and label partner Joachim-Ernst Berendt. Cosmic Forest can take you as deeply in or as far as you ...

3

Album Review

Various Artists: MPS: 50 Years

Read "MPS: 50 Years" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


In 2018, MPS--Musik Produktion Schwarzwald--Records, Germany's first jazz label, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Pianist Oscar Peterson recorded the first release for MPS after his contract with Verve expired. Its catalog expanded to feature George Duke, Red Garland, Wolfgang Dauner, Horst Jankowski, George Shearing, Monty Alexander and many other pianists. Violin became the label's second most featured instrument through releases by established masters such as Don “Sugarcane" Harris and Stéphane Grappelli, and emerging ones such as Didier Lockwood and Jean-Luc Ponty. ...

9

Album Review

Nicola Conte: Let Your Light Shine On

Read "Let Your Light Shine On" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


One of the best parts of Let Your Light Shine On is how it plucks out musical threads from throughout the galaxy (more on that later) and knits them together into truly groovy, soulful cloth. But music is only one of many real good things this set has going on. Light is the first album by internationally-renown Italian DJ, composer, guitarist, bandleader and producer Nicola Conte for Germany's esteemed jazz label MPS Records. “For me, when it comes ...

6

Album Review

Various Artists: Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" reviewed by Chris May


The description “spiritual jazz" means different things to different people. It was first applied to the predominantly African American style platformed by the Strata-East and Muse labels in the early and mid 1970s. The tag was not introduced until a decade later, and a better one would have been “cultural jazz," despite the tautology--for although every Strata-East and Muse artist would, if asked, almost certainly have acknowledged the inspiration of John Coltrane's masterpiece A Love Supreme (Impulse, 1964), little of ...

3

Album Review

Alphonse Mouzon: In Search Of A Dream

Read "In Search Of A Dream" reviewed by Chris May


2018 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the distinguished German jazz label MPS. To mark the occasion, the label's catalogue of over 400 albums has been released on download, and a vinyl and CD remastering and reissue programme has begun. Alphonse Mouzon's In Search Of A Dream is among the first of these discs. Originally released in 1978, it was the fourth--and finest--jazz-rock set the drummer recorded for the label. During the 1970s, his ...

4

Album Review

Baden Powell: Tristeza on Guitar

Read "Tristeza on Guitar" reviewed by Chris May


2018 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the German jazz label MPS. To mark the occasion, the label's catalogue of over 400 albums has been released on download, and a vinyl and CD reissue programme has begun. Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell's Tristeza on Guitar is among the first of these discs. Originally released in 1966, it is an enduring treasure of twentieth-century Brazilian music. Between 1966 and 1976, Powell recorded nine albums for MPS, ...

9

Album Review

Nicola Conte: Let Your Light Shine On

Read "Let Your Light Shine On" reviewed by Chris May


Italian guitarist, bandleader, crate digger and DJ Nicola Conte's journeys into musics originating from beyond Europe—be they Brazilian, Hindustani, Latin American or African—sometimes carry a touch of the touristic about them, but his work is so transparently heartfelt that it never becomes a problem. It is also, always, superbly well crafted. Conte identifies Let Your Light Shine On as a celebration of African American spiritual jazz. It is perhaps his strongest release since his acid-jazz masterpiece, Jet Sounds (Schema), in ...


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