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Brian McCarthy blends jazz, astronomy, and the AfterLife

Read "Brian McCarthy blends jazz, astronomy, and the AfterLife" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer

Today, the Spotlight shines On Vermont-based saxophonist, composer and arranger Brian McCarthy. Brian joins us on the occasion of his most recent project, After|Life (TRR Collective) released just a few days after we recorded this talk. After|Life is the second album of McCarthy's in the nonet format as well as the second to be brought to fruition through support from the Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council. Chris Pearson in The Times of London ...

Album Review

Brian McCarthy Nonet: After|Life

Read "After|Life" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Saxophonist Brian McCarthy, not one to shy away from a big theme, draws inspiration from the creation of the universe to craft After|Life Science says we are all stardust, compiled ultimately in all its complexities via gravity. Given that, he opens this expansive octet offering with “Nebula," referring to cosmic gasses consisting of hydrogen and deep space dust that--given gravity's propensities--coalesce into stars and solar systems consisting of planets with water, landforms and eventually us. Or something ...

Album Review

Brian McCarthy: The Better Angels of Our Nature

Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Sassofonista e arrangiatore, insegnante all'Università del Vermont, Brian McCarthy è anche un appassionato di storia e ha pensato di realizzare un concept album ispirato alla guerra civile americana, presentando due suoi brani e sette temi dell'epoca arrangiati per medio organico. In questo nonet troviamo veterani come il trombettista Bill Mobley (già con Harold Mabern, Geoff Keezer più vari album da leader) e il sax tenore Daniel Ian Smith --professore al Berklee College of Music --accanto a giovani ...

Live Review

The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace

Read "The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Brian McCarthy Quartet FlynnSpace Burlington, Vermont December 2, 2017 A performance in recognition of the release of its album Codex (Self Produced, 2017), The Brian McCarthy Quartet effectively transposed the sparse, spacious quality of the recording to this intimate venue adjacent to the Queen City's Performing Arts Center. In keeping with the stoic, scholarly demeanor of the leader, the celebratory air of this milestone event was subdued, but not so much there wasn't ...

Album Review

Brian McCarthy: Codex

Read "Codex" reviewed by Doug Collette

Whether saxophonist Brian McCarthy's third full-length studio album, Codex, was specifically intended as such, this comparatively simple, bracing quartet project is a refreshing change of pace from its more involved predecessor, The Better Angels of Our Nature (Truth Revolution, 2017). On the surface at least seemingly far less ambitious, the album begins in a relaxed mode with “Commonplace," but its urgency grows almost imperceptibly (and most appropriately) with a solo from the leader of the band: following a ...

Album Review

Brian McCarthy Nonet: The Better Angels of Our Nature

Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Brian McCarthy's The Better Angels of Our Nature shares some common ground with Ted Nash whose Big Band collection Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom) (Motema Music, 2016) explored musical interpretations of great historical speeches including those of John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson. McCarthy's focus is inspirited by American Civil War and the political and socio-economic issues that are not as far behind us as we would like to think.A well ...

Album Review

Brian McCarthy: This Just In

Read "This Just In" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Jazz is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Vermont but the state, despite its size, has had a long involvement with improvised music. Trumpeters Alan Shorter and Bill Dixon taught at Bennington College and guitarist Attila Zoller founded the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro. In addition to having a small yet vibrant local scene, its largest city Burlington hosts an annual, impeccably organized, ten day festival that over the years has featured such giants as ...


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