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Jazz Articles about Mark Whitfield, Jr.

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Album Review

Manuel Valera Quintet: Vessel

Read "Vessel" reviewed by Chris May


Cuban born and raised, pianist and composer Manuel Valera moved to the US in 1994, attending high school in Florida before moving to New York City in 2000 to study at the New School. His classmates included Robert Glasper, Mike Moreno, Michael Rodriguez, Marcus Strickland and E.J. Strickland. Fast company. Valera's career as a leader moved up a notch when his band New Cuban Express received a Grammy nomination in 2013 for Best Latin Jazz Album for ...

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Album Review

Wayne Escoffery: Like Minds

Read "Like Minds" reviewed by Dave Linn


Wayne Escoffery was born in London and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. He began playing the saxophone at the age of 11, later studying at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In the late 1990s, Escoffery started gaining recognition on the jazz scene with his tenure in the Eric Reed Septet and later joining the Mingus Big Band. After completing his studies, Escoffery moved to New ...

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Album Review

Deelee Dube: Trying Times

Read "Trying Times" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Five years ago, the annual Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition named Deelee Dubé its first British winner and (2016) Sassy Award recipient, landing Dubé a spot at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and recording contract for this Concord Records debut. Trying Times marks a major label debut, but Deelee Dubé is no artistic novice. She started violin lessons when she was four and put together her first band when she was fourteen. Her 2016 release Tenderly was produced ...

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Album Review

Caleb Wheeler Curtis: Ain't No Storm

Read "Ain't No Storm" reviewed by Paul Rauch


Caleb Wheeler Curtis is a noted voice in the modern world of alto saxophone, in large part due to his association with fellow artists. Most significantly, his work with Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans and the “village" of creative participants within has put a spotlight on his style which attaches itself to tradition while exhibiting a willingness to explore new territory. On his most recent release Ain't No Storm, he presents eleven original compositions that feature fellow Evans bandmates Mark Whitfield ...

4
Album Review

Black Art Jazz Collective: Ascension

Read "Ascension" reviewed by Ian Patterson


The name has obvious political resonance. Indeed, the raison d'être of the Black Art Jazz Collective, the sextet founded by Wayne Escoffery, Jeremy Pelt and Jonathon Blake in 2013, is to celebrate African American excellence on the one hand, and--not unrelated--to raise political consciousness on the other. The BAJC's debut album,Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club (Sunnyside Records, 2016) paid homage to W. E. B. Dubois and Barack Obama, while recalling, too, the history of slavery. Ascension plows a ...

4
Album Review

Black Art Jazz Collective: Ascension

Read "Ascension" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On Ascension, the Black Art Jazz Collective, a like-minded sextet co-founded in 2012 by trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery to salute the artistry of their mentors and musical heroes while moving the idiom forward into the twenty-first century, is unbending in its allegiance to the straight-ahead canon espoused by the architects of modern jazz. It's a stance that gives rise to pluses and minuses. On the upside, this is splendid music, rhythmically and melodically pleasing, ...

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Album Review

Sharel Cassity: Fearless

Read "Fearless" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Offering her fifth album as leader, saxophonist Sharel Cassity unveils an aptly titled collection of originals and a couple of standards in an album of special significance and meaning in her life, as she confronted a personal health issue that threatened to silence her musical voice forever. This project is not only about producing a delicious bebop sound one will not soon forget but, it is also a testament to her faith and courage in confronting an illness she refused ...


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