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Radio & Podcasts

Avant-Retro or Retro-Avant? Part II

Read "Avant-Retro or Retro-Avant? Part II" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Anthony Braxton playing standards? Don Byron and Phillip Johnston playing the music of Raymond Scott? Nothing to be suprised about... as musicians have a more open mind than critics like to recognize. So here's the second part of this week's show focusing on retro-sounding jazz performed by forward-leaning musicians -a bit like the jazz equivalent of Blade Runner. For the first part of this episode Happy listening! Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash ...


Le Nuove Avventure di Phillip Johnston

Read "Le Nuove Avventure di Phillip Johnston" reviewed by Vic Albani

Il sessantaquattrenne signor Phillip Johnston è un avanguardista autentico da tempi non sospetti. Famoso ai più per essere stato uno dei fondatori di quella straordinaria fucina creativa che risponde al nome di Microscopic Septet dove passano o sono passati Joel Forrester, ma anche di John Zorn, Don Davis, Richard Dworkin, David Hofstra, Dave Sewelson, George Bishop, Paul Shapiro, Bobby De Meo. Altri lo ricorderanno come innovativo “scorer" di splendide colonne sonore dedicate a film muti degli inizi del Novecento nonché ...

Multiple Reviews

Phillip Johnston Returns with Diggin' Bones and The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Read "Phillip Johnston Returns with Diggin' Bones and The Adventures of Prince Achmed" reviewed by John Kelman

The consequences of change in the music industry have been predicted for some time now but, with far too many blinkered deniers, it's had to begin approaching critical mass before being recognized for what it is: the commoditization and devaluation of music that has led to increasing challenges for musicians looking to maintain any kind of reasonable living. Sure, there are the bigger names who continue to thrive, and it's easy to point to the absurd volume of music being ...


Phillip Johnston: Back From Down Under

Read "Phillip Johnston: Back From Down Under" reviewed by Ken Dryden

IntroductionPhillip Johnston is best known to many jazz fans as co-founder of The Microscopic Septet, though the saxophonist and composer has led many groups of his own and co-led others, including Big Trouble, The Transparent Quartet, Fast 'N' Bulbous and The Spokes. In addition, Johnston has composed and performed numerous soundtracks for both silent and modern films. A long time New York City resident, he relocated with his family to Australia over a decade ago, though he has continued to ...

Album Review

Snap: Boggy Creek Bop

Read "Boggy Creek Bop" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Il noto saxofonista americano Phillip Johnston ha lasciato New York da alcuni anni e si è trasferito in Australia. Pian pianino sta ricostruendo una rete di amicizie musicali che presumibilmente finirà per assomigliare a quelle che aveva a New York. In attesa di avere quindi un Microscopic Septet australiano e magari un Fast 'n' Bulbous di Sidney ci possiamo accontentare di questo quartetto di soli saxofoni che affronta un repertorio in parte già conosciuto, in parte originale. Sono con lui ...

Album Review

The Microscopic Septet: Friday the Thirteenth

Read "Friday the Thirteenth" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Ormai da una ventina d'anni il repertorio standard del jazz ha acquisito la musica di Monk come fosse una cosa naturale. Non solo le prevedibili “'Round Midnight" o “Well You Needn't," rilanciate da Miles Davis negli anni '50 e diventate in qualche modo canoniche; ma soprattutto i brani più personali, irriducibili, ellittici, quelli che solo Coltrane o Lacy riuscivano a illuminare da altre angolazioni. In realtà le composizioni monkiane non si prestano granchè come canovaccio sul quale costruire assoli generici, ...

Album Review

Phillip Johnston: Page of Madness

Read "Page of Madness" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Phillip Johnston first drew critical acclaim for his work as a saxophonist and composer in the Microscopic Septet. Since the group disbanded in 1992 (though it reunited for a new recording last year and occasional concerts), he distinguished himself leading various groups of his own (often several at the same time), composing quirky jazz that was avant-garde yet accessible, including several scores for films directed by Doris Dorrie, Philip Haas and Paul Mazursky. He was commissioned by the Film Society ...


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