A while ago I had a chat with Vytautas Labutis, an influential Lithuanian saxophonist, educator and, at the time, curator of VilniusMama Jazz Festival. He said: "The list of players with top skills is almost endless. Today we have kids who can do amazing things on their instruments, but the world is waiting for a new Coltrane." This phrase set my mind to thinking about this nearly religious aspect of contemporary jazz reality. If He arrives, how will we know? Is there a guarantee that we will recognize his unmatched talent? How can we tell if an icon among us? Or is there any solid criteria?
I think there are quite a few artists whose musicianship can be described as deeply original, technique as exceptional, and who have created a formidable body of work. That's enough for me.
World music pioneer Adam Rudolph and his groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra join forces with Brooklyn Raga Massive to create the monumental new album, Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records). Ragmala bridges generations, cultures and traditions in a deep-rooted, forward-looking sound born of 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. Epic in scale and ambition, the project features 40 world-class musicians including Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun, legendary drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, forward-thinking cornetist Graham Haynes, and tradition-blurring flutist...
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