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INTERVIEWS

Yakhal' Inkomo: A South African Masterpiece at Fifty

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On July 23, 1968, a now-legendary recording session took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, one that would ultimately prove a defining moment in the country's Jazz history and development. Led by tenor saxophonist Winston Mankunku Ngozi, a quartet that included pianist Lionel Pillay, bassist Agrippa Magwaza, and drummer Early Mabuza would record the album Yakhal' Inkomo. Comprising two originals of Mankunku's--the title track “Yakhal' Inkomo" and “Dedication (For Daddy Trane and Brother Shorter)"--as well as John Coltrane's “Bessie's ...

PROFILES

Rebecca Parris: 1951-2018

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You'll happen my way on some mem'rable day And the month will be May for a while... I was never fortunate enough to have met Rebecca Parris in person; but, I was fortunate enough to live in and be a part of the musical universe that surrounded her. That universe was created by the singer through her recordings, performances, and instruction of aspiring vocalists, each who went on to become part of the creative galaxy that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Binker and Moses: Alive In The East?

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Something wonderful is happening in London in summer 2018. A disruptive musical movement, led by an inter-connected community of young musicians, is taking jazz in vibrant new directions and finding enthusiastic new audiences. Hybridisation is the name of game, which reflects London's cultural diversity by absorbing locally created styles such as grime and broken beat within the music's traditions. Many of the new movement's auteurs and at least half of the players are black. Nothing like this has happened in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

JD Allen: Love Stone

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Beneath this tough tenor's exterior rests the most tender of spirits. If you need evidence, just spend some time with Love Stone. After carving out his rightful place at the apex with a series of brilliant piano-less trio outings focused on pithy originals, saxophonist JD Allen recently felt the winds of change in his horn and his habits. He reached a conclusion that originality may sit not in the song's architect but in its possessor, and he ...

INTERVIEWS

Django Bates: Generous Abundance

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If you love jazz because of its capacity to surprise, amaze, astound, even flabbergast, and leave you without words, then Django Bates is the musician for you. A bird's-eye view [no pun nor reference to Bates' love for the music Charlie Parker intended] of the striking body of work the British pianist has developed over four decades reveals what must be a very generous disposition. His projects and music can range from the subtle, delicate and reassuring to the bombastic, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis/ Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs: Empty Castles

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The trio Spectral might best be examined in the aviary of your local zoo. Trumpeter Darren Johnstonand saxophonists Dave Rempis and Larry Ochs are like three different bird species, but share the same genus. Their “song" is built from the unique coop in which they find themselves. The music on “Empty Castles," their third release following the self-titled 2014 debut and a digital only release, Neutral Nation (Aerophonic, 2016), accentuates that aviary approach. The music was recorded in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chad Taylor: Myths and Morals

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In the beginning of it all: one sound, one language, but then there was the fall of Babel. One tongue turned into many. Difference became a reality and a way of exclusion. A myth can both unite and exclude like morality can judge and misjudge. The past becomes separated from the present and the future is already on the horizon. How can one find a way back to that unity of space, music as the beating heart, the breathing lungs? ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marius Billgobenson: The Sum Of My Pardon

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Marius Billgobenson is a performer with a heartfelt and spontaneous songwriting approach, yet his music blurs the lines between high-level musicianship and raw, creative instinct. His 2017 album, The Sum of My Pardon, is a really accomplished project that has a strong, poignant tone and beautiful production. Along with his trusted group, Billgobenson set out to craft a record that truly redefines the boundaries of jazz, incorporating elements as diverse as R&B, world music, blues and a lot ...

INTERVIEWS

Anat Cohen: Musical Zelig

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In the 1983 Woody Allen film Zelig, the pseudo-documentary's main character is a man who, out of a desire to fit in, takes on the characteristics of the people he happens to be around, including, in chameleon-like fashion, turning up as a black jazz musician in jny: Chicago. (The character, played by Allen, is white). Since arriving on the jny: New York City scene in 1999, via jny: Tel Aviv and the Berklee College of Music, Anat Cohen ...

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Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at Ardmore Music Hall

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Terence Blanchard and E-Collective Ardmore Music Hall Ardmore, PA June 12, 2018 It's meant as a compliment on originality, not a sign of mere imitation, to say there was a heavy Miles Davis vibe in the air when Terence Blanchard and his E-Collective group hit the snug-sized stage of the Ardmore Music Hall. Like fellow trumpeter Davis, Blanchard refuses to sit still and doesn't hesitate to forthrightly speak his mind. Taking a cue also ...