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Articles | Featured | Future

HI-RES JAZZ

TRPTK: Breaking Genre Walls

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Visitors to the website of TRPTK, an independent music label based in the Netherlands, will find a small but growing number of hi-res recordings in a wide range of musical genres. TRPTK's catalog includes Prokofiev's rarely-performed opera “The Fiery Angel" in an arrangement for cello and piano; new classical music for a violin ensemble; Persian traditional music; classical cello recitals; solo guitar music; new progressive rock, solo ambient piano, solo accordion, French chansons, American songs, Portuguese songs, and cross-cultural contemporary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Susanna Risberg: Vilddjur

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If the proverbial ten thousand hours of practise does lead to mastery of one's craft, then it's a safe bet that twenty-six-year-old Swedish guitarist Susanna Risberg has long since passed that milestone since taking up the guitar aged ten. Nor is it just her virtuosity that compels on Vilddjur, her third album as leader, but her emotional shading and the compositional sophistication at play too. These nine refined yet visceral tunes also suggest that Risberg's musical vision is broader than ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Friedrich Kunzmann's 2018 Top 5: A fine year for the ECM catalogue

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When looking back at the year one won't find more peace or joy than on the musical side of things. For in this realm there are nor real losers. Here, disappointment is relative and success is all over the place because everyone is trying to be their best possible selves, constantly on a path of self-improvement and reflection. A collective inwardness mirrors the individual looking outward; musicians listening to one another, understanding one another and building upon the constant exchange ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vasil Hadzimanov Band: Lines in Sand

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Among work with half a dozen musical ensembles and a line in TV/film scoring, one has to wonder when Vasil Hadzimanov has time to sleep, let alone lead his own group. Nonetheless he's managed seven albums with this wildly ambitious electric fusion outfit as well. If the title and cover of Lines in Sand suggest something contemplative or new-agey with a nature theme... perish the thought. This high-energy crew is too busy throwing more things into their loud multicultural melting ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot

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Bessie-Empress of the Blues Tribute The Cabot Beverly, MA December 4, 2018 In a wonderful coincidence of timing, The Cabot, in Beverly, Ma. celebrated and honored the great and legendary blues vocalist icon, The Empress of the Blues--Bessie Smith -at the very same time the beautiful newly renovated 1920's theater venue is turning 100 years old with this fund-raising kick-off event. Smith was performing in the 1920's, establishing a singing career ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eraldo Bernocchi: Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It

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Italian multi-instrumentalist and composer Eraldo Bernocchi created this music as the soundtrack to a documentary film on the American visual artist Cy Twombly entitled Cy Dear. Bernocchi was given complete freedom, and quickly found that his ideas naturally reflected those of the film's creators. More than that, he found himself becoming part of the story, bringing his own memories. The album title is taken from the Twombly painting reproduced on the cover, but the track titles refer to words and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Acute Inflections: The Brave

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There has been a rise in the popularity of performing and recording duos in jazz in the late 2010s. One of the most sought-after partnerships in NYC for high-end parties is that of bassist Sadiki Pierre and vocalist Elasea Douglas. Though Pierre and Douglas' backgrounds are quite diverse, a connective tissue is a love of improvisation. Pierre comes from a classical and jazz background. At a young age his parents recognized his propensity for music. Though in sixth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ivo Perelman: Strings 1

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Strings 1 and Strings 2 are concurrent releases--the first of seven themed albums--that also could have been subtitled “The Art of Improvisation," hearkening back to tenor sax titan Ivo Perelman's 6-volume 2016 releases, featuring longtime collaborator, cellist Mat Maneri and others. Hence, the cellist appears on both of these new Chamber-like groupings as Strings 2 also features luminaries, cellist Hank Roberts and his first on-disc encounter with reedman Ned Rothenberg. Here, world-class violinists Mark Feldman and Jason Hwang ...

INTERVIEWS

Michael League: Snarky Puppy's Jazz-Schooled, Grassroots Visionary

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Bassist, composer, bandleader, sideman, producer, record label owner, festival head... These are some of the many hats Michael League has acquired since embarking on his musical odyssey at the University of North Texas with a “little" band named Snarky Puppy in 2003. With its Jazz-but-not-Jazz / Music for Brain and Booty ethos, multiple poll wins, Grammy awards, and a worldwide fan base that's still growing, Snarky Puppy is looked upon by many as more of a phenomenon than ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars

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Tyshawn Sorey's musical career has been steadily moving away from jazz and toward new music in several forms. Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings, 2017) is dominated by a series of textural motions that create a dark mood. That album followed another Pi release, The Inner Spectrum of Variables (2016); an album that featured classical composition and improvisation. Sorey's new album, Pillars, is yet another departure for the composer/multi-instrumentalist; a three-disc set that is beyond categorization. Stephen Haynes, Joe Morris and ...