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Articles | Featured | Future

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

3x3: Piano Trios, vol. III

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More evidence that three is truly a magic number, as explorations in this format remain as expansive and inventive as ever... Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ the Village Vanguard Palmetto Records 2018 Fine artists can aspire to appear in the Louvre someday. Comics might hope for a Las Vegas residency or a hosting spot on Saturday Night Live. The similar goal for quirky chefs might be a couple minutes of reality-show fame and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frank Kimbrough: Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk

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There were scores of tributes the legendary pianist and composer Thelonious Monk in 2017, the centennial of his birth. But only guitarist Miles Okazaki's six- volume solo guitar album Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk (Self Produced, 2018) gave a clear presentation of all seventy of Monk's compositions. Pianist Frank Kimbrough's similarly comprehensive set is riskier in some ways, as the grouping of jazz quartet with a horn as the lead instrument (usually saxophone) is the one that Monk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish: Pardes

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Amos Hoffman and Noam Lemish are among a wave of jazz musicians that has emerged from Israel in the last ten years. The success of bassist Avishai Cohen and his sister, clarinetist Anat Cohen and guitarist Gilad Heckselman has caught the attention of jazz fans around the world. Hoffman, now a resident of Columbia, South Carolina and Lemish, who hails from Toronto, Canada, have joined forces to not only display their considerable talents, but to run the music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ivo Perelman: Strings 1

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Try to keep up sports fans, Ivo Perelman has switched directions once again. It's not that he has quit music to become a soccer star. The tenor saxophonist has more recently taken a dive into string quartets, recording a dozen or so sessions with bowing, plucking, and pizzicato-minded musicians. Strings 1 is the introduction. If this recording is a preview of the things to come, get ready for an explosion of creativity. Just when you might have thought ...

RADIO

Lionel Loueke Group Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Lionel Loueke has gone a long way, from playing to cassette tapes in his native Cotonou, Benin, to performing for president Obama at the White House. He is part of the bands of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and collaborates with the greatest talents of his generation, including Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper. Personnel: Lionel Loueke guitar, Massimo Biolcati bass, Ferenc Nemeth drums. Playlist Introduction Bimhuis Radio (00:00) Live Concert @ Bimhuis: Lionel ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Sewelson: Music for a Free World

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This is baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson's (William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, Microscopic Septet) first recording as a leader since the 1979 release, Synchro-incity for the TFYM record label. Indeed, that's a long stretch, but Sewelson seems to be busy collaborating with others, and is a veteran of New York City's bleeding-edge downtown scene. On this album, his unorthodox phrasing, extended techniques and reverse-engineering processes standout as a major source of interest, while leading this all-star quartet that features ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290

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Joe Gransden's Big Band Cafe 290Atlanta, GA December 3, 2018 At a private evening in Atlanta, Kenny Banks played a 1912 Steinway B piano and Joe Gransden played his grandfather's trumpet and a fluegelhorn he has owned since childhood. In between Christmas tunes there was an interesting and enlightening question and answer discussion. Both musicians are highly educated, they play continuously and both have played the White House. Gransden was there just the previous week. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

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It's a pretty sure bet that appraising any album whose title is also a palindrome isn't going to be a stroll in the park, even more so when the orchestra in question is the Jazz Composers Alliance (rule of thumb: the longer the name, the more abstruse the music) and the instrumentation includes voice, marimba, EWI, sopranino sax and five-string violin. Such is the nature of Rats Live on No Evil Star (try reading it backward), the most recent recording ...