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Articles | Featured | Future

SOCAL JAZZ

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call

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Peter Erskine is affable, engaging, and humorous. He, of course, is also one of the finest drummers of his generation. He has left his mark on the jazz and fusion world for nearly fifty years now. An icon, whose name is mentioned with the greats of all time, Erskine continues to gift us as he forges ahead by crafting new music, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring young musicians, and continuing to reinvent himself again and again with a ...

RADIO

February Birthdays and Snooky @100

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It's the monthly jazz birthdays edition of Gift and Messages, direct from our turntables and CD players in mid-city Baton Rouge to you! We salute the late trumpeter Snooky Young on his 100th birthday with one of the rare recordings under his own name, the out-of-print Horn of Plenty. Great listening, along with tenor birthday madness and a very deep dive into the vault. Enjoy the show! Playlist Kamasi Washington “Isabelle" from The Epic (Brainfeeder) 00:00 Joshua ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Macuco Quintet: Friendly Signs

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The Macuco Quartet's joyful and exuberant Friendly Signs suggests a Brazilian seaside or urban landscape where daylight tropical breezes and palm trees sway over a harbor and waves lap gently along a shore lively with music and dancing. Joel Springer, the composer of all but one of the album's 11 tunes, keeps things on a playful boppish footing for the most part, and the group, composed of saxophonists Allan Chase, Rick Stone, and Springer himself, plus Fernando Huergo ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra: The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes

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Maybe the quickest way to sum-up Patchwork Jazz Orchestra's The Adventures Of Mr Pottercakes would be to appropriate the title of The Who's 1971 compilation album, Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy. For that is exactly what it is and quite a bit more besides. From the very start of the opening title track, there's a reminder of that other big band of young British jazz musicians, Loose Tubes. But since so many of today's leading British jazz musicians emerged from ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban & Alex Simu: Free Fall

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Inspired by legendary clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre's small group recordings, Romanians Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Simu (clarinet) recorded these luminous duets at The French Cultural Institute in Bucharest, as they personalize the aura of Giuffre's comingling of chamber and modern jazz with sojourns into experimentalism. It's a gorgeous endeavor, executed with tender harmonic content, reflective passages and heartwarming melodies. From an all-inclusive perspective, the musicians ingrain bluesy phrasings, buoyant mid-tempo jaunts and impassioned choruses, shaded with playful interludes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tibor Prettschnöder: The Largo And The Lame

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By now it is generally accepted that there is such a category as Germanic free improvisation. One separate from the Peter Brötzmann, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Günter Sommer, Peter Kowald, Manfred Schoof, Gerd Dudek, Albert Mangelsdorff, etc, etc. school of free jazz that machine-gunned its way into the European scene of the late 1960s. These new rebels include three musicians heard here: Axel Dörner,  Matthias Lorenz, and Robert Landfermann, plus artists such as Andrea Neumann, Burkhard Beins, Oliver Schwerdt, and Christian ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Torn/Tim Berne/Ches Smith: Sun Of Goldfinger

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Sometimes a recording comes with a “play it loud" recommendation. Let's give one of those to Sun Of Goldfinger, from guitarist David Torn, alto saxophonist Tim Berne and percussionist Ches Smith. Torn, a self-described “texturalist/guitarist," has been associated with ECM Records since the '80s, with Cloud About Mercury (1987)--a disc the label is reissuing in 2019--and Without Warning and Best Laid Plans, both from 1984. Berne and Smith are relative newcomers to ECM, with four CD releases, beginning ...

LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA

Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Sirius Juju and Unspeakable Garbage at Jerry's on Front

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing/Sirius Juju/Unspeakable GarbageJerry's on Frontjny: Philadelphia, PAFebruary 16, 2019 Twenty blocks and a world away from the clubs and bars of Philadelphia's city center, the experimental art space of Jerry's on Front is a room one would hardly imagine for music at all. It's a nondescript one-car-garage-sized space squeezed into a row of shuttered storefronts, looking more suitable for a woodworking space or fly-by-night pawn shop. Dimness makes the bare ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Sound Of Progress: Lioness And Ellen Rowe

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The voices of women who've been marginalized, demeaned, abused, and overlooked will no longer be silenced. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have pulled the curtains back on deplorable actions and practices that have run rampant in all corners of society, the jazz world being no exception. With scandals airing out hidden truths at the Berklee College of Music, individual musicians and educators being held accountable for their inexcusable actions the world over, and brave victims speaking out, the tide is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ashley Wilson: Paint The Sky

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Ashley Wilson's debut recording features the vocalist and songwriter singing eleven original tunes, incorporating a range of genres and mining a lot of her own experiences. “Once In A While" starts the album with a flirty tune about fighting and then making up, set to a rising and chromatically falling theme. Bitter chords amidst the country twang of “Fool" illustrate that unfaithfulness is never easy, and pointed lyrics about being in love for five years hint at a biographical element. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sun Ra: God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be

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Herman Poole Blount, contrary to some urban myths, didn't claim to be born on the planet Saturn but had purportedly been transported there--and back--in his teens. A life shrouded in mystery, it isn't entirely clear when Blount became Sun Ra but it's estimated to be in the early 1940s when he was active on the Chicago jazz scene. Ra was a prodigy, playing piano and composing before he was in his teens. In his lifetime, he released sixty-eight studio albums ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii's Orchestras

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Among pianist and composer Satoko Fujii's many and varied ensembles are the orchestras she leads in various cities. These two releases contrast Fujii's approach to orchestral music with the results of another composer writing for one of her orchestras. Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo Kikoeru Libra 2018 Kikoeru was the final release in Fujii's ambitious 60th birthday CD-a-month program last year. All the music on the disc was composed either by Fujii ...