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Ojai Music Festival 2019

Read "Ojai Music Festival 2019" reviewed by Josef Woodard

Ojai Music FestivalLibbey Bowl, and other venues Ojai, California June 6-9, 2019 In the storied and still-evolving story of the Ojai Music Festival, one of America's most important contemporary music-minded festivals, the roots system run deep into mid-century Modernism and late 20th century post-Modernist impulses and up to the current, pluralistic musical minute. The idyllic hideaway town of Ojai--an hour and a world away from Los Angeles--drew Krishnamurti here as a pilgrimage site-maker and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Richmond at The Turning Point Cafe

Read "John Richmond at The Turning Point Cafe" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

John Richmond The Turning Point Cafe Annual Gemini Birthday Bash Piermont, NY June 10, 2019 The night began with a question of the identity of an alto saxophonist on a Miles Davis recording that was playing on The Turning Point Café's sound system. John Richmond, tenor saxophonist and the Monday Jazz Sessions curator, put pre-set preparation on hold, grabbed his cell phone and found a wifi hotspot in the semi-basement space to search for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Getz: Getz At The Gate

Read "Getz At The Gate" reviewed by Chris May

Connoisseurs of Stan Getz continue to get lucky with newly discovered live recordings. The last was Moments In Time (Resonance, 2016), a single CD documenting parts of a week-long residency with a quartet including pianist JoAnne Brackeen in San Francisco in 1976. Getz At The Gate, recorded fifteen years earlier, is another substantial addition to Getz's catalogue. Over two CDs, or three LPs if you prefer, it includes all 139 minutes which Getz's band performed at New York's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yoko Miwa Trio: Keep Talkin'

Read "Keep Talkin'" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Yoko Miwa was born in Japan, but she has set up shop in Boston, where she teaches at Berklee College of Music. She has also—beginning in 2003 with Fadeless Flower (Polystar Records)—previously released seven CDs. The superb Keep Talkin' brings that number of recorded offerings from Miwa to eight. The music of Keep Talkin' says that Miwa has fully embraced an American state of mind, beginning with the title tune, a Miwa original that sounds like something ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Hempton: Night Owl

Read "Night Owl" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If jazz belongs to a single breed of believers, it would have to go to the night owls. Those loyalists who live a nocturnal existence—the listeners. sitting at the bar while they drink in their surroundings, and the performers, playing into the wee small hours in basement hideaways—are the heartbeat of this music, and saxophonist Nick Hempton knows it. Having spent many an evening in clubs and corner bars, Hempton is more than qualified to raise his ...

RADIO

Anti-Rubber Brain Factory & Sameer Gupta

Read "Anti-Rubber Brain Factory & Sameer Gupta" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This episode features two extremely original albums from France, and they couldn't be more different. Guitarist Marc Ducret tackles Shakespeare on his Lady M. He's not the first to look to the Bard of Avon for inspiration (Duke Ellington and Cleo Laine come to mind immediately), but he may be the first one to frame one of Lady MacBeth's soliloquy's with such hard-nosed guitar. The other recording is from the eclectic, always “what's next?," Anti-Rubber Brain Factory led by bassist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Brandon Goldberg: Let's Play

Read "Let's Play" reviewed by Don Phipps

Can a 12-year old pianist offer up the emotional depth necessary to handle tunes like Duke Ellington's “In a Sentimental Mood," Matt Dennis's “Angel Eyes," or Thelonious Monk's “Well You Needn't?" The answer appears to be yes, and then some. Brandon Goldberg's exciting album, Let's Play, reveals that a young man can not only convey emotional context within his playing, but demonstrates his ability to create new and innovative arrangements of standards (and non-standards like the Lennon-McCartney “Blackbird") and embellish ...

IN PICTURES
FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines

Read "Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Randy Brecker & NDR Bigband Rocks Piloo Records & Productions LLC 2019 The easiest answer isn't always the best answer, but sometimes it is. So it's both easy and proper to point out that trumpet and flugelhorn master, composer, and bandleader Randy Brecker was kind enough to simultaneously review his release with the NDR Bigband, the Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra, when he titled it Rocks. Assembled for the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Jamie Saft Quartet: Hidden Corners

Read "Hidden Corners" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Saxophonist John Coltrane's spiritual side came to prominence with 1965's A Love Supreme (Impulse! Records), and that's how he rolled—with ever- increasing fervor—until the end, soaring out of the solar system with Stellar Regions (Impulse, 1967), and extending his reach deep into the galaxy with Interstellar Space (Impulse, 1967) in his search for his version of God. And now, pianist/keyboardist Jamie Saft—inspired by Jewish mysticism—gets his spiritual groove on with Hidden Corners.Bolstering a growing and superb Rare Noise ...

IN PICTURES

Houston Person with the John Toomey Trio at Old Dominion University

Read "Houston Person with the John Toomey Trio at Old  Dominion University" reviewed by Mark Robbins

Dizzy Gillespie said of Houston Person, “He's one of the best... He's got bull chops!" Those “bull chops" got quite a workout when Person visited Old Dominion University as the guest performer of the F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series. The tenor saxophonist arrived early in the week to preside over a series of master classes as well as rehearsing and performing with the Old Dominion Jazz Choir and Jazz Orchestra. To cap off his week Person performed with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Toft-Olsen: Special

Read "Special" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Danish jazz singer and crooner, Hans Toft-Olsen, broke through with his second album, Four (Aarhusart, 2018), after releasing his debut with the pop-oriented, Kinky Beat (Aarhusart, 2017). While Toft-Olsen found his voice as a jazz singer on the second album, the debut still contains a fair number of gems. One of them, “Special," is now the title track of his third album. The tune is an original composition by Toft-Olsen with lyrics by Mark Davies. They collaborated ...