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Articles | Popular | Future

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2019, Part 1-2

Read "Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2019, Part 1-2" reviewed by Mike Chamberlain

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada May 16-19, 2019 There was a lot of positive buzz leading up to the 35th edition of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. On paper, the schedule looked very strong. Looking back over past editions of the venerable festival, one can see a general movement from the early editions, which featured mostly Quebec artists, through the 1990s, with its larger focus on free jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Janeway: Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances

Read "Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Sail twenty miles up the Hudson River from New York City and you find Hastings-On-The-Hudson, a vibrant artists' colony situated on the river's shore. Among the town's artists you'll find jazz pianist David Janeway, a New York City transplant via Detroit, Michigan. The Hastings Jazz Collective is Janeway's brainchild. He presents the all-star group's debut with Shadow Dances. Though he claims the title “musical director" of this contemporary mainstream jazz quintet, he also stresses the “leaderless aspect" of the group's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Justin Varnes Orchestra's Rhapsody In Blue At The Jazz Corner

Read "The Justin Varnes Orchestra's Rhapsody In Blue At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

The Justin Varnes Orchestra The Jazz Corner Rhapsody in Blue Hilton Head Island, SC May 12, 2019For Mother's Day luncheon, The Jazz Corner presented another in their “Classical meets Jazz" series of concerts, “Rhapsody in Blue."The opening clarinet trill, a scale, then the slowly extruded glissando had the edgy, haunting quality of an emergency siren winding up to announce the theme. The opening measures of “Rhapsody in Blue" may be ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Judy Wexler: Crowded Heart

Read "Crowded Heart" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

"Tribute," “re-imagined," “remembered," “Great American Songbook." You won't see or hear those words anywhere on Crowded Heart, Judy Wexler's fifth and best effort to date. What you will hear are 10 sublime cuts from some of the finest composers and lyricists in the game. Here Wexler revels in songs where romance and all of its kaleidoscopic intersections are the order of the day. “Circus Life," the opener, is a samba with Wexler spinning the tale of life's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet: That's a Computer

Read "That's a Computer" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Lucas Pino is a New York-based tenor saxophonist who leads the No Net Nonet, a band that fits snugly into the jazz tradition but displays its own style of creativity. Despite what this CD's title suggests, this group's music is full of emotion and warmth. That is evident from the outset with “Antiquity," written by alto saxophonist Alex LoRe; this is a floating melody that meshes undulating lines of tenor, piano and guitar together within a cocoon of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Patrick Ames: All I Do Is Bleed

Read "All I Do Is Bleed" reviewed by Paul Naser

Lyric writing is an oft under-appreciated element in contemporary music. Guitarist/songwriter Patrick Ames puts lyrics front and center in his rootsy tunes. Somewhere between Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground and Robert Johnson (without the slide), Ames' stripped down recordings are direct a transmission of his feelings, aided by gritty, loose arrangements that give the feel of a living room jam session; safe to say there were few overdub sessions involved. With his latest EP, Ames conjures feelings of ...

RADIO

Jazz on Central Avenue - Bebop in Los Angeles

Read "Jazz on Central Avenue - Bebop in Los Angeles" reviewed by Russell Perry

Most of the pioneering bebop musicians we have featured in the past several programs were based in New York—Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson, Max Roach. While New York may have dominated the modern music scene, it wasn't the only scene. The wartime economy in southern California brought an influx of African-American workers, not dissimilar to Chicago in the 1920s, and with them musicians, nightclubs and dance halls. “Bebop was born in Harlem ...

IN PICTURES
RADIO

Björk: Jazz Muse & Hyperballadeer

Read "Björk: Jazz Muse & Hyperballadeer" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

If jazz is, as someone put it, the sound of surprise, then it makes complete sense that countless musicians have become enamored with the music of Björk. Like the most innovative jazz musicians, Bjork is a restless artist who tries to continuously reinvent herself, often blending familiar sources in completely unprecedented ways, and deliberately challenging the status quo. In these two hours we'll check out some of the most intriguing jazz renditions of her work. Happy listening! ...

INTERVIEWS

Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings

Read "Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Clarinet, harmonica and saxophonist, composer and bandleader and musical globetrotter Dexter Payne is the type of musician who is most often categorized as “difficult to categorize." Profoundly influenced by physical and spiritual journeys through the cultures of America, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil, Payne's recorded output checks off every box from Mississippi delta blues to Brazilian choro to Hindu chant. “From a young age, I have been drawn to music that speaks real culture, beginning with the rich musical ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Raphael Malfliet Large Ensemble: LE10 18-05

Read "LE10 18-05" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his debut album, Noumenon (Ruweh Records, 2016), Belgian-born bassist Raphael Malfliet incorporated his influences of modern classical, avant-garde, and improvised music, without deference to any particular genre. In that trio setting, Malfliet mixed textures and loose, fluctuating melodies that played as a surprisingly full sound and served to emphasize the opposing uses of silence. The composer/bassist expands to a large ensemble on LE10 18-05, sometimes employing the instruments' natural voices, but often imposing extended techniques in abstract settings.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Denny Zeitlin: Remembering Miles

Read "Remembering Miles" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Denny Zeitlin, pushing hard ahead in an extraordinary recording career that began in 1963 with a sideman job on Jeremy Steig's Flute Fever (Columbia Records), has settled artistically, fifty years on, into a pair welcoming homes: Sunnyside Records, for whom he has recorded ten superb albums, beginning with 2009's In Concert Featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson, and Oakland, California's Piedmont Piano Company, where he has taken up residence in recent years to present solo piano recitals focusing on ...