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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Àine O'Dwyer: Gegenschein

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By anyone's standards, Àine O'Dwyer is a hyper-accomplished musician and innovator. As a pre-teen in her native Ireland she had already taken on the piano, harp, fiddle and flute. Eventually focusing her attention on the harp and piano, she developed an unquenchable inquisitiveness about the pipe organ--not the most accessible of instruments. In acts of quiet defiance, she began dropping in--unannounced--at St. Mark's Church in London to practice on their organ. The result of her personal recordings is the cult ...

MIXCLOUD

Audioguide: Norway in a Nutshell

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Every year around 30 jazz promoters and journalists from Europe and the USA make a pilgrimage to the city of Bergen in the west of Norway to experience Nutshell. Established by the various organisations who export Norwegian music, Nutshell showcases the best Norwegian jazz of the moment amidst the incredible scenery of fjords and mountains that the country is famous for. The showcase programme was curated by drummer Gard Nilssen and dovetails with Bergen's longstanding Nattjazz Festival, offering a taste ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kristina Koller: Perception

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Kristina Koller is a 23-year-old vocalist who shows a knack for mixing things up on her debut album. Her song list contains venerable standards along with original material and songs by fairly recent rock acts like Blink-182 and Bon Iver, while her arrangements of the material encompasses everything from mainstream acoustic jazz to hip-hop and funk. As a result you get versions of “I'll Remember April" and “Blame It On My Youth" that sport elegant acoustic piano underlined ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DeiCont: DeiCont | Philips Collective

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Mike DeiCont and Allison Philips are the kind of players who don't want to just give you something unusual to listen to, but hopefully take you on a trip as well. It's unclear exactly where--probably to them as well as you--since the results are in territory so abstract it's off the map. Sometimes it's not even about where they're going so much as the games they can play and noise they can make in getting there. The duo's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jambalaya 37: Cooking Groove

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Cooking an amazing meal is a little bit like making music with a band. You have to know what ingredients harmonize well together, and you have to understand what it takes to add just the right spice to come up with a truly mouthwatering end result. It's about the magic of chemistry, how various pieces develop into a sizzling whole. Jambalaya 37 is a fantastic ensemble whose music combines the depth of acid jazz, but it also incorporates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: Heaven & Earth

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Taking inspiration from his 2017 release Harmony Of Difference, Kamasi Washington has once again employed the use of strings and choir on this gargantuan release. The sonic augmentation has the effect of rendering many of the tracks like a cross between John Coltrane and Carl Orff or perhaps Sun Ra and Sir Karl Jenkins. Granted there's been a terrific amount of hype surrounding Heaven And Earth but there is justification for this inasmuch as the whole work delivers ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Athens Aqua Jazz Festival 2018

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Athens Aqua Jazz Festival Athens, Greece July 9-12 2018 Jazz, like many other things, lives a precarious life in post-crisis Greece. Despite a widespread talent, as demonstrated by the numerous jazz musicians from Greece who live and record abroad and overseas, the jazz scene in Greece is fragmented and much dependent on local conditions: the major jazz teaching program is in the island of Corfu, and international jazz events happen in the summer not ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Hot Sugar at Jazz Cafe Montparnasse

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Hot Sugar Jazz Cafe, Montparnase Paris July 11, 2018 Montparsnasse is an area of Paris' 14th arrondissement, once famous for thinkers and artists who lingered over a coffee and talked into the night on the terraces of the famous Dome and Cupole cafes. There was some hard-driving swing jazz at the Jazz Cafe de Montparnasse in competition with a World Cup football match between France and rivals Belgium which filled the streets ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

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BANG! The Bert Berns Story Abramorama 2018 BANG! The Bert Berns Story compares favorably to The Terry Kath Experience (FilmRise, 2017), not just in the elevated quality of its conception and execution, but in its authorship by an offspring of the subject. Just as the Chicago guitarist's daughter, Michelle Sinclair, helmed the documentary she produced and directed in homage to her late father, this feature is the result of exhaustive research and collation by the late ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eddie Daniels: Heart Of Brazil

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When Resonance Records' George Klabin pitched Eddie Daniels on this project saluting Egberto Gismonti, the legendary reedist was enthused yet somewhat trepidatious. Gismonti's music--a sui generis form of fantasia that proves evocative in its blending of Brazilian forms, a jazz harmonist's argot, and European classical languages--is no easy nut to crack or translate. But Daniels, of course, is no slouch. A doyen of the clarinet and an expert at navigating tricky divides like the potentially deadly jazz-classical fault line, he ...