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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Hedrich: New Hope

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In a blindfold test, one would be hard-pressed to name the leader on the album New Hope. According to the jacket, young German-born trombonist Peter Hedrich leads the way but while he does solo on eight of eleven numbers he's basically one of the group, laying claim to no more blowing space than his colleagues, especially saxophonist Tim Sammel and pianist Felix Hauptmann. The album is a tribute to the American-born trombonist Jiggs Whigham who has spent many years in ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018

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The Magpie Salute Grand Point North Festival Waterfront Park, Burlington VT September 16, 2018 The Grand Point North festival sound system didn't quite do justice to the multi-textured sound the Magpie Salute proffered late in the afternoon of Sunday September 16th, but that didn't undermine the verve, purpose and confidence the sextet displayed during the course of their comparatively abbreviated set on the shores of Lake Champlain. This six-man ensemble, comprised of three former Black ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

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Guitarist/composer Nobuki Takamen is active on the New York scene, but has returned to his native Japan for an annual tour for many years. His previous album Live In Japan (Self Produced, 2016) documented live performances of his trio with bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi and drummer Naoki Aikawa, long-time musical collaborators for more than a decade. The process was reversed for this album: first the trio went on tour, playing almost every night for over a month, then they ...

RADIO

Jazz in Exile, Part One

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South Africa's Jazz enters a period of exile following the Sharpeville Massacre. Artists like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and many more leave the country in order to be able to continue performing their music. Playlist Miriam Makeba “Pata Pata" from Mama Africa: The Very Best of Miriam Makeba (Manteca) 2:24 Miriam Makeba “Ndodemnyama Verwoerd" from Africa (BMG) 5:19 Gwigwi Mrwebi “Nyusamkhaya" from Kwela (Honest Jons) 10:09 Hugh Masekela “U, Dwi" from Grrr (Verve Music) 13:28 Hugh Masekela ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kaveh Rastegar: Light Of Love

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Kaveh Rastegar's name might not register with many people, but a significant number of music fans from different camps have likely heard his low-end thrumming on bass and experienced the power of his work. The anchoring element for artists as dissimilar as John Legend and Beck, the creative weight ballasting the music of the pioneering post-fusion collective Kneebody, and a songwriter with serious credibility and a résumé that includes collaborations with everybody from Bruno Mars to Meshell Ndegeocello to Cee ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

New York Standards Quartet: Heaven Steps To Seven

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The three constant principals in this remarkable quartet are joined for this album by NY-resident Ugonna Okegwo on double bass. The quartet has been in existence for over a decade now and their first album was recorded in 2007 and released in 2008. The punningly titled Heaven Steps To Seven is the quartet's seventh album to date and the follow-up to Sleight Of Hand (Whirlwind, 2017). Half way through Charlie Parker's “Cheryl" the piece is transformed, almost magically, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Simon: In The Blue Light

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To this very day, as he readies the last shows of his Homeward Bound tour, Paul Simon's new is as new as his old once was. When your most maligned works, 1980's One Trick Pony (Warner Brothers), 84's dark epic Heart and Bones (Warner Brothers), and 97's errant Songs From The Capeman (Warner Brothers, 1997) yields such lasting beauty as “Late in The Evening," “Hearts and Bones," “The Late, Great Johnny Ace," “The Vampires," and “Adious Hermanos," a severe re-assessment ...

IN PICTURES

Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz)

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Tucked away near the southern tip of Sardinia about an hour's drive southwest of the island's capital city of Cagliari is the small community of Sant' Anna Arresi, where for the last 33 years, the festival Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz) has presented a striking array of artists performing creative improvised music. This year's fest extended over a nine-day period and featured musicians from Germany, Italy, France, Austria, England, the USA, and ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4

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Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The Los Angeles Jazz Institute (LAJI), under Ken Poston, has continued for some thirty years to keep alive and celebrate jazz and its rich legacy, largely, but not exclusively, focused on West Coast Jazz, curating a large archive of recorded ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Josh Rager: Dreams And Other Stories

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Montreal's Juno Award-nominated pianist, Josh Rager, has assembled an all star quintet for his fourth album as a leader, Dreams And Other Stories. Sandwiching five of his own superb compositions between the disc's opener, the Rodgers and Hart jewel “Spring is Here," and the wrap-up, Olivier Messiaen's “O Sacrum Convivium," he creates a cohesive and vivacious jazz statement, in the mode of those Herbie Hancock albums from the mid to late 1960s. The Rodgers and Hart opener explores ...