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Articles | Featured | Future

LIVE REVIEWS

JAZZTOPAD 2018

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Jazztopad Festival Witold Lutoslawski National Forum of Music National Forum of Music, Club Mleczarnia November 21-25, 2018 Jazztopad is the annual Jazz Festival of Poland's Witold Lutoslawski National Forum of Music in Wroclaw. Wroclaw, a vibrant, hip, internationally oriented city that never sleeps, has character, lots of peculiar neighborhoods, populated by many young people from all over the world. Fall is called listopad in Polish and so Jazztopad is fall's jazz, a festival with striking ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eli Wallace: Barriers

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Eli Wallace is best known as the keyboard half of the piano/drum improvising duo Dialectical Imagination with Rob Pumpelly. Listeners familiar with Wallace's work in that setting and with the trio Cataclysmic Commentary, with tenor saxophonist Ben Cohen and Dave Miller on drums, know that Wallace is not averse to swimming against the current. The California native, now residing in Brooklyn, works across genres of improvisation, modern jazz, rock and classical music. He holds Bachelor's and Master's of Music, from ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Grammys' Failure To Recognize 2018's Greatest Rock Records

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If an average music fan was asked to judge the quality of rock music in 2018 based only on the Grammys, they would conclude that rock must not be producing quality records although nothing could be further from the truth. On February 10, 2019, the Grammys awarded From The Fires the coveted title of best rock album, honoring Led Zeppelin rip-offs Greta Van Fleet over Alice In Chains' Rainer Fog, Fall Out Boy's Mania, Ghost's Prequelle and Weezer's Pacific Daydream. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

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For his Moonjune Records debut, Stephan Thelen, USA-born/Swiss guitarist and primary composer for the post-minimalist/post-progressive band Sonar, challenges some of the foundational premises of a group that has, over almost the last decade, garnered increasing critical and popular acclaim. As informed by Robert Fripp and the guitarist's work with (and beyond) King Crimson as it is the Zen Funk of Nik Bärtsch's Ronin and the similarly minimalist-informed Don Li, it's unlikely that Sonar's polyrhythmic, groove-heavy, tritone-based music will ever put ...

LIVE REVIEWS

America At The Paramount

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America The Paramount The 50th Anniversary Tour Huntington, NY February 8, 2019 America was formed in Britain in 1970 when, shortly after graduating high school, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley (each the son of U.S. Air Force personnel in London) began to play together. A recording contract soon followed. The band achieved almost instant popularity and produced a folk-rock sound that received significant airplay on many rock radio stations. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Rempis / Brandon Lopez / Ryan Packard: The Early Bird Gets

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The trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, bassist Brandon Lopez, and drummer Ryan Packard have released their debut recording The Early Bird Gets without devising a name for the trio. Packard, like his fellow Chicagoan Tim Daisy, is a percussionist, composer, and sound artist. He is a member of Rempis' Chicago-based Gunwale, along with Albert Wildeman. With the addition of Lopez, one of the brightest stars in New York's free jazz today (John Dikeman, Ivo Perelman, Nate Wooley, Gerald Cleaver), the ...

RADIO

Funk in a Deep Freeze

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For the Sunday of the Women's March we played new releases by pianist Judy Night, flutist Magela Herrara, Judy Bisantz, Bob Levy and saxophonist Carol Sudhalter with birthday shout outs to Eartha Kitt, Irene Kral, Jose James, Cheryl Bentyne, Peter Eldridge, Sade, and Dolly Parton, among others. Playlist Pam Fleming “Keep It Movin" from Buds (Infinite Room Rpm) 00:00 Rene Marie “A Tiny Seed" from Ice on the Hudson (SMK Jazz) 05:19 Karrin Allyson “Big Discount" from Some ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee: The Newest Sound You Never Heard

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Pianist Ran Blake has developed a reputation over the years for recording duets with vocalists, including in recent times, Sara Serpa, Dominique Eade and Christine Correa. That began back in 1961 when he released The Newest Sound Around (RCA), a remarkable set of duets with singer Jeanne Lee. The duo toured together occasionally in subsequent years but never released another recording until You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Owl) in 1989. Now here comes a new and very welcome discovery, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucinda Belle: Think Big: Like Me

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Jazz vocalist and harpist Lucinda Belle has an infectious enthusiasm and personality. Her newest single, “Baby Don't Cry" is a determined appeal to stay strong through tough times while looking forward to better times ahead. The soul-inspired groove keeps the song moving while her lyrics acknowledge hardship while putting things in perspective. “Baby Don't Cry" is a far cry from Belle's last single, “I'll Be Loving You," from late last year. While the latter was awash in reverb ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Festival 2019

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Brussels Jazz Festival Flagey Brussels, Belgium January 10-19, 2019 The Brussels Jazz Festival is a relative newcomer, but this ambitious 10-dayer managed to sell out around two thirds of its gigs, and was overall the most successful in attendance for this fifth edition. Concerts are held in the two main studios of Flagey, a 1930s Art Deco radio broadcasting complex in the Ixelles area, just south of the city centre. It was ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Blue Note's Tone Poet Series

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With CD-quality streaming a reality for those with butch internet and money to burn, and vanilla streaming the reality for almost everyone else, digital music has never seemed less collectable. Why clutter your Marie Kondo-approved home with jewel boxes when much (though heaven knows not all) of the digital catalogue is available on tap? While compact disc sales crater, however, vinyl rises phoenix-like (a poetic image--please do not expose your records to excessive heat). If you're going to buy a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joachim Kuhn: Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII

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Reportedly, Ornette Coleman did not have a great affinity for pianists, but it was the instrument--rather than the musicians--that put Coleman off. As an innovator in free jazz, Coleman found the chordal instrument too intrusive and preferred a more sympathetic bass/soloist interaction. Coleman did record with pianists Geri Allen and Paul Bley, but he established a regular touring schedule of duo performances with Joachim Kühn. Coleman and Kühn only recorded together on Colors: Live from Leipzig (Verve, 1997). That outing ...