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YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May

The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones. Yazz Ahmed Polyhymnia Ropeadope The eagerly awaited follow-up to 2017's La Saboteuse (Naim) from the trumpeter, composer and “high priestess of psychedelic Arabic jazz." Conceptually more ambitious than its predecessor--it ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon at Cologne Philharmonie

Read "Jason Moran and the Bandwagon at Cologne Philharmonie" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon Cologne Philharmonie Cologne, Germany November 22, 2019 As the sprawling local Christmas markets prepared for a holiday tourist onslaught, Jason Moran and the Bandwagon presented masterful skills transcending any singular celebration. The concert was part of the trio's celebratory 20-year anniversary tour and there was indeed much to cheer. Moran made a few humorously accurate observations about the musicians gaining both instinctual familiarity and unpredictable quirks that were apparent ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Roberta Piket: Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz

Read "Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Roberta Piket was subbing in trombonist Joey Sellers' band in 1998 when she first met drummer Billy Mintz. In an All About Jazz interview, in 2011 with Victor Schermer, Piket said of that first encounter: “I noticed Billy, because the room was very dark, and yet he was wearing sunglasses; he seemed very strange. But I got to know him a bit..." Then one thing led to another, a musical collaboration was born and they got married. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ghost Rhythms: Live at Yoshiwara

Read "Live at Yoshiwara" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

French ensemble Ghost Rhythms present their first live album, recorded in front of a small audience in their rehearsal space. While there is no real venue named Yoshiwara, there is an infamous Yoshiwara district in Japan, which in turn lent its name to the depraved red-light district and club in Metropolis, Fritz Lang's 1927 silent sci-fi movie. So this performance is set in an imaginary place, evoking a dreamlike atmosphere (which is further extended in the individual credits for the ...

FILM REVIEWS

Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?

Read "Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

Clarence Clemons Who Do I Think I Am? MVD/Virgil Films 2019 Everyone probably has their favourite Clarence Clemons saxophone solo. Take that fiery blast at the close of Bruce Springsteen's “Thunder Road," for example, where Clemons blows a divine howl like some avenging angel. Clemons's life is documented in this film by director Nick Mead, who neatly uses black and white footage to highlight the musician's striking demeanour. Despite various hip and knee replacements ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scheen Jazzorkester & Thomas Johansson: As We See It...

Read "As We See It..." reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Given the breadth of the Clean Feed label's extensive Scandinavian improvisation and free jazz discography, this large-scale orchestra, featuring venerable trumpeter Thomas Johansson, is not strictly framed on avant-garde persuasions. In fact, the predominate x-factor that deals the KO punch is how hummable melodic hooks alluringly coexist with emotive soloing without an endless range of cacophonic dialogue, which is an element that, at times, can pose severe listening fatigue for the willing listener. With forceful melodies and a ...

RADIO

Oscar Hernandez, Louis Armstrong, Ron Carter and More

Read "Oscar Hernandez, Louis Armstrong, Ron Carter and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

Kicking off the 623rd Episode of Neon Jazz is a towering figure in the world of Latin Jazz, Mr. Oscar Hernández who teamed up with Alma LIbre with a cut off his latest album Love the Moment. From there, we hear from some of the biggest names in jazz, from Dave Miller and his trio to Spirit Fingers, we have some fresh sounds on this hour of music. We also profile the new works of Laurence Hobgood, Joshua Jern and ...


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