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LIVE REVIEWS

48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar

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48th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar Various Venues Pittsburgh, PA November 1-3, 2018 The Pitt Jazz Seminar took place the first weekend of Novenmber under the musical direction of Terri Lyne Carrington; Thursday, Friday, and early Saturday were packed with guest lectures while the all-star concert was scheduled for 7:30 on Saturday evening. Sean Jones and Reginald Veal were facilitating a lecture on community outreach in the Hill District, the historic cradle of Pittsburgh jazz, at ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Gary Urwin: Inside the Mind of an Arranger

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The arranger of music scores is as important as a crankshaft in an engine. Yet many are destined to live in the shadows. Ralph Carmichael was subsumed by the luster of Stan Kenton. Arranger Paul Riser, who wrote the opening bars to “Dancing in the Street," is a virtual unknown. And then there is Gary Urwin. Urwin escaped the dilemma of obscurity by, as he says, “modestly giving my name to the orchestra." Fortunately, for him, the Gary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francisco Mela: Ancestros

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One of the many fine musicians coming out of Cuba, Francisco Mela is an accomplished drummer/percussionist and composer. On Ancestros, his debut on the vinyl-only subscription label Newvelle, he has contributed seven original compositions to a collection that includes covers from Andrew Hill and Paul Motian. The album name--and its title track--are appropriated from Mela's prior release Fe (Self-produced, 2016). On two of Mela's previous releases, Melao (Ayva Musica, 2006) and Tree of Life (Half Note, 2011), progressive jazz shares ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Marie Goudy 12tet: The Bitter Suite

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Toronto-based trumpeter / composer Marie Goudy, who could plausibly be described as a child prodigy musically, wasted little time after earning a master's degree in music performance from the University of Toronto in 2017, recording soon afterward The Bitter Suite as leader of a twelve-piece ensemble in which her trumpet, compositions and arrangements underscore the seductive voice of rising star Jocelyn Barth. The album's over-arching them is young love as exemplified by its arrival ("Son for Sunshine"), ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Martin Lesch Band at The Jazz Corner

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Martin Lesch Band The Jazz Corner Journey through Jazz to Rhapsody in Blue Hilton Head Island, SC November 12, 2018 On a rainy Monday night in South Carolina, people faced a difficult choice: whether or not to leave the house to hear Martin Lesch play piano at The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island. The place was packed full. Lesch was joined on the stand by former Navy man and drummer Chris Russell, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Pasin: Ornettiquette

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It's amazing how quickly what was billed as the future of jazz became its past. In 1959 when saxophonist Ornette Coleman released his third album, he wanted to call it Focus On Sanity. Instead, at the insistence of Atlantic producer Nesuhi Ertegun, it was portentously titled The Shape Of Jazz To Come. Other musicians took heed and the free jazz movement was born. Commercially this was a disaster for jazz, with record buyers deserting the music en ...

RADIO

A Conversation with Douye

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Douye is a seasoned singer whose soulful and delicate approach to jazz vocal has captured the interest of many in the last year. Her chart topping album Daddy Said So features top notch jazz musicians including: Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Benito Gonzalez, Essiet Essiet Okon, Curry Rawls, Zem Audu, Joel Scott, Clayton Cameron, Edwin Livingston, Kiyoshi Katakana, Jonathan Blake, John Beasley, Roy McCurdy, John Clayton, Bob Sheppard, Russell Malone, Willie Jones III, Luke Sellick, Rick Germanson, Jeremy Pelt, Aaron Serfaty, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jemeel Moondoc Quartet: The Astral Revelations

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On The Astral Revelations alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc breathes new vitality into the legacy of the loft jazz era where he first made his name. It's a reputation most forcefully burnished in retrospect by the sumptuous box set Muntu Recordings (No Business, 2010), which showcases Moondoc alongside such future luminaries as bassist William Parker and the late trumpeter Roy Campbell. After a hiatus in terms of recording in the early noughties, he's become active once again, resulting ...

RADIO

Jazz of the New South Africa, Part Two

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South Africa celebrated its first democratic elections in April 1994, entering a new phase of its history. During that decade, an incredible new array of Jazz artists emerged in the country, exploring Jazz's role in the New South Africa. Playlist Hilton Schilder “Email to the Ancestors" from No Turning Back (Mountain Records) 1:11 Tribe “New Tricks" from Our Language (Ready Rolled) 4:54 Carlo Mombelli and the Prisoners of the Strange “Ethical Sam's Cookery School" from I Stared ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Xavier Reija: The Sound Of The Earth

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Spain-based artists, guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and drummer Xavi Reija, reunite for a supergroup-like endeavor, including world-renowned bassist, stick artiste Tony Levin (Stick Men, King Crimson) and touch guitarist Markus Reuter, who performs/records with Levin in Stick Men amid numerous projects with others. Recorded in upstate New York, the musicians' noise-shaping, sound-designs and bone-rattling progressive rock improvisations often spearhead matters into parts unknown. Jevtovic's winding single note leads, gargantuan crunch chords and searing extended notes interweave with surreal electronics ...