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Articles | Featured | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Zara McFarlane: East Of The River Nile

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As a teaser for her upcoming album, the divine Zara McFarlane has released a 4-track EP revisiting Jamaican dub and rockers wizard Augustus Pablo's canonical 1977 single “East Of The River Nile." McFarlane's disc, on which her wordless vocals stay close to Pablo's original melodica topline, showcases her signature blend of jazz and Caribbean music to transporting and trippy effect (pass the chalice, folks). The track is produced by McFarlane's longtime drummer and collaborator Moses Boyd and arranged by trombonist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pedro Martins: VOX

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Big things were always going to be expected from Brazilian guitar prodigy Pedro Martins after he won the Montreux Guitar Competition in 2015. Under the guidance of Kurt Rosenwinkel, Martins has grown not only as a guitarist but also as a multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer who has left his very own mark on Rosenwinkel's late Caipi project, live as well as in studio. With Vox he now releases his sophomore album, which is ambitious in its stylistic scope as well ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria Ensemble: live@ZKM

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In November 2016, in celebration of her 20-year recording career, Tamara Obrovac took to the stage of the Zagreb Youth Theatre with the Transhistria Ensemble. In front of a sold-out crowd, the Croatian singer and composer performed a concert recorded as live@ZKM. The two-disc set features 11 of Obrovac's compositions, written alone and in collaborations, taken from her back-catalog of nine albums, all performed with passion and style by the singer and her fellow musicians. Obrovac describes her ...

RADIO

Songs to Aging Children Come

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This week we celebrate new releases by vocalist Cyrille Aimee, pianist Betty Bryant, saxophonist Jazmin Ghent and we give a look at some interesting old and new duets of songs by Joni Mitchell, including a new single by Carol Lipnik and Rachelle Garniez in the final hour. Then some shout outs to Barbara Carroll, Etta James, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jerome Kern and Bob Mintzer, among others. Playlist Adi Meyerson “Rice & Beans" from Where We Stand (A:M Records) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aviva Endean: cinder: ember: ashes

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Aviva Endean's debut album for the Norwegian label SOFA is heady and gleams with interesting abstracts. In addition to her improvisational acumen, she is a shaper of sound. Endean toggles between various clarinet types on each track. With asynchronous minimalist parts and microtonal aspects, she also executes darkly weaving passages, iterated with an alien dichotomy. This outing should also whet the appetite of music scholars and avant-garde adventure seekers: it is not “Sunday afternoon music" by any stretch.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Colin Linden & Luther Dickinson: Amour

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On Amour, Colin Linden (of Blackie & The Rodeo Kings) and Luther Dickinson (from North Mississippi Allstars) offer a collaborative paean to romantic love that is not entirely sentimental. Even on such an otherwise earnest effort, there is an inherent danger that might come across as campy, but the two guitarists/vocalists demonstrate an abiding loyalty to their blues and country roots that grounds this music. In addition, the pair exhibit a musicianly pragmatism that precludes kitsch by assembling a group ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call

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Peter Erskine is affable, engaging, and humorous. He, of course, is also one of the finest drummers of his generation. He has left his mark on the jazz and fusion world for nearly fifty years now. An icon, whose name is mentioned with the greats of all time, Erskine continues to gift us as he forges ahead by crafting new music, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring young musicians, and continuing to reinvent himself again and again with a ...

RADIO

February Birthdays and Snooky @100

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It's the monthly jazz birthdays edition of Gift and Messages, direct from our turntables and CD players in mid-city Baton Rouge to you! We salute the late trumpeter Snooky Young on his 100th birthday with one of the rare recordings under his own name, the out-of-print Horn of Plenty. Great listening, along with tenor birthday madness and a very deep dive into the vault. Enjoy the show! Playlist Kamasi Washington “Isabelle" from The Epic (Brainfeeder) 00:00 Joshua ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Macuco Quintet: Friendly Signs

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The Macuco Quartet's joyful and exuberant Friendly Signs suggests a Brazilian seaside or urban landscape where daylight tropical breezes and palm trees sway over a harbor and waves lap gently along a shore lively with music and dancing. Joel Springer, the composer of all but one of the album's 11 tunes, keeps things on a playful boppish footing for the most part, and the group, composed of saxophonists Allan Chase, Rick Stone, and Springer himself, plus Fernando Huergo ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra: The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes

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Maybe the quickest way to sum-up Patchwork Jazz Orchestra's The Adventures Of Mr Pottercakes would be to appropriate the title of The Who's 1971 compilation album, Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy. For that is exactly what it is and quite a bit more besides. From the very start of the opening title track, there's a reminder of that other big band of young British jazz musicians, Loose Tubes. But since so many of today's leading British jazz musicians emerged from ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban & Alex Simu: Free Fall

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Inspired by legendary clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre's small group recordings, Romanians Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Simu (clarinet) recorded these luminous duets at The French Cultural Institute in Bucharest, as they personalize the aura of Giuffre's comingling of chamber and modern jazz with sojourns into experimentalism. It's a gorgeous endeavor, executed with tender harmonic content, reflective passages and heartwarming melodies. From an all-inclusive perspective, the musicians ingrain bluesy phrasings, buoyant mid-tempo jaunts and impassioned choruses, shaded with playful interludes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tibor Prettschnöder: The Largo And The Lame

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By now it is generally accepted that there is such a category as Germanic free improvisation. One separate from the Peter Brötzmann, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Günter Sommer, Peter Kowald, Manfred Schoof, Gerd Dudek, Albert Mangelsdorff, etc, etc. school of free jazz that machine-gunned its way into the European scene of the late 1960s. These new rebels include three musicians heard here: Axel Dörner,  Matthias Lorenz, and Robert Landfermann, plus artists such as Andrea Neumann, Burkhard Beins, Oliver Schwerdt, and Christian ...