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BOOK REVIEWS

Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road And The End of The Beatles

Read "Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road And The End of The Beatles" reviewed by Doug Collette

Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road And The End of the Beatles Kenneth Womack 288 Pages ISBN: #978-1501746857 Cornell University Press 2019 Reverberating with all manner of interpretations, Solid State is a magnificently ironic title for a book purporting to tell The Story of Abbey Road and The End of the Beatles. Or is it simply to be read at face value? Author Kenneth Womack proffers the technical advancement at Abbey Road ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Keith Jarrett: Munich 2016

Read "Munich 2016" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The second coming of Keith Jarrett—post-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—was well behind him by the time he performed in Munich, Germany in 2016. The piano prodigy is captured in ECM's home town at a Philharmonic Hall solo concert at the end of his European tour. His improvisational skills in top form, he displays his genius across twelve extemporaneous compositions and three encores, on the two-disc set Munich 2016. For this recording, Jarrett broke with his frequent practice of live improvisations ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Citadelic 2019

Read "Citadelic 2019" reviewed by Martin Longley

Citadelic Citadelpark Gent, Belgium May 29-June 2, 2019 Free jazz with free admission. That's the appealing concept of the five-day Citadelic festival, which presents jazz, improvisation and other adventurous sounds, from around noon until around 10pm, in a continuous schedule that roams several dips and mounts, or caves and corners, of the sprawling Citadelpark in the beautiful Belgian city of Gent. El Negocito record label director Rogé Verstraete is given the keys ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Per Mathisen: Sounds of 3 Edition 2

Read "Sounds of 3 Edition 2" reviewed by Geno Thackara

The power of three indeed proved to be a magic charm for Per Mathisen on the first Sounds of 3 (Losen, 2016), so it's probably only natural that he'd revisit the format sooner or later. What's more of a surprise, perhaps, is how things change. Where that recording was a loud and brash slice of jazz-rock, its colorful sequel slides more toward the jazzy side of that equation. This recording actually tones down the wattage just a little from the ...

RADIO

Paradox Trio - The Balkan Side of Downtown NYC

Read "Paradox Trio - The Balkan Side of Downtown NYC" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

At some point in the '90s Balkan-tinged jazz was all the rage in the downtown scene that gravitated around the Knitting Factory and the Bell Café. Whereas many of the bands that were at the forefront of that movement are gone, a quarter century later, the Paradox Trio and its unique blend of jazz and creative improvisation with the melodies, modes, and rhythms of Balkan, klezmer, Celtic, and Gypsy folk music traditions are stronger than ever. Featuring Matt Darriau on ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

lisa liu: Introducing...Lisa Liu

Read "Introducing...Lisa Liu" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

Lisa Liu's Introducing...“ is a great example of one of the subtly exciting things about “vintage" styles: that, no matter how observant, studious and sometimes even intentionally conservative the endeavor can be, human nature ends up evolving them anyway. Liu's general genre is called many things--trad jazz, gypsy jazz, et. al.—but the album is not merely a meticulous recreation of a period, but a capably produced amalgam of different pre-bop styles that she handles both dutifully and skillfully.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gregg Allman: Laid Back Deluxe Edition

Read "Laid Back Deluxe Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

Gregg Allman's first solo album, Laid Back (Capricorn, 1973), is the ideal candidate for a Deluxe Edition reissue and remaster. Not only is the record an exquisite, one-of-a-kind piece of work in its original form, but the backstory is eminently worth telling as it sheds light not only on the creation of the album itself, but the fundamental relationship, at the time of the recording, between the Allman Brothers Band and its surviving namesake. Kudos to the curators, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

12 Points Festival 2019

Read "12 Points Festival 2019" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Bimhuis 12 Points Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands September 25-28, 2019 Jazz, as a diverse and heterogeneous field by nature, is represented at each 12 Points edition by young musicians and groups (age 35) with a strong artistic profile and solid and attractive performance capabilities. The festival represents in a nutshell what the next generation is willing and able to contribute. The emphasis is not so much on assumed audience compatibility/acceptability but rather on originality, artistic challenge, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kit Downes: Dreamlife of Debris

Read "Dreamlife of Debris" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Kit Downes' ECM debut marked a substantial departure from his earlier recordings with saxophonist Tomas Challenger. Wedding Music (Loop Records, 2013) and Vyamanikal (Slip Imprint, 2016) were rhythmically complex with abstruse melodies that tended toward repetitive patterns and drones. With his ECM title Obsidian (2018), Downes, still on organ, worked in a more solidly constructed environment, imparting Celtic and hymnal qualities. Challenger appeared on only one track of the otherwise solo recording. Downes returns to ECM with Dreamlife of Debris, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes: Cypress Grove

Read "Cypress Grove" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Cypress Grove is the tale of two very different artists following well-tested and successful professional trajectories. While none of the Ur-bluesmen (Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Skip James, Ishmon Bracey) are living, there remain a few musicians who knew them while they were still alive. One such musician is Jimmy Duck Holmes of Bentonia, Mississippi. One listen to the opening “Hard Times" will reveal the Ur-bluesman Holmes knew as one Nehemiah Curtis “Skip" James (1902 -1969). The flavor of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Shannon Gunn: Gunn's Ablazin'

Read "Gunn's  Ablazin'" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Washington DC native Shannon Gunn makes a bold artistic and social statement with her stimulating debut Gunn's Ablazin'. Gunn showcases her talents as a trombonist, composer, arranger and bandleader as she fronts two different ensembles interpreting eight originals and four very diverse covers. The album starts with “Orange Noise," a commentary on the U.S. president's ample use of twitter. Gunn blows short angular phrases after which the rest of the band joins in, forming boisterous, thundering refrains. Gunn's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Chicago: Chicago Transit Authority 50th anniversary Remix

Read "Chicago Transit Authority 50th anniversary Remix" reviewed by Doug Collette

In what is perhaps a tacit admission of limited sales potential (and in turn the low profit margin on music in physical formats), on the 50th Anniversary Remix of Chicago's debut album (often known as CTA, there is no info in any form detailing the technical process of this sound enhancement. A single sentence on the Rhino label's site is identical to that which appears on the band's own web-page, one that might well have appeared somewhere within the replication ...


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