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NEW YORK BEAT

Canadian Jazz: Remembering Maynard Ferguson

Read "Canadian Jazz: Remembering Maynard Ferguson" reviewed by Nick Catalano

The recent Montreal Jazz Festival (read about it here) sparked many conversations hailing the evolution of the event in recent years and its growing importance for musicians everywhere. It certainly ranks among the best jazz convocations in the Western Hemisphere. The occasion of the festival offered me an opportunity to reflect on the history of Canadian jazz and my association with some of its leading exponents. The first name I thought of was Maynard Ferguson. My multiple associations ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nicolas Bearde: I Remember You: The Music Of Nat King Cole

Read "I Remember You: The Music Of Nat King Cole" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In 2019, Cole is king. Feted on record by John Pizzarelli, celebrated with a new seven CD set of his early work from Resonance Records, and praised and reappraised from numerous journalistic angles, Nathaniel Adams Coles--better known as Nat King Cole--is receiving the posthumous plaudits he so richly deserves in this, his centennial year. Now, adding to the chorus, comes this easy-going charmer of a tribute from one of the West Coast's most underrated vocal talents. Completely ...

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Jon Irabagon: Invisible Horizon

Read "Invisible Horizon" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The inexhaustibly adventurist saxophonist Jon Irabagon has repeatedly challenged his listeners with each project he undertakes. The 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition champion and former member of the rebel outfit Mostly Other People Do The Killing can be heard in Mary Halvorson's projects, The Dave Douglas Quintet, and Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, beside leading his own trio, quartet and quintets. But then again, maybe he is continually challenging himself to expand his music in new directions. Invisible Horizon ...

RADIO

The Experimentalists – Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane (1956 - 1959)

Read "The Experimentalists – Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane (1956 - 1959)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In his book “Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965," David Rosenthal outlines a group of musicians within the hard bop idiom that he identifies as “experimentalists," describing them as ..."consciously trying to expand jazz's structural and technical boundaries: for instance, pianist Andrew Hill, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane prior to his 1965 record Ascension. This category would also include Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, whose playing and compositions were at once experimental and reminiscent of the moods and forms ...

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Spring Roll: Episodes

Read "Episodes" reviewed by John Sharpe

French flautist Sylvaine Hélary's Spring Roll follow up their ambitious debut Printemps (Ayler, 2015) with another adventurous outing on Episodes. While the first disc incorporated words and voices, the twist this time is that Hélary commissioned works from three of New York City's finest composer-improvisers, pianists Matt Mitchell and Kris Davis, and saxophonist Dan Blake, to supplement two numbers from the band. In addition to the 2018 studio session responsible for most of the recording, Davis appears as a special ...

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Bobby Rush: Sitting on Top of the Blues

Read "Sitting on Top of the Blues" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There exists a fertile underbelly to American Music. It is music that never experiences the success of a Jay Z or Beyonce, but is infinitely more vital and fecund than any of the synthesized, IPad-generated, “genius" generated sounds that have come out over the past 20 year. Sorry, but “rad beats" is not everything and second-hand rhymes might raise a woody in any number of print critics reviews...but not this humble one. Street cred still reigns big, and ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Wallace Roney: What’s Going on Today

Read "Wallace Roney: What’s Going on Today" reviewed by Kevin Press

Trumpeter Wallace Roney has come a long way since his days as a Miles Davis mentee. The young man who earned the Down Beat Award for Best Young Jazz Musician of the Year in both 1979 and 1980 is now a seasoned veteran with 22 band-leader recordings to his credit. During his career, Roney has played with Davis, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Chick Corea and a long list of others.

LIVE REVIEWS

Dwight Trible at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Read "Dwight Trible at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club" reviewed by Chris May

Dwight Trible Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club London August 17, 2019 Dwight Trible inhabits a song with more than just his voice, he does so with his whole body—he uses every available limb and digit and twists and turns and shoehorns himself into his material. At Ronnie's tonight he resembled a man struggling to get into a raincoat several sizes too small in the face of a howling storm, all the while maintaining ...

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Quentin Collins Sextet: Road Warrior

Read "Road Warrior" reviewed by Chris May

Hard-bop with a modern twist from the British trumpeter Quentin Collins, who is probably best known for his work with the Kyle Eastwood Band and who leads his own transatlantic group on Road Warrior. The frontline is completed by two British-based saxophonists, Leo Richardson on tenor and Meilana Gillard on alto. The rhythm section is out of New York: pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Willie Jones III. The international set-up is reinforced by producer Jean Toussaint, a ...

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Mike Westbrook Orchestra: Catania

Read "Catania" reviewed by Ian Patterson

A major figure in British jazz since the late 1950s, composer-pianist Mike Westbrook continues to write, perform and record at a rate of knots which would leave contenders half his 83 years on the ropes. Four albums since 2016, including--after a gap of forty years—not one but two solo piano recordings, are testament to the creative fire that continues to burn inside him. This previously-unreleased live recording from Sicily in 1992, captures the twenty-three-piece Mike Westbrook Orchestra in truly scintillating ...

RADIO

Ben Sidran on 50 years in jazz

Read "Ben Sidran on 50 years in jazz" reviewed by Leo Sidran

In this podcast, the multifaceted Ben Sidran (my dad) on his 76th birthday, talks about on falling in love with bebop as a young boy, counter culture in the 1960s, jazz as a form of journalism, how to get paid like a musician, his proudest moments, writing a misunderstood rock and roll anthem, getting to Carnegie Hall, facing fears, and what he learned from his heroes (including Mose Allison, Gil Evans, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Johnny Griffin, and Phil Woods). ...

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Ernesto Rodrigues / Abdul Moimême / Antez: Magma

Read "Magma" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The question that lingers over Magma, by the trio of violist Ernesto Rodrigues, guitarist Abdul Moimême and percussionist Richard Antez, is whether the artists were conscious of the visual aspects created by their music. Of our five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and sound—it is, of course, the perception of sound that we attribute to music. This is not about the observation of musicians going about their performance as much as the visuals created by the sound itself. Only the audience ...