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BOOK REVIEWS

Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon

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Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon Maxine Gordon 261 Pages ISBN: #9780520280649 University of California Press 2018 Dexter Gordon's place among those who created and performed some of the most influential music of the 1940s, 1950 and the early 1960s, when so many giants walked the earth, is indisputable. He was one of those giants, physically and otherwise. That stature comes to sharp focus in a new biography ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Stu Mindeman and trio explore a Chick Corea classic at the Chicago Jazz Festival

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When reflecting on his 1968 recording Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Chick Corea shared the following with jazz journalist Don Heckman: “The title...comes from I Ching, an ancient Chinese book that I was into in the '60s when I was studying different philosophies and religions. It's also known as the Book of Changes. And it has a section named “Now He Sings; Now He Sobs--Now He Beats The Drum; Now He Stops." The poetry of that phrase ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louis Moholo-Moholo's Five Blokes: Uplift The People

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At last an album which captures some of the intense excitement, wayward adventure and sheer joy of a group which has wowed audiences at festivals and clubs across Europe and North America. Uplift The People by South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo's prosaically-named Five Blokes was recorded live at London's Cafe Oto in April 2017 and represents an upgrade on Four Blokes (Ogun, 2014) in every sense. The blokes in question include long time collaborators Jason Yarde on saxophones, John Edwards ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harold Land: A New Shade Of Blue

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If Harold Land had left nothing else behind him other than the 1960 Contemporary Records album The Fox, a place in jazz history would be secure. The disc not only featured some of the finest mid-period hard-bop tenor saxophone to come out of the West Coast, but in Land's frontline partner, Dupree Bolton, it showcased a trumpet soloist of outsize talent, one, tragically, who was cut down by heroin addiction and psychiatric problems almost as soon as the recording session ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Sonny Rollins Remasters Legendary Album with Clifford Brown

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At 87, saxophone immortal Sonny Rollins remains at work honing his recording legacy. No longer performing upon receiving medical advice, the star is busily attending to an archive which contains recordings he made with virtually every bop and post-Bop virtuoso in jazz. His latest effort is a remastering of Sonny Rollins + 4 a Prestige session recorded on March 22, 1956 with Clifford Brown and Max Roach. The recording is significant for several reasons. Initially, it contains outings ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Gisler: Rabbits on the Run

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Young Swiss guitarist Dave Gisler (Christoph Irniger's Pilgrim, Weird Beard) is gradually climbing the guitar hero stairwell, reaffirmed by this captivating trio date with his prominent fellow countrymen providing the oomph and pizazz throughout. And for those who need comparisons, think of Gisler's style skirting the peripheries of Sonny Sharrock, Jimi Hendrix and Bill Frisell, along with dabs of psyche-rock. With bassist Raffaele Bossard's thumping and supple undercurrents amid drummer Lionel Friedli's power-packed beats and pummeling outbreaks, the guitarist reaps ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe McPhee / Pascal Niggenkemper / Ståle Liavik Solberg: Imaginary Numbers

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Veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee always seems open to encounters with like-minded spirits wherever he finds them. Some of his finest albums have stemmed from his collaborations with groups of younger musicians, such as Spontaneous Combustion (Otoroku, 2015) with Decoy and Skullduggery (Clean Feed, 2015) with Universal Indians. On Imaginary Numbers he teams up with two high-profile European improvisers, New York-based German-French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg. Both are adept at the arcane blend of improv texture ...

MIXCLOUD

Dida's Touch: The Remarkable Artistry of Dida Pelled

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Whatever material she touches --be it a Horace Silver standard, a Wes Montgomery blues, a Johnny Cash country tune, a Randy Newman heartbreak song, or one of her disarming originals --New York-based Israeli guitarist and vocalist Dida Pelled leaves her indelible mark on it. Her signature style is a mix of playful warmth and remarkable guitar chops approached with the soul of a natural born storyteller that knows how to make the listener... listen to her! ...

INTERVIEWS

Huw Warren: Global Music from a Local Perspective

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Welsh pianist and composer, Huw Warren, has been an important voice on the British jazz scene for many years. With a seemingly endless appetite for music, Warren has both been delving into Brazilian music with singer Maria Pia de Vito and played ethereal folk-inspired jazz music with another singer, June Tabor, in the trio Quercus. He has also worked as Tabor's musical director for many years. Aside from his many gigs as a sideman, Warren is teaching ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Georg Breinschmid at Hong Kong City Hall

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Georg Breinschmid & Friends with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall HKS Cool Summer Festival Hong Kong August 18, 2018 Oxymoron, or blasphemy? The very concept of “symphonic jazz" might provoke polarizing opinions in the more faithful fan--but few have spliced orchestral traditions with an improvisational approach quite as brazenly as Georg Breinschmid. The Austrian double bassist was once a member of the esteemed Vienna Philharmonic, before quitting ...