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Levitation Orchestra: Inexpressible Infinity

Read "Inexpressible Infinity" reviewed by Chris May

A lot of bull is talked about collective music-making, so it is good to come across a band who not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Good, too, to come across a debut album that is as outstanding as the thirteen-piece Levitation Orchestra's Inexpressible Infinity. Vibrant, joyous and cosmopolitan, it joins Theon Cross's Fyah (Gearbox Records) and Cassie Kinoshi's SEED Ensemble's Driftglass (Jazz Re:freshed) among the best albums to come out of the London underground scene which ...

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Wycliffe Gordon & Vincent Gardner At The Jazz Corner

Read "Wycliffe Gordon & Vincent Gardner At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

Wycliffe Gordon & Vincent Gardner The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SC November 8-9, 2019 Wycliffe “Pinecone" Gordon is an Armstrong-styled horn player and has won a Louie award to prove it. He displayed that same laid-back behind the beat timing as Louis Armstrong, which belied the clarity of phrasing and true importance weighted on every single note. He began on Yamaha tenor trombone with Duke Ellington's “It Don't mean a thing (If It ...

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Moldejazz 2019

Read "Moldejazz 2019" reviewed by Martin Longley

Moldejazz Molde, Norway July 15-20, 2019 In the last few years, the Moldejazz festival's artists-in-residence have kept their appearances down to a manageable human count, with two or three concert manifestations apiece from Pat Metheny, Vijay Iyer and Maria Schneider. For the 2019 edition, that position was awarded to Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen, whose strength lies in a rabid appetite for running, or being involved in, more bands than most mere mortals can imagine: ...

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Avram Fefer Quartet: Testament

Read "Testament" reviewed by Mark Corroto

After a blindfold listening test, maybe the greatest compliment you can give Testament is to guess the leader's name to be drummer Chad Taylor, or maybe bassist Eric Revis, guitarist Marc Ribot or saxophonist Avram Fefer himself. This misapprehension is attributed to the equal footing each of the four musicians is given on the recording. Partly this, and credit must be shared with the mixing engineer Eli Crews for his application of parity. Nevertheless, this is the Avram ...

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Greg Diamond: Musings & Origins

Read "Musings & Origins" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Jazz guitarist Greg Diamond unveils his fourth album as leader, and his first solo recording, featuring thirteen original compositions specifically designed for the acoustic guitar. Musings & Origins captures an accomplished composer on a solo adventure performing original music created from 2002 to 2016. Preferring the acoustic guitar to other string instruments, Diamond's finger play and technique—well demonstrated here—provide ample testament to his skills as a musician and his mastery of his chosen instrument. Documenting his musical journey ...

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Jazz and Bossa Nova - Gilberto, Jobim, Bonfa, Getz (1958 - 1963)

Read "Jazz and Bossa Nova - Gilberto, Jobim, Bonfa, Getz (1958 - 1963)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Fueled by the 1959 international release of the movie “Black Orpheus" and through reports from US jazz players returning from South American tours, the Brazilian music bossa nova (Portugese for “new trend" or “new wave") found its way into American jazz in the early 1960s, becoming a permanent part of the jazz fusion. Stan Getz, in particular, appreciated bossa nova as the interaction between cool jazz and samba and collaborated successfully with many of the pioneers of the new music, ...

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"ECM Records at 50" at Lincoln Center

Read ""ECM Records at 50" at Lincoln Center" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

ECM Records at 50 Rose Theater, Lincoln Center New York, NY November 2, 2019 On the 1st and 2nd of November 2019, Jazz at Lincoln Center commemorated the 50th anniversary of ECM Records with two nights of musicians—many longtime associates, some newer additions—from the label's roster. More than that, it was a celebration of life itself during a time of great sociopolitical unrest, when hearts and minds around the world ache under the weight of ...

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ECMFest at SFJAZZ

Read "ECMFest at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

ECM Fest SFJAZZ San Francisco, California October 24-27, 2019 ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by in Munich In 1969 Karl Egger, Manfred Eicher and Manfred Scheffner had the brilliant foresight to found ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) in Munich, Germany. The label has long been known for its tasteful covers and adventurous offerings, including artists such as Keith Jarrett, {{Paul Motian and Meredith Monk. In recent years, ...

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Joel Miller: Unstoppable

Read "Unstoppable" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Montreal-based saxophonist / composer Joel Miller brings an impressive resume to bear on Unstoppable, a large-ensemble recording aptly described in an accompanying press release as “a 21st-Century chamber symphony." In a career spanning more than two decades, Miller has earned a number of high honors including a Grand Prix Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his debut album Find a Way (Ithmus, 1996), an East Coast Music Award for Dream Cassette (FamGroup, 2016) with vocalist Sienna Dahlen, and a ...

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Pat Irwin and J. Walter Hawkes: Wide Open Sky

Read "Wide Open Sky" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Multi-instrumentalists Pat Irwin and J. Walter Hawkes are long-established veterans who have practically done it all: they've made numerous television and film soundtracks, played with everyone from Norah Jones to the B-52s and recorded in a wide variety of contexts, too many to name. So when the two finally got together for a Long Island arts festival in 2010, it was anyone's guess what they might come up with. The duo's collaboration has ultimately resulted in Wide Open Sky, a ...

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Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102

Read "Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Big birthday shout outs to Thelonious Monk and Roy Kral (pictured with Jackie Cain), along with singers Nancy Kelly, Emma Larsson, Amy Cervini, Lee Wiley, Nona Hendryx, drummer Eve Sicular, trumpeter Pam Fleming, pianists Linda Presgrave and Johnny O'Neal among others; with a bounty harvest of new releases from trumpeter Bria Skonberg, pianists Leslie Pintchik and Champian Fulton with Cory Weeds, vocalists Ronny Whyte and Kurt Elling with James Morrison plus a posthumous release from vocalist Nora York.

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Henrik Olsson: Hand of Benediction

Read "Hand of Benediction" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This is the trio's debut recording led by cagey and inventive Swedish guitarist Henrik Olsson for a set that resides in an opaque realm, containing dabs of free jazz, punk jazz and avant-garde rock. The agile and limber trio ventures through some enigmatic musical territory via tight unison phrasings, multipart progressions, animated and linear uprisings along with crunching rock riffs and fleeting nods to classic jazz fusion. “Shocking method restores lost hair" sounds like a séance with ...


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