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Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor

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Marcus Miller is most often described as a jazz, funk, soul, fusion, and R&B bassist. As much as that is accurate, it is a description that falls well short of the mark. Miller is a high-end musical sponge who manages to incorporate today's cultures and rhythms into his compositions, layered within the framework of sound he has polished over the past four decades. He is perhaps best known as a musician in connection with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charles Mingus: Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden

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Summer 2018 saw the general release of privately held recordings by two of the most enduring stylists of twentieth century jazz. First up was John Coltrane's Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!). It was followed by Thelonious Monk's Mønk (Gearbox). In autumn 2018, recordings by another totemic figure, Charles Mingus, become the year's third newly revealed archaeological discovery. The release of the Coltrane album was hyped as an event akin to the excavation of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pablo Ziegler Latin Jazz Trio at Sha Tin Town Hall

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Pablo Ziegler Latin Jazz Trio Sha Tin Town Hall, Hong Kong October 16, 2018 There's a tightly wound ball of contradictions at the heart of Astor Piazzolla's “nuevo tango" revolution, which injected the common man's South American dance music with classical sophistication and jazz-influenced harmony, literally taking tango from the dancehalls to concert halls, elevating its association from brothels to academia. The quest continues in the Argentinian composer's survivors, of which the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love

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Saxophonist Houston Person and bassist Ron Carter, now in their eighties, have been performing and recording as a duo for almost three decades now (Remember Love marks their seventh album in that format since Something in Common was released on Muse in 1990). Remember Love was recorded in March 2018 at the renowned Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Englewood, New Jersey, which has a number of good points (clarity is a given) and others that some observers ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Jacob Anderskov: Into the Mystery

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Music is essentially a mystery. There are multiple ways of shaping sounds and just as many ways of perceiving them. Danish pianist and Associate Professor at Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Jacob Anderskov, has examined the possibilities of music from a practical and scholarly point of view for a long time. His research is reflected by his records and his records are a way of documenting the process of musical exploration. The project Action VS. Reaction. New Music for Strings, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Halberstadt: Open Heart

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Seattle based pianist Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest for several decades, applying his talents as a pianist, composer, educator, and author. He has four previous releases as a leader, most recently with Flash Point (Origin, 2010). So yes, it has been some time since we last heard from the multidimensional pianist. In the meantime, Halberstadt has garnered a reputation as an accompanist for jazz vocalists, most notably with ...

RADIO

Those Who Remained Behind, Part One

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Many Jazz artists leave South Africa for exile in the 1960s and 1970s, but many remain behind, facing horrifying working conditions and oppression. In these two episodes, we'll explore their music and their efforts to resist apartheid within South Africa. Playlist Chris McGregor and the Castle Lager Big Band “Now" from Jazz/The African Sound (Jazzman Records) 1:59 Mahotella Queens “Umkhovu" from Next Stop...Soweto (Strut Records) 9:40 Amakhosi “Easy Way" from The Best of Accordion and Sax Jives (Gallo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kuniko: Steve Reich: Drumming

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If it can be beaten with a stick, a mallet, a brush or a hammer, Kuniko beats it. The master percussionist elevates the musical art of universal percussion to a level that forces it to not only be taken seriously, but to encourage an effort to learn about it. That is the measure of an artist. Kuniko's previous Linn recordings, Kuniko Plays Reich (2012), Cantus (2013), Iannis Xenakis IX (2015), and Bach: Solo Works For Marimba (2017), all ...

RADIO

Jay Lawrence, Christian Scott & More

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Neon Jazz continues to showcase the young talent in jazz today, and this week we profile the great jazz journey of Jay Lawrence, from his 2018 CD, Sonic Parago, to a cut from the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith off the album Keep on Lovin'. Also featured is the rising Kansas City jazz saxophonist Stephen Martin with a song off his new CD, Vision and tracks from some of today's best players like Christian Scott, Jon Batiste and ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Up From The Roots: Cary Morin, Colin James, Joanne Shaw Taylor & Chris Youlden

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Blues musicians invariably cover traditional genre material because it connects them with the wellspring of emotion at the heart of this music and illustrates the major influences on their personal style. Sometimes these gestures are more obvious than others, but as are those of Cary Morin's on his latest album, they can bespeak bold courage as much as humble homage. On occasion, as with Joanne Shaw-Taylor's on her fifth album, such obeisance only hints at the influences at work, while ...