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LIVE REVIEWS

Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center

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Branford Marsalis, Saxophone, and Jean-Willy Kunz, Organ From Classical to Jazz Kimmel Center for Performing Arts Verizon Hall Philadelphia, PA February 16, 2018 This concert of mostly classical works for saxophone and large scale pipe organ turned out to be somewhat of a surprise to the audience of jazz fans, who packed in to hear their hero, Branford Marsalis. The concert emcee, Michael Barone (a radio producer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Weird Beard: Orientation

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On a recording that exemplifies the “less is more" approach to music-making, Orientation finds Florian Egli's Weird Beard quartet crafting dreamy soundscapes that derive their appeal from the interstices between the notes. With disarmingly simple tunes that seem at times to float on a delicate ether, alto saxophonist/clarinetist Egli, guitarist Dave Gisler, bassist Martina Berther and drummer Rico Baumann prove remarkably skilled in drawing the listener into their evocative musical world. This is the group's second release on ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Simon Phillips Protocol at Catalina Jazz Club

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Simon Phillips Protocol Catalina Jazz Club Hollywood, CA February 6, 2018 Early on, the very engaged crowd at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood knew we were in for a treat. Perhaps it was enough that drummer Simon Phillips and his quartet Protocol were ready to take the stage for an evening of high-energy fusion. After an opening number, Phillips announced, “We will be playing Protocol 4 in it's entirety." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andy Sheppard Quartet: Romaria

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Where so much music treats silence as an exception, Andy Sheppard's recordings find it serving more as the rule. He's never been one for weaving flashy speed runs or feeling pressure to fill space. Even when his sax lines speed up from time to time through Romaria, they serve the mood with tasteful restraint, smoothly evoking the soothing coolness of its cover. Sheppard uses the term “dream band" to describe this quartet, which is appropriate in more ways ...

IN PICTURES

Festival Di Musica Contemporanea Italiana 2017

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The Seventh Edition of the Italian Contemporary Music Festival was held in Forlì (Italy) at the Angelo Masini school of music. The event was organized by Area Sismica a remarkable improvised music organization that, together with very few like-minded institutions in Italy (Centro d'Arte in Padova, Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz in Sardinia, for example) is known for their original programming and an off the beaten path concert series. This one-day event, which is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!

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On this, her sixth album, pianist Leslie Pintchik shows that she can compose distinctive melodies. All of the original compositions she does on this CD are bright and memorable and even the two standards she covers are given surprising arrangements.She establishes herself from the beginning with the uniquely-titled “You Eat My Food." This turns out to be a nice piece of surging jazz-funk in the manner of early Herbie Hancock with a serpentine piano line and pithy accents ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joao Camoes - Jean-Luc Cappozzo - Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages

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Electronics ace Jean-Marc Foussat (France) and trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo (France) are established purveyors of whatever may constitute 'new music' loosely skirting the fringes of improvised jazz or perhaps, open-ended experimental frameworks. Here, they team with a willing partner, viola performer Joao Camoes (Portugal) for a session that conjures an electro-organic vibe and spans numerous emotive sensations, whether the music may be pointed to existential, sober or magical manifestations. During the three extended pieces, the trio executes dark, foreboding ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre

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Trish Clowes Mermaid Arts Centre Bray, Ireland February 9, 2018 Almost five years had passed since saxophonist/composer Trish Clowes' only previous gig in Ireland, at the Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival 2013. Since then, Clowes has released a couple of well-received albums and was selected as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist--a prestigious residency programme that recognizes talent deserving greater exposure. Clowes has also founded Emulsion, a collective-cum-annual festival dedicated to improvised ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Hitch On 2017

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Hitch On Various locations Kraków, Poland December 3-6, 2017 The four-day Hitch On Festival in Kraków is divided into two sections: separate runs for competition and showcase performances, both under the banner of the Jazz Juniors International Exchange. This doesn't entail a ridiculously stripling orientation, as most of the artists involved are already quite advanced in their playing abilities, and some bands are already experienced touring outfits. Indeed, the showcase sequence ...