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INTERVIEWS

Jay Thomas: We Always Knew

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Legacy is a fleeting notion. It is incomprehensible in real time when a career hits high points, when certain doors open to quantitative opportunity. Jay Thomas can tell you a thing or two about that, based on his own personal experience as a jazz artist over half a century. His story includes playing on the Seattle scene as a teenager, leading to opportunities hampered by among other things, drug addiction. It is as well a story of overcoming those obstacles ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Jazz is Mod: An Introduction to the Mod Jazz Series

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In England there is a solid tradition for crate digging and appreciation of American music. In fact, the whole idea of Northern Soul is based on the concept of English hipsters digging out rare soul gems in the sixties and giving them new life on the dance floor. However, the English mod scene, as it was called, did not limit itself to soul. Jazz was also on the radar of the young hipsters and they liked to dance to acid ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Dillon: Out in the Open

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One thing that must be said for Cory Weeds, the head man at Canada's Cellar Live Records: he knows talent when he sees and hears it. Tenor saxophonist Sam Dillon, who leads an excellent quartet on Out in the Open, his debut recording for Cellar Live, is a case in point. While Dillon is essentially unknown at present outside his New York City base, this laudable album should if nothing else help to widen his audience and enhance his visibility. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices

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From the first startling attack of Contemporary Chaos Practices, Ingrid Laubrock lets the listener know she wants your attention. And the music is certainly attention-grabbing. Or would startling, fascinating, and incredible be better words? For nothing quite sets the table for what the listener will experience on this album. It is as if heaven and earth have been distilled into a musical tome that seeks, justifiably, to confront the anxiety and irrationality that darkens contemporary times. German composer ...

RADIO

Newk with Bud, a Trip in the Way-Back Machine & More

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We start with our usual dose of twenty-first century music (Marsico should be better known in the States!). And there's a quiz for you in tracks two and three; so pay attention! Then, it's 19-year-old Sonny Rollins with Bud Powell from '49, followed by a walk in the Fall air where the original French lyrics to “Autumn Leaves" yield to a compare and contrast with Herbie Hancock (with Miles) versus Keith Jarrett. Classic sounds from years ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eriksson Kaner: Changed Beings

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This download-only single is the calling card of London-based pianist / composer Eriksson Kaner--and it is a most welcome one. The track is Kaner's first step towards building a profile on the city's jazz scene after five years' study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Kaner's older brother, trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, has already made a strong impression in the capital with the Sun Ra-inspired Where Pathways Meet and as a guest soloist on spiritual-jazz septet Maisha's sublime ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonas Cambien Trio: We Must Mustn't We

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Why change a winning formula? Norwegian-based Belgian pianist Jonas Cambien maintains his run of success with We Must Mustn't We, the follow-up to the excellent A Zoology of the Future (Clean Feed, 2016) by the same trio, comprising reedman André Roligheten and drummer Andreas Wildhagen. Cambien presents the same distinctive mixture of lurching rhythms, unusual saxophone timbres and imaginative percussive textures across a program of 12 cuts. They sound like no-one else. Most of the tracks are short ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dialectical Imagination: Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You.

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Improvising artists, Eli Wallace (piano) and Rob Pumpelly (drums) recorded this outing for legendary UK-based jazz/avant-garde/free-improv record label, Leo Records. But they've been involved with free-jazz and other jazz activities for San Francisco Bay Area's, Edgetone Records amid various projects and encounters. Indeed, the band moniker, Dialectical Imagination, is significant from an opposing forces standpoint. Yet for the most part the musicians are a team via these four galvanizing semi free-form jaunts. Besides the torrential currents, Wallace shrewdly ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Ella Plays Dice

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Ella Fitzgerald was eating a piece of pie when the police burst into her dressing room, guns drawn. Nearby, Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Illinois Jacquet were playing a game of craps. The place was Houston, Texas. The date was October 7, 1955. The occasion was a sold-out concert at The Music Hall, one stop on tour for Jazz At The Philharmonic. Standing in the wings while Gene Krupa's band performed on stage, tour producer Norman Granz heard the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra at Greer Cabaret Theater

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Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Greer Cabaret Theater The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's International Festival of Firsts Pittsburgh, PA November 6, 2018 The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra (PJO) rounded out the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's International Festival of Firsts with their concert, titled “Liberation" in tribute to the prolific African American writer, philosopher, and advocate James Baldwin. Originally founded in 1970 by the late Nathan Davis, the PJO disbanded in the late '70s before Sean Jones revived the group ...