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PROFILES

A Vintage Year For Jessica Felix And The Healdsburg Jazz Festival

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It's a 20th anniversary vintage year for the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, pouring over the first ten days of this coming June, in the Sonoma County “wine country" 70 miles north of jny:San Francisco. That there is a festival at all is due to the tenacity of its artistic director Jessica Felix, who planted jazz in Healdsburg twenty years ago and has kept working to sustain it. That Jessica Felix is at the center of the festival at all is due ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kira Kira: Bright Force

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The label “music" may be too confining for these sounds. Let us call it an ear-opening sonic experience. That's what pianist Satoko Fujii, with her new group, Kira Kira, has created with a compelling recording called Bright Force. In the year 2018, every review of Fujii's output will include a prelude describing her decision to release an album per month, in celebration of her sixtieth birthday. She does know how to throw a dynamic and distinctive celebration.

LIVE REVIEWS

Tallinn Music Week 2018

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83 venues in Tallinn Tallin Music Week Tallinn, Estonia April 5-7, 2018 Tallinn Music Week (TMW) is an international multidisciplinary cross-genre festival. The festival is in its tenth year, founded and led by Helen Sildna. With more than 260 acts from 30 countries spread across 83 venues in the Estonian capital, 1330 international delegates, 150 international journalists and more than 34,000 concert visitors it has grown into a major international event. First ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Linley Hamilton: Making Other Arrangements

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Making Other Arrangements has been a long time coming--over 25 years, since trumpeter and broadcaster Linley Hamilton first heard Freddie Hubbard's Ride Like The Wind and decided that one day he, too, would make an album with a large ensemble. It's been worth the wait. Hamilton's third album as leader is lush, romantic and beautifully performed. Based in Belfast, Hamilton is an important figure on the jazz scene of the island of Ireland, as a musician, lecturer and BBC radio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Carl Michel: Music in Motian

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Late drummer, texturalist, bandleader, and composer Paul Motian holds a revered space in the post-bop of the last half century. From early stints with Lennie Tristano and Coleman Hawkins to his seared-into-legend work with Bill Evans on Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961), and Waltz for Debby (Riverside Records, 1962)); through his fiery live and studio performances with Keith Jarrett's American Quartet on The Survivor's Suite (ECM Records, 1967). His compositions held a folk-like quality, and have been ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Norma Winstone: Descansado - Songs For Films

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Norma Winstone has had her current trio since 2001, long enough to have released five albums (four for ECM). Descansado, a celebration of cinema through the language of music, is that fourth CD, and it's a winner from start to finish. The album's title derives from a Armando Trovajoli composition, used in Italian director Vittorio De Sica's 1963 film Ieri, Oggi, Domani (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow). The group's rendition of this touching number is typically sublime. With bass clarinetist/soprano ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Santiago & Pedro Martins: Simbiose

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Symbiosis, referring to a mutually advantageous connection between two parties, is most certainly the proper word to sum up this duo date. Back in the summer of 2015, Brazilian guitarists Daniel Santiago and Pedro Martins took to the quiet confines of a studio in São Paulo and spun out these nine organic beauties. To hear their patient developments, gorgeously entwined lines, fluid rhythmic strumming, and wordless vocals merge from different angles is to hear life unfolding through the art of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Warfield: For Lew

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The “Lew" referred to on Renaissance man Bill Warfield's latest big-band album, For Lew, is the late trumpeter Lew Soloff, whom Warfield remembers in the liner notes as “my mentor, colleague, friend and inspiration." The inspiration arrived when the teen-age Warfield, who had switched from trumpet to piano after losing his front teeth in an auto accident, heard Soloff's memorable solo on “Spinning Wheel" by the group Blood, Sweat & Tears. “I decided at that point," Warfield writes, “that I ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Kuhn Trio: Intention

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Reedman Peter Kuhn's re-emergence on disc after a 35-year hiatus was one of the more heartening stories of 2016. Kuhn figured on the New York loft jazz scene during the latter half of the 1970s, releasing three LPs under his own leadership, notably Livin' Right, reissued to much acclaim as part of No Coming, No Going (NoBusiness Records, 2016), as well as appearing on dates by saxophonist Frank Lowe and bassist William Parker. Proof that The Other Shore (NoBusiness Records, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Azar Lawrence: Elementals

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Azar Lawrence sounds more like John Coltrane than John Coltrane ever did. Well, almost. Mid-period Coltrane that is, post Atlantic Records and the sheets of sound, when Coltrane starting to record for Impulse with producer Bob Thiele. The closeness of the resemblance is longstanding and uncanny, but it has not been a cynical pose designed to maximise Lawrence's commercial appeal. He was 15 years old when Coltrane passed away in 1967 and by that time the older saxophonist had already ...