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LIVE REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Festival 2018

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Brussels Jazz Festival Flagey, Ixelles Belgium January 11-20, 2018 The 10-day Brussels Jazz Festival is held at Flagey, an arts complex in Ixelles, which lies south-east of the city centre. It's an eye-catching Art Deco building from the late 1930s, created by architect Joseph Diongre. This former radio and television studio has the look of a steamship, illuminated from inside with mood lighting glowing through its windows, in different hues for different ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mark McGrain: Love + Time + Divination

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When Crescent City trombonist Mark McGrain first conceived of this album, it was a way to honor his parents by visiting some of their favorite songs from the '30s and '40s. In the end, he remained faithful to his core mission while broadening the repertoire to include far more than familiar glimpses of the past. Love + Time + Divination, a drummer-less trio date enhanced with a few appearances from New Orleans vocal treasure John Boutté, contains ...

JAZZ BASTARD

February 2018: The Necks, Vienna Art Orchestra, Elliot Mason

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After a January of unusual episodes, the boys are back in the groove for February. Episode 133 features a wide spread of entries, from Juli Wood's tribute to Finnish folk music Synkka Metsa to the Vienna Art Orchestra's energetic homage Duke Ellington's Sound of Love. Alex Sipiagin's Returning also gets a thorough look-in, along with a discussion of the Necks' Silverwater album and Geoff Dyer's rather fulsome celebration of the band in the New York Times Magazine. Can ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gleb Kolyadin: Gleb Kolyadin

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One sometimes doesn't know where to start in describing things under the progressive-rock umbrella, considering that the term comes with such a pile of baggage it's practically impossible to see around. The modern-day genre (to the extent that's even a recognizable thing) arguably has even more issues than the 1970s version: there are more bands out there than ever, more different styles and influences to combine or imitate, and more chances for players to simply fall back on a template ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Hyland: NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//

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\\livingfossil// is the most recent brainchild of Canadian saxophonist Gordon Hyland. The Toronto-based musician and composer continues to release his versatile compositions in a multitude of formations of various different names, such as the acoustic saxophone trio Simple Shapes or the progressive-electronic project Ninja Funk Orchestra. Members of the latter are reunited with Hyland on his newest endeavor \\livingfossil//, making for an intriguing instrumentation of two saxophones, two electric guitars, drums and an electric as well as acoustic bass. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project

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A 25th Anniversary is a rare event in today's music world, and Sherrie Maricle the leader and driving force behind the DIVA Jazz Orchestra has achieved just that. A vehicle for some of today's most recognized names in jazz, this Orchestra goes beyond the label of an all-female ensemble, it is more about the achievements and heights of each of its players, as a collective sound and a force of significant women who have worked hard for each of their ...

INTERVIEWS

John McLaughlin on the Mystery of Creativity, Inspiration, & Music

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Improvised music within a sophisticated framework is one if the primary hallmarks of jazz. World class improvisation requires split second reactions, mental agility, dexterity, and the emotive soul of an artist. As a testament to his age defying vitality, on January 29, 2018 at the age of 76, John McLaughlin won a Grammy® Award for the Best Improvised Jazz Solo at the 60th Annual Grammy® Awards. This was his pitch perfect acceptance: “Winning a Grammy is a wonderful ...

PROFILES

The Jazz Corner's Lois Masteller Makes It Happen

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As a child my mother and legion of aunts--I'm from a large Italian family--tried to impose the “meant to be" philosophy on me. Remember the tune “Que Sera, Sera/Whatever will be, will be"? When something good happened, say you won a ribbon at the science fair, it was because “it was meant to be." The converse was also true, insinuating you only need wait for things to go your way, not work for them. That advice chafed like an over-starched ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leap of Faith Orchestra: SuperClusters

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On two occasions each year, composer and multi-instrumentalist PEK (David M. Peck), gathers together his Evil Clown collective for live recordings. Culled from Leap of Faith, String Theory, Mekaniks, Metal Chaos Ensemble and their respective off-shoots of each, the players form his massive, eighteen-member Leap of Faith Orchestra. For the SuperClusters session, the group assembled at Longy School of Music at Bard College with a specially written score that takes advantage of the individual sub-groups' previous experiences.As LOFO ...