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Fred Frith's solo performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall

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Fred Frith The Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall Skopje, Macedonia February 21, 2018 Nothing about guitarist Fred Frith's quiet demeanor as he walks on stage towards his guitar would give any indication of what will follow soon and where he will take the music and the audience with him. And during the performance at the Concert Hall of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, this master improviser and master conceptualist has shown the audience why he is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefano Travaglini: Ellipse

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Set up some studio time. Step into the studio. Sit down at the piano. Let your muse take you where she will. That's how pianist Stefano Travaglini rolled for the recording of Ellipse. Solo jazz piano, free improvisation especially, has proven itself over the years a difficult artist endeavor. Consider the modern masters: Keith Jarrett, Matthew Shipp, Satoko Fujii, and the master of them all, Cecil Taylor--all players who have consistently excelled at the alone-with-the-piano mode of expression. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

While We Still Have Bodies: While We Still Have Bodies

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While We Still Have Bodies names the collaboration of trombonist Ben Gerstein, bassist Sean Ali, saxophonist Michael Foster, and percussionist Flin van Hemmen. The more one listens to their spontaneous creations, however, the less important such roster division becomes, receding in deference to forces without proper name. To achieve such effect is no small task, for it requires a selflessness that can only come from musicians who understand themselves.In this hour-long free improvisation consisting of tape collages, lo-fi ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ghost Town Blues Band: Ghost Town Blues Band

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One of the perks to living in Little Rock is its close proximity to the center of the rock music universe. No, not Cleveland, Alan Freed or not. Memphis, Tennessee! Did Chuck Berry write a song about Cleveland? No. Being close to Memphis means being close enough to go a see local bands the likes of Low Society and The Ghost Town Blues Band, the latter who have released a recording, taped (or digitized) live at Memphis' famous Lafayette's Music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Wagner: Toot Suite

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There have been many composers on both sides of the classical-jazz continuum who have attempted to blend those genres. Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Darius Milhaud, Duke Ellington, Lalo Schifrin, Jorge Calandrelli, and others have explored the parallels and differences. In 1980, French jazz pianist/composer, Claude Bolling composed “Toot Suite" for the great French trumpet virtuoso, Maurice Andre. The suite, composed of 6 segments of varied textures, is so demanding technically that it has been performed by or ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Formats – Solo Through Nonet

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One plus Two, equals three, and so on. What arbitrary combo size constitutes a big band? None of these. Solo: Jamie Saft Solo a Genova RareNoise Records 2018 That musical provocateur Jamie Saft, he is a prankster. After making all kinds of noise with the likes of Metallic Taste of Blood, Slobber Pup, Plymouth, Red Hill, The Spanish Donkey and Berserk! and Avant Gard jazz with Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte, Roswell Rudd, and ...

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 ...

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 ...