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Articles | Featured | Future

BEST OF / YEAR END

The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time

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As temperatures drop and days grow short, Winter is once again upon us. For those looking to listen to the sounds of the season without resorting to December's relentless slew of glossy, generic cash-grabs, jazz can be a breath of fresh, wintry air. You won't find (many) singers on this list, since most people already know and have records by Frank, Dean, Ella, Karen, and more. Instead, I've put together jazz's greatest Christmas albums from the golden age to today. ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark Corroto's Top Ten (Ok Fifteen) of 2018

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Another trip around the sun. In the AllAboutJazz universe, the stars were especially bright this year. Which is a good thing, unless you are like me, trying to pare down a huge list of favorites to just ten. At that task, I've failed once again. So here are my 15 favorite recordings of 2018 in no particular order. Frank Kimbrough Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk Sunnyside Records Jamie ...

IN PICTURES

Festival Internacional Gypsy Swing, Chile

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Now in its tenth year, on December 7 the Festival Internacional Gypsy Swing Django Reinhardt in Santiago, Chile featured an extensive roster of local artists. The Cultural Center of Spain in the Chilean capital once again welcomed a large audience that enjoyed the music of renowned jazz groups including Swing Song Bossa with Natalia Ramírez, Federico Dannemann, Milton Russel, and Marcelo Salinas, the Flash Trio of Nelson Vera, Gonzalo Ostornol, and Tomás Reyes, Thais Marie Antonie's trio with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roberto Magris: World Gardens

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Pianist Roberto Magris adds a percussionist to his piano trio for World Gardens, a set featuring a wide range of musical styles. Magris, born in Trieste, Italy, can best be described as an “international artist," having toured in more than forty countries. He is partially based in the United States, with his (and Paul Collins') Kansas City, Missouri-based JMood Records. For World Gardens, Magris has chosen a variety of beautiful musical flowers, starting with “Never Can Say Goodbye," ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Johaenntgen: Henry II

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Two years on from Henry (Self-Produced, 2016), a pulsating set of contemporary tunes in the New Orleans brass band tradition, Nicole Johänntgen is once again bitten by the Nawlins bug on this vibrant follow-up. The Zurich-based German saxophonist is joined, as before, by trombonist Jon Ramm, drummer Paul Thibodeaux and sousaphone player Steven Glenn--their collective claws sharpened by two years of touring. It follows that the quartet's added road miles have deepened its intuitive language, resulting in music that fairly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mat Maneri / Matthew Shipp: Conference Of The Mat/ts

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There have been 7,128 days that have passed since Mat Maneri and Matthew Shipp have recorded a duo together, but who's counting? I guess we are. The Conference Of The Mat/ts session from November of 2017 may have followed Gravitational Systems (Hatology, 2000) by 19 years, 6 months and 4 days, but the pair have been heard in multiple settings in between these dates, with David S. Ware and Ivo Perelman, in Shipp's String Trio and Quartet and the Maneri ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Gil Evans Orchestra: Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights

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Gil Evans, the most innovative arranger in the history of jazz, died in 1988. He is remembered for his work with Miles Davis in the 1950s, starting with the ground-breaking album The Birth Of The Cool with a pianoless nonet, and peaking with Miles Ahead, in which he turned a collection of seemingly diverse songs into a concept album by expertly writing small linking passages to them. Hidden Treasures has been produced by his sons, Miles and ...

RADIO

Aruán Ortiz live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Aruán Ortiz is a rising piano star of such a sweeping contemporary technique, imagination and keyboard-power, to be an enthralling one-man band too. The Cuban-born musician incorporates different forms in his compositions, resulting in a unique new style which reflects his fascination for modern classical music as well as Afro-Cuban traditions, and for great jazz innovators such as Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk. On this solo set, based on his album Cub(an)ism released last year on the Swiss ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Walter Fähndrich - Christy Doran - Remo Schnyder - Samuel Wettstein: Âme Sèche

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The literal translation of the album title from French to English looks to be 'soul dryer,' but in reality it could imply something else. Regardless, this international quartet abides by a surfeit of unorthodoxies. And while guitar hero Christy Doran is perhaps well-known to the global avant-jazz, improvisation and jazz fusion audience, the other artists' musical appetites span noise music, classical, jazz, improvisation and a host of cross-bred musical idioms. Nonetheless, the musicians' biographies are well-beyond the scope of this ...

RADIO

Chick & Steve, Two Pairs of Covers, Wordplay & More

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Putting a show together, I sometimes amuse myself by posing programmatic 'problems' that help break my usual routines. To wit: we offer you two pairs of disparate covers of Wayne Shorter and Thelonious Monk tunes during the first hour and play word games with tune titles in the second hour. The 2018 Downbeat Readers' Poll selected the Chick Corea/Steve Gadd collaboration as Album of the Year, and we feature a pair of tracks. And there's more Sonny Rollins ...