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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

The Ten Most Essential Art Farmer Albums

Read "The Ten Most Essential Art Farmer Albums" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

Bassist Keter Betts, who played with Art Farmer briefly during the 1970s, described him best: “He was a gentleman's trumpet player, not a rebel trumpet player." At 25 years of age, Farmer was given the opportunity to travel Europe with Lionel Hampton's jazz band. He had spent the past few years wandering Los Angeles as a struggling musician with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and the chance for adventure was a welcome one. Upon his return to the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kevin Sun: The Sustain of Memory

Read "The Sustain of Memory" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Ambition is good. Saxophonist Kevin Sun has it. He proves it by releasing--before attaining his thirtieth birthday--The Sustain of Memory, a cinematic two-disc set of atmospheric avant-garde music in trio, quartet and quintet settings, which maintains a start-to-finish focus of an expansive artistic vision. “I've always been drawn to sprawling, encyclopedic or maximalist works of art," Sun says. And he has produced an excellent and beautiful example of the genre. The music is divided into three “suites": the ...

RADIO

Olive Branch or Pat Nip?

Read "Olive Branch or Pat Nip?" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

After the “politicapocalypse" (Mike's coinage--ask him) of the previous episode, the boys decide to gently transition away from that minefield by looking at two artists more obliquely engaged with political discourse and two artists more or less removed from it entirely (by temperament and timing). To soothe Pat's scalded nerves, Mike brings a couple “cool" cats to the party, though by the end he agrees that one of them just might have been satirizing a certain mid-sixties obsession with Latin ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Hristo Vitchev: Of Light and Shadows

Read "Of Light and Shadows" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Guitarist Hristo Vitchev reconvenes his synergistic quartet with pianist Jasnam Daya Singh, bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Mike Shannon for a set of nine originals, each deeper than the last. It's the kind of session that happens perhaps once in a decade, where every detail dovetails into the next without the merest hint of force. The title track is a joyous opener, practicing what it preaches by virtue of its gradations. It exudes passionate musical ideas and exposition. ...

RADIO

A Look at Modern German Jazz

Read "A Look at Modern German Jazz" reviewed by Nick Davies

After years of having been the techno capital of the world, the city now embraces a much wider musical palette. Attracting a new generation of sonic adventurists, international jazz musicians as well as German talents. These highly skilled performers are searching for something new, merging different styles and influences. It's a fact: jazz no longer “smells funny." And after jny: London and jny: Los Angeles, jny: Berlin is on its way to becoming a new hot spot for the next ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rachel Therrien: Vena

Read "Vena" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A hot organ intro accompanies the simple, fifty-two second, folk-dance breeze of “Folks Jam" before sweeping you into the grander, ballroom dance that is “V for Vena." It's an alluring intro to trumpeter/flugelhornist Rachel Therrien's fifth album as a leader. You quickly hear the beauty of Therrien's playing: there's no need to nerdily testify which horn she's playing on any given solo (even if you could spot the difference). Just gasp and when she's done soaring or imploring, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Peter Hum: Ordinary Heroes

Read "Ordinary Heroes" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Canadian jazz pianist Peter Hum has been a fixture and mainstay on the Ottawa jazz scene for three decades. A journalist by profession, covering education, crime and city hall for the Ottawa Citizen, a social conscious and music, have always been driving forces in his life. His third album as leader, Ordinary Heroes contains ten original compositions all inspired by his social and political concerns in today's society and, as such, is dedicated to those to whom we all owe ...


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