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Articles | Featured | Future

Terence Blanchard: Music, Social Justice and Raising Awareness About Violence Against Black People

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A few years ago, I was applauding as the cast of Motown was taking their bows on Broadway when I recognized a mother's face sitting across my row. Without question or trepidation, I felt compelled to say something, hopefully comforting, to Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. In addition to my heartfelt condolences for the tragic violent death of her son, I told her about my Kids for Coltrane work, and she smiled with warmth and an appreciation hearing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Caleb Wheeler Curtis: Brothers

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Brotherhood comes in multiple forms--genetic, fraternal, and professional, to mention the most applicable--but all are bound by a sense of fellow feeling and shared experience(s). That truth rests at the heart of this, saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis' debut album. The obvious nods to brotherhood here come in the form of this album's title, its freewheeling and mercurial title track, and a cover photo showing the leader (on the left) and his younger brother, Nico, as children. But ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Fearless Flyers: The Fearless Flyers

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The Fearless Flyers' self-titled debut EP, released on March 23, is a brief but rewarding collection of funk jams performed with impeccable chemistry. The Fearless Flyers are a quartet of some of the United States' grooviest virtuosos including Joe Dart on bass, Nate Smith on drums, and Cory Wong and Mark Lettieri on guitars. Most of the group are members of Jack Stratton's funk band Vulfpeck, excluding Lettieri, who plays for the Grammy- winning jazz fusion ensemble Snarky ...

RADIO

Jure Pukl 'Doubtless' live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Jure Pukl is one of Slovenia's most prolific and creative saxophonists, who has been performing for years all over the world. He is part of a new generation of musicians shaping the future of jazz. This concert at BIMHUIS features the line-up from his recent album, Doubtless: a tenor sax front-line of Jure Pukl and his partner Melissa Aldana, with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. At BIMHUIS they were joined by a number of special guests ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roz Harding - Mike Outram - Jim Bashford: Super Mood

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The trio covers several acres of musical terrain on this inspiring debut led by British saxophonist/educator, Roz Harding (Mike Westbrook's Uncommon Orchestra, Paul Dunmall). Indeed, it's one of those unanticipated surprises that at the very least, adds a nouveau light to the possibilities of what a hip, small ensemble rendezvous can generate. Harding and guitarist Mike Outram are near flawless foils and masters of invention. With the latter's recoiling lines, effects and gritty jazz rock soloing and Harding's ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 3-4

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Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 8: The Herdsmen -Bobby Shew meets Larry McKenna Trumpeter Bobby Shew is a well-known alumnus of the mid-1960s Woody Herman Herd, and has had a high profile career in jazz as a trumpeter and educator. Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

HHY & The Macumbas: Beheaded Totem

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Lurking somewhere between Sun Ra's Arkestra and the Chemical Brothers is Beheaded Totem's jarring, rocky soundscape. Every turn seems to loop back on itself in a never-ending cycle of music. The wide expanses of the synth and percussion combo create a sense of openness and space. Of a plain of sound where the horizons stretch out in both directions. And the brass, more concentrated and precise, mirror the sunbeams that blister the ground. Their spare riffs colour the sound with ...

RADIO

Jazz in Exile, Part One

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South Africa's Jazz enters a period of exile following the Sharpeville Massacre. Artists like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and many more leave the country in order to be able to continue performing their music. Playlist Miriam Makeba “Pata Pata" from Mama Africa: The Very Best of Miriam Makeba (Manteca) 2:24 Miriam Makeba “Ndodemnyama Verwoerd" from Africa (BMG) 5:19 Gwigwi Mrwebi “Nyusamkhaya" from Kwela (Honest Jons) 10:09 Hugh Masekela “U, Dwi" from Grrr (Verve Music) 13:28 Hugh Masekela ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4

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Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 4: Keen and Peachy: Music of the Woody Herman Second Herd -Directed by Michael Berkowitz Woody Herman's Second Herd was one of the most exciting bands of early modern jazz, and achieved a high level of performance as it ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare To Dream

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Onaje Allan Gumbs is a New York based pianist, composer, lyricist, and bandleader. Gumbs' professional career began in 1971 when Leroy Kirkland introduced him to Kenny Burrell, by sharing a demo tape. The next day Gumbs received a phone call to play with Burrell at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. Onaje, (Gumbs) talks about the beginnings of his musical career, and the various artists, some who became friends, that he has collaborated with throughout those years. These artists have inspired ...