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JAZZMATAZZ

Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival

Read "Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Exploring the grounds of the Montreal Jazz Festival is like going to all you can eat Las Vegas buffet. “Look over there at table four; there's Dixieland. Wait at table six, there's Latin jazz, supposedly the main table as a new head chef, let's go there." You can stuff yourself by going to more than ten concerts during a single 13-hour day at the festival. The best part is that all of the outdoor concerts, over ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE

Read "Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE" reviewed by Jim Worsley

We live in an era where chit chatting now, most annoyingly, rivals actual listening to the music at many concerts. It is with supreme delight then, that I share my enthralling experience of an evening of musical brilliance that was free of any such boorish clutter. You could have heard a pin drop at Bacchus' Kitchen in Pasadena, California during the Maureen Choi Quartet performance. A virtuoso violinist, Choi, and her bandmates treated an attentive and appreciative audience to two ...

IN PICTURES

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 2019

Read "CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Gregory Savage

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, held June 21st thru the 29th, was a huge success. The streets of downtown Rochester, New York, are the perfect venue to host nine straight days (and nights) of jazz. The eighteenth annual festival had a little something for everyone, including perfect weather. From high school bands, to rising stars, to NEA Jazz Masters; every level of jazz was heard and seen. The lineup included jazz greats George Benson, Eddie Henderson, Steve Gadd, Harold ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019

Read "3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It must unofficially be the year of the piano trio or something. They just keep coming, and thankfully each new one is still stimulating and surprising. Shalosh Onwards and Upwards ACT Music 2019 The name means “three," simply enough, and Shalosh is all about embodying that ideal of unity as a humble and mutually supportive unit. Less obviously on the surface (though just as importantly), they're all about getting under the hood ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii/Ramon Lopez: Confluence

Read "Confluence" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Satoko Fujii has collected a lot of musical soul mates over her twenty-plus year, eighty-plus album career: pianist Paul Bley, her early mentor; trumpeter (and husband) Natsuki Tamura; electronics wizard/keyboardfisit Alister Spence, to name a few notables. All three have teamed with Fujii for at least one extraordinary duo album apiece, showcasing deep connections and near supernatural simpaticos with Fujii's singular artistic vision. Confluence introduces yet another of Fujii's kindred spirits to her duo recording ouvre: Spanish ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bert Lams & Fabio Mittino: Movimenti

Read "Movimenti" reviewed by Geno Thackara

George Gurdjieff was one fascinating character: traveler, mystic, philosopher, composer and more. He taught that most people's consciousness is limited and there are other realms to be experienced after a spiritual awakening--time-honored ideas, yet provocative stuff for the early 20th century. His most famous collaboration was with Russian composer Thomas de Hartmann, which resulted in a musical travelogue that remains fascinatingly exotic even today. These are complex-yet-accessible pieces full of mystery, always reaching for something a little otherworldly.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rosario Bonaccorso Quartet: A New Home

Read "A New Home" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is a trend in jazz today to abandon beauty for technical ability. Odd meter and eccentric changes replace sympathetic music making, favoring skills over art. Thank the heavens there are those who have never abandoned beauty. One such musician is bassist Rosario Bonaccorso. His quartet recording A New Home is an exercise in elegance and style, featuring eleven original compositions by the bassist and leader. Pianist Enrico Zanisi returns from Bonaccorso's previous outing A Beautiful Story (Via Veneto Jazz, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

A Spirale & Chris Cogburn: Autocannibalism

Read "Autocannibalism" reviewed by John Eyles

The Italian duo A Spirale, comprising electric guitarist Maurizio Argenziano and saxophonist Mario Gabola, was formed in 2002 when it also included drummer Massimo Spezzaferro; the trio version appeared on the ten-disc compilation Musica Improvvisa (die Schactel, 2010). Since then, Spezzaferro has not recorded with A Spirale, and the duo has collaborated with guest players. Autocannibilism is their first release since 2013, and finds them in the company of guest American percussionist Chris Cogburn, who has recorded with such esteemed ...

RADIO

The Chicago Sound (1956 - 1961)

Read "The Chicago Sound (1956 - 1961)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Because it acted as a safe harbor for the New Orleans diaspora of the teens and twenties, Chicago played a key role in early jazz. By the 1950s, much of jazz was understood in the dialog between cool jazz and hard bop, aka West Coast and East Coast, with Los Angeles and New York playing inordinately important roles. But the Chicago scene was as vital as ever. In this hour, we will return to the “City with Broad Shoulders" and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nerija: Blume

Read "Blume" reviewed by Chris May

Nérija is a collective comprising seven of the brightest stars on London's alternative jazz scene--alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi and tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia, trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, trombonist Rosie Turton, guitarist Shirley Tetteh, bassist Rio Kai and drummer Lizy Exell. All are bandleaders in their own right. You would expect such a line-up to deliver the goods and it does. Among Blume's charms is a great vibe. A defining feature of the new London scene is its collegiate nature. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Simon Lasky Group: About The Moment

Read "About The Moment" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Which moment could this title be referring to? There's no shortage of beautifully striking ones scattered throughout the Simon Lasky Group's second outing: dynamic lifts and swells, chord changes that step through sophisticated sequences as smoothly as descending stairs, little heads or melody lines that pack a special hit because they're placed at just the right spot in the larger context of the piece. The whole album is really an extended moment of happy togetherness, presented as a mosaic of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ståhls trio: Källtorp Sessions, Volume One

Read "Källtorp Sessions, Volume One" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In a more perfect world, jazz would be found on jukeboxes. Better still, how about adventurist jazz on jukeboxes? Mattias Ståhl's trio brings this thought to mind. His Källtorp Sessions, Volume One is comprised of nine tracks averaging 3¾ minutes, perfect for those 45 rpm singles. The Stähls Trio of Mattias Ståhl (vibraphone), Joe Williamson (bass), and Christopher Cantillo (drums), follow up on their premier outing Jag Skulle Bara Gå Ut (Moserobie Music, 2013). These escapades by a ...