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ALBUM REVIEWS

Kresten Osgood Quintet: Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz

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One way of getting a handle on a jazz artist's style is a perusal of their “played with," “recorded with" resume. Danish drummer Kresten Osgood has collaborated in the recording studio with the likes of pianists Paul Bley and Masabumi Kikuchi, bassist Mark Dresser and saxophonist Sam Rivers--free-flying iconoclasts all. The drummer/bandleader lives up to that characterisation here. Kristen Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz, a wide-tanging two CD set, explores some lesser-known tunes from some of music history's freer ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kevin Bales With Chuck Redd At The Jazz Corner

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Kevin Bales with Chuck Redd The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SC January 4th & 5th, 2019 Whenever pianist Kevin Bales comes in from Atlanta to play The Jazz Corner he brings with him a great band and an inventive theme. Whether it's a centennial celebration of the blues or the music of Fred Rogers he never fails to find a sound to vary his presentation and stretch his own tremendous skill. On his most ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Benjamin Boone & Philip Levine: The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two

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Poetry and music are overlapping forms of expression. Poetry emphasizes the musicality of words. Music has many features of poetry including sound, syntax, and meaning. Still, only a few poets have spoken their poems in a musical context. It is hard to do effectively because speech and music have different functions: speech is about things, intentions, and ideas, about which music can only be suggestive. The spoken word is not the same as a song, words set to a melody. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Zack Clarke: Mesophase

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The album press pitch states that, “Mesophase is a term used in physics describing a state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid, sharing properties of both while defining a state unique unto itself." And for New York-based pianist, electronics ace Zack Clarke's second release as a leader for Clean Feed, the Mesophase correlation may allude to the largely unclassifiable music executed on this distinctive and persuasive effort that adjoins chamber, jazz, free-form and experimental mediums. At ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amaro Freitas: Rasif

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In the small coastal city of Recife, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, Amaro Freitas began playing piano in his local church at age 12. A few years later, the jazz gods intervened in the form of a Chick Corea concert DVD. “He completely blew my mind," Freitas once recalled. “I'd never seen anything like it but I knew that's what I wanted to do with a piano." The refocused Freitas became resident pianist at Brazil's legendary jazz bar Mingus ...

RADIO

Cyrus Chestnut, Reginald Chapman and More

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This week we open with the music of veteran jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and a cut off his latest CD Kaleidoscope. We explore the jazz goods of Bunky Green and the great Reginald Chapman. In honor of the holiday season of 2018, we include several festive tunes to keep everything real and moving in the right direction with the music of Kansas City singer Tavis Minner, Adam Birnbaum and Lionel Loueke, before rounding things off with a bit of a ...

RADIO

Shai Maestro Trio At BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Shai Maestro began playing classical piano at the age of five an,d after discovering Oscar Peterson at the age of eight, he fell in love with jazz. After turning down offers from prestigious American music schools, at 19 he joined the band led by bassist Avishai Cohen featuring Mark Guiliana on drums. With that trio he toured with great success all over the world. A few years back he moved to Brooklyn, where he formed his own trio in 2011. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Marion Brown / Dave Burrell: Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981

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Once again the Lithuanian NoBusiness team has unearthed a jewel from the archives, this time an unissued live recording by two masters of the 1960s New Thing who thrived thereafter. Alto saxophonist Marion Brown, a participant on John Coltrane's legendary Ascension (Impulse, 1965), and pianist Dave Burrell, a stalwart of Archie Shepp's outfits, combined on a number of releases under Brown's name, such as Juba-Lee (Fontana, 1967) and Three For Shepp (Impulse, 1967), but after that time had only collaborated ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Time Grove: More Than One Thing

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The titling of instrumental pieces might take any number of courses. Musicians can make them super deep, or use super obscure references. Dedications to a specific place or person are common, as is the use of instruments or genres. Many titles are just left open to the listener's interpretation. Tel Aviv band Time Grove offers all the above options on their debut record More Than One Thing. Based around the work of acclaimed pianist Nitai Hershkovits, the group ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wandering Monster: Wandering Monster

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Wandering Monster is the eponymously titled debut album for a quintet comprising five young musicians based in the Leeds area of England. The group came to fame after winning the 2016/17 Jazz North Introduces Award, and is led by bassist Sam Quintana who wrote all the album's compositions. “Samsara" is driven-off by Quintana's resonant bass, Tom Higham's subtle drumming and Aleks Podraza's fluid piano line before the ensemble kicks-in with a labyrinthine theme. Plenty of space is afforded ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aguanko: Pattern Recognition

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Aguanko's composer, conguero and bandleader Dr. Alberto Nacif first stepped into the worlds of Latin and Afro-Cuban percussion alongside Cuban conga/bongo master Armando Peraza, the pillar of percussion fire who blazed throughout the Santana band's first decade. On Pattern Recognition, Nacif teams with another legendary Cuban percussionist: José “Pepe" Espinosa, who jumps in on timbales, guiro and bongos, and doubles as producer of Aguanko's third release. Aguanko's albums consistently run with the humming, precision consistency of an exquisitely ...

RADIO

A Conversation with Trumpeter Gil Defay

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Gil Defay's new album, It's All Love draws from his background in jazz, soul, and hiphop to create a collection of rich and accessible tunes that are all crafted with a generous dose of love. Join me and Gil as we talk about Mariah Carey, growing up a preacher's son, playing all F's on the trumpet, and a bunch of other related stuff. It's All Love features Ansy Defay on tenor/soprano saxophones and vocals, Rakiem Walker on ...