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Taupe: Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow

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Taupe's creative universe thrives post-bang. It understands that stars, planets, and galaxies are an ultimate goal, yet understands the value of its gaseous beginnings before proceeding to grander narratives. Indeed, meta-explanations need not apply in this formation process, as they would only get in the way of the extroversions at play throughout. As torch-bearers of this philosophy, guitarist Mike Parr-Burman, altoist Jamie Stockbridge, and drummer Adam Stapleford have between them carved out an infinitesimal slice of darkness somewhere in the ...


Chamber 3: Transatlantic

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Seattle-based drummer Matt Jorgensen tattoos every recording he releases with a mark of bold, clean modernity--whether working with his group Matt Jorgensen + 451 on Hope (Origin Records, 2004) and Another Morning (Origin Records, 2008), or Tattooed By Passion (Origin Records, 2010). Add in scores of sideman slots. His is a distinctive sound, compositionally and instrumentally, on his own or backing his labelmates. Transatlantic is the second outing by the Jorgensen vehicle, Chamber 3, a follow up to ...


Alcyona Mick & Tori Freestone: Criss Cross

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An associate of the Loop Collective, Alcyona Mick graduated in jazz piano from the Royal Academy of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire. She writes scores for silent films and is a member of the prestigious London Jazz Orchestra. Mick has recorded two albums with the jazz group Blink, including its eponymous debut album and its follow-up, Twice. Tori Freestone joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra at 17 and went on to study jazz flute at Leeds College of Music, progressing to ...


Rudi Mahall / Alexander von Schlippenbach: So Far

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The raw materials with which pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and clarinetist (chiefly bass clarinetist) Rudy Mahall work on the free improvisation recording So Far, are best described as untreated, as opposed to unrefined, the other definition of raw. Their music is reduced to its essential components of sound, pulse, and interplay. The two German musicians are equally versed in traditional jazz and free improvisation. It is always fascinating how both can switch from covering Thelonious Monk's entire oeuvre ...


Getting Past (E)Go

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I like to play squash, and the best advice a pro ever gave me was this: “Hit the ball in the middle of the racquet." Do you have any idea how difficult that simple piece of advice is to master? Not so long ago, a friend (Brent Vaartstra) posted a great podcast about overcoming low self esteem as a musician. This is something that has plagued me on and off most of my musical career, and I've been ...


Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café

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Noa Fort Cornelia Street Café New York, NY March 19, 2018 In celebration of her debut album as leader, pianist and vocalist Noa Fort presented a concert of original songs at Cornelia Street Café. With trumpeter Josh Deutsch, bassist Dan Loomis, and drummer Ronen Itzik sharing the platform, Fort took her listeners on an intimate journey through lyrical and melodic shades of being. Because the set consisted of material both from and subsequent ...


Rob Clearfield: Wherever You're Starting From

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Chicago-based keyboardist Rob Clearfield has long been an active presence in the Windy City jazz scene, working with folks like bassist Matt Ulery, drummer Jon Deitemyer and guitarist Dan Bruce. Just last year, his appearances on Bruce's Earthshine (ears&eyes Records) and trumpeter Adam Larson's Second City (Inner Circle Music) were indicative of Clearfield's stylistic diversity, proving that he's as comfortable churning out Fender Rhodes-based grooves or doing an impressionistic take on Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit" as he is in ...


Cologne Open 2018

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Cologne Open Stadtgarten Cologne, Gemany March 1-2, 2018 Cologne Open, the first edition of a new showcase festival offering a selection of the city's jazz musicians, spanned two nights in the renowned Stadtgarten venue. It was launched on the occasion of a meeting of the newly established Artistic Exchange Platform (AEP) of Europe Jazz Network at this venue. This report first provides some background information before reviewing the individual musical performances of ...


Roberto Magris Sextet: Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery

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Roberto Magris is an Italian pianist who has an eclectic range of interests but is heavily in thrall to the masters of American bebop. On this particular live recording he leads a sextet that gives that language a pronounced Latin twist leading to a set of fiery performances. Magris uses two horn players, trumpeter Brian Lynch and tenor saxophonist Jonathan Gomez, who are explosive throughout, especially on the tunes that have an underlying Latin flavor such as “African ...


Wobbler: From Silence to Somewhere

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Formed in 1999, this premier Norwegian band lights up the progressive rock genre with this superfine and expertly produced studio album, where the old school prog playbook is given a bit of an uplift, especially since the band casts a gleaming persona into these multifaceted works. Sure, glimpses of Gentle Giant and classic-era Genesis weave into various movements. However, Wobbler interlaces a multitude of rhythmic and melodic aspects into these memorable compositions, combining ethereal, windblown dreamscapes with tenacious ensemble work ...