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Jazz Articles | Blog

BEST OF / YEAR END

Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2016

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It has been an exciting year for artists perched on the precipice between jazz and other idioms. Each of these releases manages in its own way both to challenge and to inspire the listener, and the stylistic variety on display is an encouraging sign that creative music is truly in good hands! The Claudia Quintet Super Petite (Cuneiform) Another superb collection of songs from John Hollenbeck, brilliantly played by his veteran associates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

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Modus Factor, a trio based in Toronto, says it creates “Electro ambient improvisational bedlam." An accurate description of their sound except, perhaps, for the bedlam part (for the most part). Featuring a drums/bass/electric trumpet line-up, with effects, the comparisons that come to mind are Nils Petter Molvaer's spacey approach on sets like Switch (OKeh Record, 2014) and Buoyancy (OKeh Records, 2016). And speaking of bedlam, a line could be drawn to trumpeter Cuong Vu's steroidal ambience. But Picasso ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The NOLA Players: Christmastime in New Orleans

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As valuable as the Marsalis family is to the New Orleans jazz community, their creative presence is so dense that most music made in NOLA will be drawn into their sonic orbit. This is not a bad thing, but neither is a little heterogeneity. This is what makes The NOLA Players' Christmastime in New Orleans such a joy, because of its ability to stand up to such holiday musical pinnacles as A Crescent City Christmas Card (Columbia, 1989), Christmas Jazz ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert

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Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert Aneta Norek-Skrycka 172 Pages ISBN: 978-83-938054-2-6 The Zbigniew Seifert Foundation 2016 A number of European jazz musicians stand out for having shaped the sound of the music in the past fifty years, for their virtuosity and for having influenced subsequent generations. A partial list would include Django Reinhardt, Joe Zawinul, Jan Garbarek, Jan Johansson, Norma Winstone, Henri Texier, Enrico Rava and Tomasz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher / Ståle Liavik Solberg: So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain

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British saxophonist John Butcher and Norwegian percussionist Ståle Liavik Solberg come together in a striking first meeting recorded live at north London's Cafe Oto in August 2015. Butcher brings to bear all the experience one would expect from one of the so-called second generation of English improvisers. Solberg, who co-curates Oslo's Blow Out! Festival each January, has worked extensively with other members of the same cohort such as pianist Steve Beresford and guitarist John Russell, so it's no surprise he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Kerouac & Steve Allen: Poetry For The Beat Generation

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Jack Kerouac is most famous for his iconic novel On the Road, a book which helped define an entire generation of drifters, hitchhikers, poets and musicians (although not exclusively in that order), all of whom Kerouac collectively coined as “The Beat Generation." Upon publication in 1957, On the Road was celebrated by The New York Times Gilbert Millstein as “a major novel," one which he considered as being just as important to the lost generation of the '50s as Hemingway ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Rolling Stones: Blue And Lonesome

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We should be clear of one thing: were it not for the British Invasion, the United States would likely not have been introduced to its own folk music as early as she was. Gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, country, and rock and roll all, at least partly, depended on breaking into the lucrative lily-white commercial market (think Elvis Presley) and it took the forever-forward thinking Brits to take advantage of the musical vacuum created by American institutional racism ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases Of 2016

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The music keeps moving forward, evolving to higher levels. My search for the best jazz recordings of 2016 led me to these marvelous CDs. Wadada Leo SmithAmerica's National Parks Cuneiform Records Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has attempted in, the new millennium, to create his magnum opus. He may have succeeded with America's National Parks, a sprawling, dark-hued masterpiece celebrating the Mississippi River, New Orleans, Yellowstone, Yosemite and more.. Adam PieronczykMonte Alban


All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.