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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center

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Bobby Hutcherson tribute SFJAZZ Center jny: San Francisco CA January 21, 2017 I still can't quite believe he's gone. No, not that contemporary American icon. I'm talking about Bobby Hutcherson, one of the greatest practitioners ever of the curious art of making the vibraphone sing and a jazz composer of unparalleled wit and invention. Hutcherson laid his mallets down for good last August, and the world has seemed a measurably ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Male Vocals – Mark Murphy, Theo Bleckmann, Gregory Porter, Jimmy Scott, Kurt Elling, Ron Boustead

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What passes for male jazz vocals makes an interesting dichotomy with female jazz vocals. Judging by the number of female jazz vocal releases that come my way, I almost believe that every woman fancies that she can make a jazz recording. Interestingly, there are many good to great ones. Not so with men. I probably see only a fifth to a quarter the number of male vocal releases when compared to the female. Nothing scientific, and certainly anecdotal. And also, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Led Bib: Umbrella Weather

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When you're talking umbrella weather, there's rain and then there's rain. A drizzle and a downpour are two very different beasts, and this most certainly qualifies as the latter. Led Bib opens up the heavenly and hellish skies to create a deluge in sound on this terrifically tempestuous RareNoise date. Some bands born of radical designs tend to lose their edge over time, blunted and stunted by the individual and collective aging process, but Led Bib hasn't ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Lindberg BC3: Born In An Urban Ruin

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Acclaimed bassist John Lindberg's trio on Born In An Urban Ruin possesses a distinctive and deeply personal sound in keeping with the man himself. That's down to both the novel instrumentation with long time associate Kevin Norton mostly on vibes and Michigan native Wendell Harrison on clarinets, and the character of Lindberg's writing. The essential humanity inspiring each piece is revealed in Lindberg's liners, but reinforced by their warmth, memorable hooks and multi-threaded nature which sidestep the potential for chamber ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

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Versatiity is the key to the musical success of The Picasso Zone by the multi-national, polystylistic electric jazz trio Modus Factor. Based in Toronto, Modus Factor is comprised of Canadian drummer (and putative bandleader) Chris Lesso, trumpeter Brownman Ali--originally from Trinidad--and Uganada- born bassist Ian De Souza. Clearly, these guys' diverse origins contributed to their abiding interest in a broad swath of musical genres which, in turn, truly enriches the music on The Picasso Zone. Though hip- hop, funk, electronica, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe: Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)

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Cincinnati-based Brad Myers's follow-up recording to his 2015 quintet album “Prime Numbers" is essentially a duo record with his bassist colleague Michael Sharfe. The qualification “essentially" is deployed because there is additional percussion on most tracks but it's used as decorative augmentation rather than a vital rhythm unit. The opener, “Sanguinaria (Hopefulsong)" is atypical of successive numbers, with Sharfe initially playing arco bass and Dan Karlsberg on melodica. Both this number and its successor “In From Somewhere" are ...

PHILOSOPHISTICATED LADY

What would Plato have thought about jazz music?

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"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 39 [Free Press, 1979]) Have you ever wondered what one of the most celebrated philosophers of Ancient History might have thought about jazz music if he had lived to witness its development? There are several fragments of Plato's writings that may point us in the direction of finding out.

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964

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What's left to say about Lee Morgan's most popular album, The Sidewinder? How about this: It is one FUN record. That's capital F, capital U, capital N. Anything wrong with that? Sometimes it feels like all the fun has gone out of jazz. As if nothing can be Good unless it is Serious. As if muted Miles and spiritual Trane are the ultimate barometers of true jazz respectability. Hey, I love Miles and Trane and all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Orrin Evans: #knowingishalfthebattle

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Since the 1990s Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans has carved out a revered career as a band leader, producer, composer, and first and foremost, one helluva jazz pianist. Recorded live at New York's Sear Sound's Studio, #knowingishalfthebattle is his third release on Smoke Sessions with an all-star lineup that includes two other well-known Philly natives, guitarists Kevin Eubanks and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Energy runs through the session through the virtuosic performances of the three headliners as well as the ...


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