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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlotte Jazz Orchestra: Uptown Down

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Uptown Down is the second album by the Charlotte (NC) Jazz Orchestra, a credibly proficient ensemble for a city that size. Unlike its earlier, in-house endeavor, this one is intended for public consumption; also unlike its sequestered debut, the CJO has chosen this time to intersperse its half-dozen instrumentals with vocals by Renee Ebalarosa. Is that a good thing? The answer depends largely on one's fondness for big-band singers. Let's simply say that some listeners would prefer to hear an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford/Hafez Modirzadeh/Mark Dresser/Alex Cline: Live At The Open Gate

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Live At The Open Gate by the quartet of Bobby Bradford, Hafez Modirzadeh, Mark Dresser, and Alex Cline shouts “West Coast" from the drop of the stylus on this, a limited edition (of 500) LP. It's not because the session is from Center for the Arts in Los Angeles 2013, it's because the inspiration here emanates from the West Coast revolution of Ornette Coleman. Before New York The Five Spot residency, Ornette's sea change in jazz began in ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Alex Gershman of Sasha’s Bloc

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About Alex Gershman An intriguing ensemble founded in 2012, Sasha's Bloc is an amalgam of varied artists, nationalities and experiences, all fueled by bassist and songwriter Alex Gershman. This collective delivers a sound that is consistently big, boisterous, full of spirit and rich in everything that makes jazz linger as an American phenomenon. The group has played multiple sold out concerts at key jazz clubs in Los Angeles, including Catalina Bar and Grill, Vibrato, Vitello's, and a sold ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Merritt Quartet: Anatta

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Everyone, listeners and composers/players bring their life experience to the music at hand. Jazz musicians in particular, especially today when many, if not most, compose as well as perform, pour themselves once into a composition, and then again when performing it. The performer aims to virtually disappear, to separate the distance and space between himself and the listener, and allow the music to flow. Of course, the listener is also asked to fully “be present" and , in a sense, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

FAT: (Living the Dream)

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While he's been living in Los Angeles for many years, Alex Machacek clearly values longterm musical relationships. While the majority of his recordings for the Raleigh, NC-based Abstract Logix imprint have seen the Austrian-born guitarist working with the likes of Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison, Neal Fountain and Gary Husband, his 2005 label debut, [sic], was notable--beyond its stunning compositions and mind-boggling post-Allan Holdsworth-ian guitar gymnastics--for the participation, on most tracks, of two fellow Austrians: bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Goodman: Border Crossing

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Border Crossing was born of guitarist Alex Goodman's careful cogitation concerning his move from Canada to New York. It's a beautifully contemplative bridge-builder of an album, bringing together musicians from both realms and connecting classically-oriented ideals, jazz language, and modern thought into a seamless whole. In soaking in the seven tracks presented here, it becomes apparent that the instrumentation and specific personalities on each instrument have a strong influence on the shape of this music and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Van Huffel - Alex Maksymiw: Kronix

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Hailing from Canada, but now calling Berlin home base, saxophonist Peter Van Huffel and guitarist Alex Maksymiw (Marcus Strickland) are radiant stars in the progressive jazz universe. As a solo artist, Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask band and similar undertakings have been wowing jazz audiences with a high-impact and kinetic modus operandi. And Maksymiw's Without a Word (Double Moon, 2015) features formidable saxophonist Marcus Strickland and is a program devised on the guitarist's perceptive compositional approach, tasteful riffs, strong soloing and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ingrid James and Alexis Tcholakian Trio: Trajectoire

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Trajectorie is a collaboration between the French pianist composer Alexis Tcholakian and the Queensland based vocalist Ingrid James. Their paths crossed in France when she was performing in a jny: Paris jazz club when he approached her to write lyrics to some of his melodies as part of a vocal project with other singers in France. After completion of several songs together it felt right for them to do an album and in June 2014 Trajectorie was recorded in Paris. ...


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