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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leverton Fox: Velcro Bird

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Leverton Fox was formed in 2007 when trumpeter/electronicist Alex Bonney, drummer/electronicist Tim Giles and guitarist/electronicist Matt Groom came together. That trio released Country Dances (Gravid Hands, 2009) but by the release of The Human Arm (Not Applicable, 2012) Groom had been replaced by Sam Britton on electronics. The line-up has remained stable ever since, through the release of Smart Casual (Not Applicable, 2013) and now this fourth album, with the only complication being Britton's use of pseudonyms. Here he is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joey Alexander: Countdown

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Like most such facile categorizing, 'child prodigy' usually ends up being a dead end rather than a means to explore the subject at hand. In the case of Joey Alexander, it's a disservice precisely because it's so restrictive: if he proves anything on his second album, it is that he will not be confined. Quite the contrary, the thirteen year-old pianist and composer challenges himself on multiple fronts on Countdown. He not only chooses to play with other ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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Veteran cornetist Bobby Bradford's penchant for conversational give and take in tandem with another horn is much in evidence on this 2013 live date from The Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. And in alto saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, a Professor of Creative/World Music at San Francisco State University, he has found a foil who at times recalls his erstwhile employer Ornette Coleman in his insouciant garrulousness and even evokes his elemental country blues wail. Vastly experienced bassist Mark Dresser ...

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 ...


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