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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau

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If you blinked at the wrong time, it was easy to miss the fact that Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau had played together at all. For two such restless collaborators, each occasional encounter was one more fleeting meet-up among many others--a quick one-off in 2011, a nine-city string of duo shows in 2013 and another two-night live stand after a couple years more. That last was accompanied by a quick stop in the studio to finally give the rest of ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom

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Released to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, the message of Saxophonist Noah Preminger's Meditations on Freedom is as direct as the music is powerful. Conceived immediately after Election Day 2016 and recorded shortly thereafter without cuts or edits, the music is a testament to both Preminger's artistic prowess and deep commitment to political engagement.The album's nine offerings present a series of potent statements on social justice, the struggle for equity, and a stark repudiation ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Swell - Gebhard Ullmann - Fred Lonberg-Holm - Michael Zerang: The Chicago Plan

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The Chicago Plan equates to a strategic plan, evidenced by these magnetic and invigorating works by reedman Gebhard Ullmann (Berlin), trombonist Steve Swell (New York City) and Chicagoans, drummer Michael Zerang and cellist / electronics-ace Fred Lonberg-Holm. Recorded in Chicago, the musicians were seemingly immersed in the Windy City's cutting- edge jazz and improvisational forces that may have hovered over the studio like a guiding spirit. Here, some of the best and brightest live up to, or perhaps ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mings And Craig: Day By Day

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Day By Day is by the group Mings and Craig consisting of guitarists Monty Craig and Jim Mings is a quiet and unassuming guitar CD by two good friends and respected musicians from the north western part of South Carolina area near Greenville. Both are respected musicians and educators and long time friends. Craig teaches at Clemson University. Mings moved from Austin, Texas to Columbia, attending the University of South Carolina. Their group is called Mings and Craig ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Spencer and Juncture: The Reasons Don't Change

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The cover art is a clue to the music contained in this excellent album. It depicts a vista split in two, one half a deserted bucolic scene and the other a populated urban street. In the midst stands trumpeter and progenitor of this work, Henry Spencer, a graduate of the UK's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The bifurcated opening track is introduced by a restrained fifty second trumpet solo, building-up to a sustained B flat note ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Coffey: Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge

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If the name Dennis Coffey only faintly rings a bell, it's because the guitarist was a member of the ensemble know as The Funk Brothers, the studio session crew who supplied the musicianship at the heart of Motown classics. Like many of his brethren, Coffey often availed himself of the opportunity to venture outside the confines of the recording studio to inhabit clubs and Hot Coffee in the D is just such an expedition (the similar likes of which, perhaps ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

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It's not really necessary to be a dervish dancer to appreciate Club d'Elf, especially because, on Live at Club Helsinki, the prominence of varied sounds from Duke Levine's electric guitars, combined with the keyboard wizardry of John Medeski, is enough to capture and hold the attention of (almost) any contemporary music-lover. It's as effortless to fall into a dreamlike trance as a visceral spell in response to these extend Moroccan-influenced grooves. The cumulative intensity, however, is almost indiscernible, ...


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