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LIVE REVIEWS

The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace

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The Brian McCarthy Quartet FlynnSpace Burlington, Vermont December 2, 2017 A performance in recognition of the release of its album Codex (Self Produced, 2017), The Brian McCarthy Quartet effectively transposed the sparse, spacious quality of the recording to this intimate venue adjacent to the Queen City's Performing Arts Center. In keeping with the stoic, scholarly demeanor of the leader, the celebratory air of this milestone event was subdued, but not so much there wasn't ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian McCarthy: Codex

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Whether saxophonist Brian McCarthy's third full-length studio album, Codex, was specifically intended as such, this comparatively simple, bracing quartet project is a refreshing change of pace from its more involved predecessor, The Better Angels of Our Nature (Truth Revolution, 2017). On the surface at least seemingly far less ambitious, the album begins in a relaxed mode with “Commonplace," but its urgency grows almost imperceptibly (and most appropriately) with a solo from the leader of the band: following a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian McCarthy Nonet: The Better Angels of Our Nature

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Brian McCarthy's The Better Angels of Our Nature shares some common ground with Ted Nash whose Big Band collection Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom) (Motema Music, 2016) explored musical interpretations of great historical speeches including those of John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson. McCarthy's focus is inspirited by American Civil War and the political and socio-economic issues that are not as far behind us as we would like to think.A well ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian McCarthy: This Just In

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Jazz is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Vermont but the state, despite its size, has had a long involvement with improvised music. Trumpeters Alan Shorter and Bill Dixon taught at Bennington College and guitarist Attila Zoller founded the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro. In addition to having a small yet vibrant local scene, its largest city Burlington hosts an annual, impeccably organized, ten day festival that over the years has featured such giants as ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Brian McCarthy

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Meet Brian McCarthy: A staple of the ongoing music scene from Vermont to New York, equally comfortable in modern jazz settings, Latin ensembles, and funk outfits. Brian is a first-rate saxophonist, arranger, and composer currently performing with Ray Vega's Quintet and the Grippo Funk Band. He has arranged for jazz heavyweights Kenny Garrett and Mulgrew Miller. He has performed with the Clark Terry Big Band and recorded with Mike Gordon, while always finding time in his schedule to ...


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