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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: Wadada Leo Smith: America's National Parks

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Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has a feel for the epic in his art, on recordings like: America (Tzadik Records, 2009), a duet set with drummer Jack DeJohnette; “America's Third Century Spiritual Awakening," from his first Golden Quartet (Tzadik Records, 2000) outing; Occupy The World (TUM Records, 2013), with the Finish big band, Tumo; The Great Lakes Suite (TUM Records, 2014), and his massive four disc master work, Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform Records, 2012), inspired by America's civil rights movement.

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Grant Green: The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark – 1961-62

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Imagine if someone discovered a stash of unreleased Beatles records 15 years after they broke up. Then imagine Apple Records released all that music in a 2-CD set. That's what Grant Green: The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark is like. I exaggerate, but not by much. Grant Green wasn't the Beatles of jazz. But for about five years in the early-to mid-1960s, he was arguably the best jazz guitarist around. He was in the same class ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henrik Jensen's Followed By Thirteen: Blackwater

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Blackwater is the second album from London-based Henrik Jensen's Followed By Thirteen. There's one change in personnel from debut album Qualia (Jellymould Jazz, 2013)--Antonio Fusco replacing original drummer Peter Ibbetson--but the instrumentation remains the same. Three years on, the band's increasing experience and maturity as a unit is reflected in the compositions and musicianship displayed here.The band may be based in the UK, but its members are an international bunch. Bassist and leader Jensen is Danish, as is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kurt Jarnberg Quintet: Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package

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In the late 1960s, trombonist and sometime trumpeter Kurt Jarnberg led a popular jazz quintet in his native Sweden, one that lasted for only a couple of years before disbanding. Jarnberg came back with another small group in the mid-'70s, adding vocalist Ruth Asenlund (Jarnberg) to the mix, disbanded again, then returned to action with yet another group from 1986-89. The first of these bands is represented on the 2-CD set Down Memory Lane 2, the others on Volume 3, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tender Heart: Songs Of Tom Giacabetti And Melissa Gilstrap

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The late Tom Giacabetti was a master guitarist based in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Towards the end of his life, cut short at age 64 by a prolonged illness, he compiled several of his own compositions for some of which lyrics were set by Melissa Gilstrap, a Philly lawyer and lover of music, poetry, literature, and the arts, who is currently making a name for herself as a jazz lyricist. (Her words are featured in a self-produced 2013 recording From ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

I.P.A.: I Just Did Say Something

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Scandinavians have made an indelible mark on the progressive jazz front for the past several decades. For example, modern era bands such as Atomic and units led by trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær, often present hybrid journeys into free jazz or nu-bop, Avant jazz rock and other shrewdly devised cross-functional endeavors. Since 2007, Norwegian-based I.P.A. has been a major exponent of the fertile Euro jazz scene. Influenced by trumpeter Don Cherry and his lineage to Ornette Coleman's legacy, this unit ups ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Quanta Vocals: Carol Bach-y-Rita, Sara Serpa, Alyssa Allgood, Gina Sicilia, Ilse Huizinga

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Carol Bach-y-Rita minha casa / my house Self Produced 2016 Polyglot exotic Carol Bach-y-Rita released her conspicuous debut, What Love Is in 2009. Since then, she has kept busy performing, taking her sweet time in developing her new project, the self-produced Minha Casa / My House. Her selected repertoire bursts with originality and invention, manifesting in orchestration, arrangement, and composition. Regarding orchestration, Bach-y-Rita mixes and matches instruments with a carefree ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monterey Jazz Festival 2016

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Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey, CA September 16-18, 2016 In its 59th annual edition, the Monterey Jazz Festival once again delivered on its promise to bring a stylistic plethora and pageantry--with nods to more abstract or daring fare--to the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Among the marquee bragging rights: an impressive new commissioned chamber jazz piece, “The Unfolding," by Wayne Shorter; a good clean fun-making big band tribute to Quincy Jones' influential soul and jazz-bridging A&M albums, ...


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