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Jazz Articles


Wolfgang Muthspiel: Rising Grace

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Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel made a big splash early in his career, playing with vibraphonist Gary Burton and recording for PolyGram Records (including 1990's The Promise, produced by Burton). Since founding his own label Material Records in 2000 he has had a somewhat lower profile, although in addition to a number of his projects the label released From A Dream (2009), the stunning debut of the cooperative trio MGT (with fellow guitarists Slava Grigoryan and Ralph Towner). Muthspiel made his ...


Tom Collier: Impulsive Illuminations

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Vibraphonist Tom Collier offers up something quite different from his previous Origin Records CDs, where he covered the jazz standards like John Coltrane's “Giant Steps; Miles Davis' “So What," and some seemingly unlikely pop hits: The Rolling Stones “What a Shame" and Brian Wilson's “God Only Knows,"alongside his own always engaging compositions. With Impulsive Illuminations, the thirty year University of Washington educator (now retired) explores the world of improvisation with pianist Richard Karpen, in the trio mode, with five different ...


Nigel Price: Heads & Tales Volume 2

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Nigel Price's second volume of Heads & Tales is, quite literally, a game of two halves. As with the first volume, released in 2011, it incorporates two CDs each containing different versions of standards. The first disc, where Price is accompanied by Matt Home on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond organ, plus guest saxophonists Alex Garnett and Vasilis Xenopoulos, utilises the same device as on the first volume. The standards are given new heads and titles but follow the ...


John Crawford: Times and Tides

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For his second album British pianist/composer John Crawford continues his love of Latin American and Spanish flamenco music, while also incorporating fresh new influences. Crawford's opening original “Blurred" shares a Brazilian heritage with the cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's “Once I Loved" that follows it. Guitarist Guillermo Hill makes an immediate impression on nylon-string guitar: he's an effective foil to Crawford's piano. The Jobim tune also features sultry vocalist Linley Weir and saxophonist Duncan Lamont Snr. “Solea por ...


Mosaic: Subterranea

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Mosaic is led by Royal Academy of Music jazz graduate Ralph Wyld's whose debut album for Edition Records augurs well for this London-based musician. Opening with “White Horses," this track holds the key to Wyld's imaginative compositions; starting slowly, the initial use of horns and arco strings for tonal colour is deceptive as the mood rapidly builds with the deployment of feisty vibraphone and drums. The light and shade of the piece is evinced by swathes of alternating crescendo and ...

Death By Banjo, Playing With Emotion, and Musical Divorce

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Dear Mr. P.C.: I just played a gig with a bad banjo player. I spent a lot of time learning the music, and the gig went fine. My problem is that now I can't get that music out of my head. It's killing me! What am I supposed to do? --Troubled in Tallahassee Dear Troubled: Unfortunately, offensive music in your head can only be displaced by music that's more offensive--that's how the ...


The Blue Notes and the Brotherhood of Breath - Marching to a Different Drum

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Early one August morning in 1964, seven people crossed the border by train passing from South Africa into Mozambique. It was an unusual group of people--five black men, one white man and one white woman. Any “mixing of the races" was, of course, immediately suspicious in apartheid South Africa. The six men--Louis Moholo, Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Dyani and Nikele Moyake--made up The Blue Notes. South Africa's only multi-racial jazz group was ostensibly travelling via Mozambique to Paris and ...


Jim Rattigan’s Pavillon: Strong Tea

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First recorded in 2010 and released in 2012 this reissue marks Jim Rattigan's Pavillon 2016/17 tour of the UK. For anyone unfamiliar with Rattigan's work, in addition to several albums released under his own name, he has performed with many leading figures in the jazz world including Michael Brecker, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell. He was also a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 1995. Pavillon, the French word from which Rattigan's band ...

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