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MULTIPLE REVIEWS

David Murray Octets on Black Saint

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Younger jazz fans may be only dimly acquainted with the Italian record labels Black Saint and Soul Note, but during their prime in the 1980s both labels released jazz that was adventuresome and challenging without losing touch with tradition. As such, the imprints offered a compelling middle way between the major label output of the time (which was increasingly in thrall to the neo-conservative “young lions" movement) and hard-core avant-garde labels releasing music for a tiny number of initiates.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Philipp Gerschlauer & David Fiuczynski: Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik

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Any musiclover who enjoys the sensation of immersion in a maelstrom of sound will no doubt relish Mikrojazz, especially those familiar with the work of guitarist Dave Fiuczynski. But even listeners who fear the abstract somewhat should find much to savor here because this five-piece band, including 'The Fuze" and co-led with Philipp Gershlauer, moves in and out of such realms throughout a dozen tracks. Every group of musicians requires a catalyst in order to function with the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Virelles: Gnosis

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Cuban-American pianist/composer David Virelles continues the exploration of Afro-Cuban musical traditions begun with his first recorded collaboration with vocalist/percussionist Román Díaz on Continuum (Pi Recordings, 2012), continuing through Mbókò (ECM, 2013) and Antenna (ECM, 2016). He uses “gnosis" to refer to ancient collective knowledge, and this music is about the intersection of cultures--contemporary improvisational language and Cuban sources, especially the sacred Abakuá percussion ensemble. There are over a dozen instrumentalists and vocalists employed, but they are mostly broken ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Philipp Gerschlauer/David Fiuczynski: Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik

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If you've followed guitarist David Fiuczynski's work in recent years, then you should already know that he's continually intensifying his search for what exists in the spaces between the spaces. While Fuze has always registered as something of a non-conformist, he's now completely shed a layer of skin and left conventional Western musical tuning behind, evolving into a microtonal guru working with a uniquely non-patternistic patois. Through his teaching at Berklee, and with albums like Planet MicroJam ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Whitman: Oh, Clara!

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David Whitman is a charismatic drummer with a diverse and elegant approach to his music. The sound on his recent release, Oh, Clara!, has a smooth, smart and sophisticated sound, inspired by genres as diverse as fusion, jazz, and even pop. Whitman teamed up with a cast of talented musicians in order to create a phenomenal debut release, featuring ten renditions of classic songs recorded over two sessions at Hollywood's legendary Capitol Studios. This album also features two ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Benoit and Marc Antoine: So Nice!

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There's nothing particularly noteworthy in two established musicians collaborating. It's a tradition in jazz as old as the genre itself, so a pairing of pianist David Benoit and guitarist Marc Antoine is not a seismic event to knock the world off its axis. What we have here is a marvelous meeting of like-minded musicians who are clearing digging dueting with a drum-tight supporting band. Emphasis on the word “band" because bands are a rare beast in contemporary jazz. ...

BOOK REVIEWS

David Bowie: Behind the Curtain

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David Bowie: Behind the Curtain Andrew Kent 160 Pages ISBN: 0996058753 Press Syndication Group 2017 Very few musicians have been as documented, analyzed or scrutinized as singer David Bowie. Ever since the 60s, Bowie has spent his entire life in the spotlight and really very few musicians can match or parallel his imaginative and aesthetic influence he has had during his lifetime. An ever evolving and transformative person, he was a master of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Sylvian: There Is No Love

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David Sylvian has long divided opinion. For every passionate supporter there are half a dozen who will decry his every move as pretentious. Even among his fanbase there are many who want him to do something more to their taste, along the lines of some past triumphs like Japan's Quiet Life or Tin Drum, or solo albums including Brilliant Trees or Blemish (delete as applicable) that represent their personal favourite(s). For Sylvian the answer is, I suspect, simple: if you ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roger Davidson Trio: Oração Para Amanhã (Prayer for Tomorrow)

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Roger Davidson was born in Paris in 1952 to a French mother and American father. The family moved to New York when he was one and he started playing the piano when he was four. He took a Master's degree in composition in composition in 1980 and another in choral music in 1985. Initially he was steeped in classical music but twenty five years ago, as the result of attending the Stanford University Jazz Workshop, he started playing jazz and ...


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