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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

The Power Quintet at Jazz Standard

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The Power Quintet Jazz Standard New York, NY December 3, 2016 The age of the collective-minded outfit in jazz is upon us. While the concept of democratically-driven bands is hardly new or unique, more and more artists seem to be taking to the idea with gusto, pooling their talents and resources for the greater good. Such artistic and business arrangements give everybody an opportunity to share in the responsibility load, play multiple ...

Meet Roberta DeNicola

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Roberta DeNicola, a favorite of musicians on New York City's downtown and experimental jazz scenes, has very broad taste in jazz--from straight-ahead to out--but the more out it is, the more she needs to experience it live. She saw her first jazz concert (jazz flutist Hubert Laws) on a date with her teenage boyfriend. However, it was seeing one particular singer that turned her into a Super Fan. “When I saw her, I just flipped!' We figure that Roberta's probably ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Javon Jackson: Pleasant Valley – 1999

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If the iconic sound of Blue Note Records could be summed up in just one band, it would surely be Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. For 35 years--1955 to 1990--the Messengers were the heart and soul of hard bop, on Blue Note and other labels. But what happened when Blakey died in 1990? Where did the music and the musicians go after that? For decades, Blakey trained a Who's Who of young jazz royalty. Many became legends. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Olga Konkova & Jens Thoresen: December Songs

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December Songs is a sly title for an album of mostly Christmas music, but it suits the subtle approach taken by the Norwegian duo of pianist Olga Konkova and guitarist Jens Thoresen. The arrangements consistently find fresh approaches to very familiar music, transforming the tunes into something elusive and beautiful. Add in the improvisational element, and the result is an openness rare in holiday music. This is music first: the holiday theme is an organizing principle, not the whole reason ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Misha: Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake

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Michaela Steinhauer is a German-born, New York based singer and this self-produced album features eleven of her own compositions and arrangements. These dreamy, romantic numbers benefit from her choice of accomplished musicians, not least Hendrik Meurkens who contributes elegant harmonica featured on five of the songs and vibraphone on another five.Despite having spent much of her life in Germany and ten years in Moscow, she delivers the songs in perfect English with scarcely a trace of a Continental ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spiro: Repeater

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Repeater is an idiosyncratic vinyl only retrospective by the acclaimed quartet Spiro that collects highlights of the band's four albums that were recorded between 1997 and 2015.The British quartet's unrelenting passion for following its muse has served it well as the group's fearless explorations have yielded an ever-expanding audience and over the years Spiro has crisscrossed the universes of folk/world and classical music. Stretching the boundaries and crisscrossing universes is now a regular practice for a number of groups but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Wise: Till They Lay Me Down

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Saxophonist David Wise studied under the venerable Gary Bartz but has seemingly been listening to the likes of the later oeuvre of George Benson and maybe some David Sanborn too. No bad thing and the result is this self-produced debut album comprising predominantly self-penned compositions. The album is fairly diverse inasmuch as not all the tracks are strictly jazz. For example the opener, “What More Could A Man Want?" is a supercharged soul number with a brass ensemble ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Christmas 2016 II: Contemporary

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Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling says of the holidays, “In the Western world, whether you're Christian or not, Christmas has some kind of seasonal relevance to you...You really cannot escape the holiday--even if it is just coming at you on television...for me, the holiday comes enriched with a lot of beautiful personal memories. It also comes freighted with the knowledge that millions of other people would carry their own such memories; and not all those memories are of happy occasions."


All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.