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Denys Baptiste: Making the Late Trane Accessible

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Even the most avowed John Coltrane disciples among us would admit to grappling with some of the albums he released in the couple of years before his death--the likes of Ascension, Sun Ship and Om. And we weren't alone. His long-time drummer, Elvin Jones, told Downbeat magazine, “At times I couldn't hear what I was doing--matter of fact, I couldn't hear what anybody was doing. All I could hear was a lot of noise." Evidently British saxophonist Denys ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Denys Baptiste: The Late Trane

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When a church is named after a jazz musician you know there's something more than music involved here. The spirituality with which John Coltrane immersed himself as exemplified by A Love Supreme, was just one of the drivers that helped make the saxophonist one of the greatest innovators of jazz. His later works were even more iconoclastic, embracing abstract themes and a conscious move towards free jazz, but still utilising time as propelled by the rhythmic powerhouse that was Elvin ...

INTERVIEWS

Denys Baptiste: Jazz Missionary, Part 2-2

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Part 1 | Part 2

London saxophonist Denys Baptiste made a huge splash in the U.K. when his debut 1999 CD Be Where You Are was shortlisted as a prestigious Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Jazz fans were perhaps less surprised, as Baptiste had apprenticed for years on record and in concert with the likes of tenor player Courtney Pine and bassist/Dune Records patriarch Gary Crosby's Nu Troop. I spoke with Baptiste in London about his musicial career, his ...

INTERVIEWS

Denys Baptiste: Jazz Missionary, Part 1-2

Read "Denys Baptiste: Jazz Missionary, Part 1-2" reviewed by

Part 1 | Part 2

London saxophonist Denys Baptiste made a huge splash in the U.K. when his debut 1999 CD Be Where You Are was shortlisted as a prestigious Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Jazz fans were perhaps less surprised, as Baptiste had apprenticed for years on record and in concert with the likes of tenor player Courtney Pine and bassist/Dune Records patriarch Gary Crosby's Nu Troop. I spoke with Baptiste in London about his musicial career, his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Denys Baptiste: Let Freedom Ring!

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With jazz becoming such a broad landscape that labels are increasingly difficult to apply, it's difficult, if not impossible, to identify specific new movements like the ones that appeared in the middle decades of the 20th Century. While there have been all kinds of innovations to be sure, there hasn't been anything quite so sweeping as the emergence of bebop, free jazz, cool jazz, or fusion. Artists continue to expand many of these artificial boundaries (and more), but it's safe ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Denys Baptiste: Let Freedom Ring!

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London tenor saxophonist Denys Baptiste aims for the sun and stars with his four-part, large-ensemble suite Let Freedom Ring! What is striking is just how wildly, and wonderfully, his ambitions are realized by the final product. The piece was commissioned by the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic “I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963; indeed, Dr. King is a living presence on this recording as Baptiste ...