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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates: The Study of Touch

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Pianist, horn player, composer, and all-around musical disruptor, Django Bates brings back his Belovèd Trio for a third go-round, this time with The Study of Touch, his ECM leader debut. Bates--over his renowned career--has recorded in a full range of scenarios; a solo pianist on Autumn Fires (and Green Shoots) (JMT, 1994) and recently, a musician/arranger/conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Big Band on Saluting Sgt. Pepper (Edition Records, 2017), Bates is at home in any setting. As the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates: Beloved

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With boundless humor and flexible grace, pianist Django Bates offers us The Study of Touch the perfect piano trio music for the significant other who absolutely hates piano trio music. This is the first I have heard of Django Bates though he has been making shrewd music since 1979. He has played with a host of names, including former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford; fellow free thinking percussionist George Russell, and musical chaos master and ECM ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates: Saluting Sgt. Pepper

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This was always going to be a tall order, even for the likes of the ever-resourceful Django Bates. But it had to be done. The Beatles masterwork passed its fiftieth birthday this year and is arguably the most influential album of popular music recorded to date. Some of the many anniversary celebrations revealed that Pepper should have included “Strawberry Fields Forever" and “Penny Lane" but due to the need for a hit single to tied the band over during the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates / Frankfurt Radio Big Band: Saluting Sgt. Pepper

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Django Bates stellar career has been far less celebrated than it deserves to be, at least on this, somewhat myopic, side of the Atlantic. Born in Kent, on the outskirts of London, he has achieved prominence as a multi-instrumentalist, band leader and composer. In the early part of his career he created Human Chain and the large-scale orchestra Delightful Precipice but drew the most attention for his pivotal composing for Loose Tubes. That large cooperative included Julian Argüelles, Steve Argüelles, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tampere Jazz Happening 2014

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Tampere Jazz Happening Tampere, Finland October 30--November 2, 2014 On the way from the airport to the city of Tampere you pass by Nokia, situated fifteen kilometres west of Tampere, the Scandinavian city famous for its gumboots and cables, and famous for its mobile phones. For a while 'Nokia' was synonymous with mobile phone. When you arrive in Tampere you can immediately recognize the industrial character and history of the town. The Finnish territories were ...

PROFILES

Django Bates: From Zero to Sixty in Five Days

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It's rare enough to get to catch the premiere of a brand new work in a location as removed as Luleå, Sweden--just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic circle and in late May already experiencing 22-hour days and temperatures between 20 and 25 Celsius. But to get to experience the birth of a commission and to arrive on the same day as the artist and enter the rehearsal room at the same time? An unexpected pleasure. The chance to follow ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates Beloved: Confirmation

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In the jazz world, groups often convene for special projects, though, more often than not, the participants then usually go their separate ways, even if the underlying concept- -or, even, just the band's chemistry--suggests further continuance. When Django Bates put together Belovèd Bird (Lost Marble, 2010), it seemed likely that the maverick British pianist, composer and foundation shaker's off-the-wall tribute to bebop progenitor/saxophonist Charlie “Bird" Parker would be a one-off. Now, two years later, Confirmation finds the same trio back ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Django Bates: Like Life

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Django BatesLike LifeStoryville2011 (1998) If you had to choose one artifact which is emblematic of the work of the British composer, bandleader and keyboards and e-flat horn player Django Bates, then his notorious “derangement" of John Kander and Fred Ebb's “New York, New York" would be a contender. It does not matter that “New York, New York" is one of the few tunes in Bates' band book that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Django Bates Beloved: Beloved Bird

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Django Bates claims that he heard Charlie Parker records on the day he was born. Fifty years later, Bates has formed Belovèd, giving life to his longstanding love for Parker's music on his trio's debut, Belovèd Bird. It's an album that ably demonstrates how love means never having to play in the same old way, for this sparklingly inventive album is not a retread of old Parker arrangements, but a reappraisal of the sound--a reconstruction based on Bates' strongly-held belief ...


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