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LIVE REVIEWS

The Last Waltz 40 Tour at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

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The Last Waltz 40 Tour NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY February 3, 2017 On November 25, 1976 (Thanksgiving), the Canadian-American rock group the Band gave its farewell concert at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom. The concert was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into the documentary, The Last Waltz. The movie included appearances by over a dozen special guests, including Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Paul Butterfield, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles, Ronnie Hawkins, Eric Clapton, ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967

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I'm not a huge fan of Best Of albums. Artists make albums of music--some with themes, some without--and you go with it. One album generally equals one mood, so why mix them up? But then... Lou Donaldson is an alto saxophonist who spent virtually his entire career at one label: Blue Note. Bigger names have recorded on Blue Note--Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins--but none so extensively, from the 1950s to '70s. Trouble is, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago / London Underground: A Night Walking Through Mirrors

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As an artist and a surveyor of a broader universe, Rob Mazurek focuses on the journey rather than on planting a flag in undiscovered territories. Whether on his multi-instrumental solo work Mother Ode (Corbett vs Dempsey, 2014) or in the large ensemble formation of his most recent Exploding Star Orchestra project, Galactic Parables: Volume 1 (Cuneiform, 2015), Mazurek has left his creative intuitions open to the influence of a deeply personal life force that often serves as his guide. More ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Donny McCaslin Group at The Arden Gild Hall

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The Donny McCaslin Group Arden Gild Hall Arden, Delaware January 14, 2017 Arden Delaware isn't exactly known as a jazz mecca but, with the coming of the Donny McCaslin Group to the Arden Gild Hall, it became one--for a little while at least. And in the best jazz traditions, the show presented in Arden had all of the elements you would expect from one of those meccas--innovation, exploration, technical excellence and passion--presented by players in ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Brandon Lewis Trio: No Filter

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James Brandon Lewis's authoritative horn is demonstrated in his cultural influenced releases --gospel spirituality in Divine Travels (Okeh, 2014) featuring bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver; soulful lyricism and hip hop in Days of Freeman (Okeh, 2015) with heavies bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston. He continues that exploration with a new trio in No Filter an edgy but short LP which pays respect to early 90's hip hop, experimental jazz, and groove. Lewis's inclination ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Falcone: Daevid Allen’s Weird Quartet and Weird Biscuit Teatime

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Don Falcone is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been working with known psychedelic and space rock musicians since the 1990s with his band Spirits Burning as well as other projects. The late Daevid Allen, founder of Soft Machine and Gong, appeared on Spirits Burning's first album, 1999's New Worlds By Design, performing on much of the recording playing lead, rhythm and glissando guitars and singing. Falcone and Allen, with Michael Clare, later formed Weird Biscuit Teatime, releasing DJDDAY ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Luke Hendon: Silk & Steel

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It is the easiest thing in the world to laud guitarist Luke Hendon's album Silk & Steel as something to be treasured by anyone who is remotely interested in the style of Django Reinhardt. It is important to note, however, that Hendon has done much more than play arpeggios as fast as humanly possible, zip the one string chromatic scale and use a tight vibrato in front of a freight train rhythm guitar --all on an large- body ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donder: Still

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A tiny brick chapel in the gloom of dusk, double doors flung open revealing a bright interior of the edifice in the foreground of dark, dense foliage, on the cover of Still, the debut CD release of the Belgium-based piano trio, Donder. The imagery portrays to perfection the music of the group. Reflective and often minimalist, neat and lovely in its architecture, appealing in its apparent simplicity. It's impossible to avoid an ECM Records comparison with Still, specifically ...


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