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Articles | Featured | Future

MIXCLOUD

Interview with James Brandon Lewis & Further Notable New Releases

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Great new albums keep coming and we are previewing them for you. In this episode we interview saxophone titan James Brandon Lewis, and sample music from his upcoming duo album Radiant Imprints with Chad Taylor. Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash and Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Caroline Davis “Dionisyan" from Heart Tonic (Sunnyside) 00:16 Host talk 7:44 Dafnis Prieto Big Band “Song for Chico (feat. Steve Coleman)" from Back to the Sunset (Dafnison) ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor: Radiant Imprints

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When saxophonist James Brandon Lewis released Divine Travels (Okeh, 2014) with bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver, the jazz world went from “who is this guy?" to “make space at the table," because listeners had discovered a truly distinctive voice. After that came Days Of Freeman (Okeh, 2015) with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Rudy Royston and No Filter (BNS Records, 2017) where Lewis injected hip hop culture and punk rock into improvised music without resorting to the dreaded crutch of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Hyland: NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//

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\\livingfossil// is the most recent brainchild of Canadian saxophonist Gordon Hyland. The Toronto-based musician and composer continues to release his versatile compositions in a multitude of formations of various different names, such as the acoustic saxophone trio Simple Shapes or the progressive-electronic project Ninja Funk Orchestra. Members of the latter are reunited with Hyland on his newest endeavor \\livingfossil//, making for an intriguing instrumentation of two saxophones, two electric guitars, drums and an electric as well as acoustic bass. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Hyland: NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//

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The debut disc Never Die, by the Toronto-based collective, \\living fossil//, opens with a reverberant industrial hum, a droning metallic guitar sound that announces a distinctive and compelling group aesthetic. Saxophonist Gordon Hyland is the ringleader, though that isn't not apparent from listening. He and his cohorts have created a distinctive approach of echoing saxophone--sometimes two saxophones, with tenor man Mike Murley joining in on three tunes--and wall-of-sound guitar approach that makes for a satisfyingly cohesive listening experience.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

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Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame It On My Youth" and “East of the Sun" as well as on Percy Mayfield's R&B classic “Hit the Road Jack" and his own ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Preferential Treatment

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If you know anything at all about Your Own Personal Genius, you know that I like my steaks Pittsburgh rare (which has nothing to do with the article, but if you ever have me over for dinner). And, you know that I have a major thing for Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany, from the show Orphan Black. You also know that I'm not one to play favorites, and I also have a crush on actress Heather Lind from the show Turn: ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris McDonald: A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!

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A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas! is at least the tenth holiday album recorded by the peerless arranger Chris McDonald's impressive Jazz Orchestra--but the first one whose title has been amplified by an exclamation mark. Could it be that this one is extra-special? That's hard to say, as the albums that preceded it have all been remarkably well-designed and pleasurable. And yet... there is that exclamation mark. Before proceeding, it should be noted that McDonald is a maven ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

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Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the conversations and man oh man, do these arrangements crackle with spirit.From the high-flying “Dig In Buddy" to the exhilarating Latin flavors “Dolphy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

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Politicians might do well to take a few pointers from pianist-arranger Earl MacDonald. As this fine album attests to, it's far better to build bridges than walls, and far more productive to open borders and dialogue than close hearts, minds, and doors. While MacDonald didn't initially set out to make a political statement with this recording, both the events of the day and the make-up of the marvelously tight dectet that brings this music to life got ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donny McCaslin At Belfast International Arts Festival 2017

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Donny McCaslin Limelight Belfast International Arts Festival jny:Belfast, N. Ireland October 25, 2017 “Are you here because of Bowie or for jazz?" a woman asked those around her in the queue for Donny McCaslin's gig--part of the Belfast International Arts Festival. The answer, by and large, was both. McCaslin's current group will likely always be remembered--and no doubt billed for some time to come--as David Bowie's backing band on Black Star ...