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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

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While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or never heard. To bolster that appraisal, one need look no farther than tenor Rickey Woodard whose solos are models of perception and coherence, or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966

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Real Gone Music's release of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's Live 1966 is a godsend for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it reminds, if that's indeed necessary, of what a vital influence on contemporary blues was (and is) this sextet. Forget for a moment the profundity of an integrated group of musicians bonded together at the time of civil rights upheaval in the United States--that's for sociologists. Better instead to focus instead ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión Latin-Jazz Big Band: True Flight

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Latin music has been popular in New York City since the beginning of the twentieth century. The post-war migration of Hispanics into Spanish Harlem and the Bronx brought about a major cultural shift in the area, music being an essential element, and with that came a plethora of clubs and dance venues. The orchestras of Machito, Mario Bauza and Tito Puente, synonymous with the era, set the standard for the Latin music that endures today. Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dan Whieldon Trio: Positive Changes

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Pianist Dan Whieldon hails from Manchester and has been active in the North West of England's jazz scene for the last decade. Positive Changes is his debut release as leader, made not with fellow Mancunians but with players from Belgium--where he studied and where the album was made--and Holland. Bill Evans is an acknowledged inspiration and Whieldon displays a confident and strongly melodic writing style--a mix that creates a readily accessible first outing.Whieldon's lyrical piano opens “E. P." ...

JAZZ PRIMER

Thinking Outside The Musical Box

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What is jazz? It is a state of mind, a spiritual quest for true unfettered artistic expression. A human expression of individual freedom, social freedom and love. Jazz is also about diversity. Diversity is important, isn't it? We expect it in our social lives. We demand respect and honoring in our society as artists and as human beings, because we need to help maintain equality and social justice among all the people of the world. In our music and in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kirk MacDonald: Symmetry

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It is no secret that Canada is the home of some of the finest jazz musicins in the world and Toronto-based saxophonist Kirk MacDonald, a long-time active educator, is one of those established stars and veteran of the Canadian jazz scene. He has appeared on over fifty albums as both a sideman and leader and Symmetry, his eleventh album as leader, which had been previously unveiled in Canada only, is now available in the U.S. and internationally for audiences everywhere ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Solo Plus

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The field of jazz guitarists seems to have exploded with variety of discs that put one sort of spin or another on the music. From Latin touches to rock and roll beats and from avant-garde dissonance to popish smoothness this releases run the range of sounds striving to be “exeptional." It is, therefore, refreshing to hear a master of the instrument perform unadorned relying solely on his virtuosity. Guitarist Doug MacDonald does just that on the intimate and engaging Solo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donald Rubinstein: Martin

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Jazz doesn't typically play a huge role in horror film soundtracks. Sure, there are exceptions. Jazz guitarist Joseph LoDuca scored Sam Raimi's adaptation of Stephen King's The Evil Dead. Giorgio Gaslini's collaboration with the prog-rock group Goblin on Dario Argento's Suspiria certainly has some jazz-related elements, as does the work of Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary's Baby), Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, and other European film composers. Sleazy funk and warped psychedelia are plentiful in the genre. Take, for example, the soundtrack to ...


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