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IN PICTURES

Ottawa Jazz Festival 2017

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I always look forward to my hometown festival and over the past 30 years I have photographed Canadian and international artists that have performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. I try to capture the personality, energy, emotion, dedication and skill these talented artists display while playing jazz. Many of my festival photos have been exhibited in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre, National Library and Archives of Canada, National Press Club and at the Ginn Gallery.Enjoy a sampling of this ...

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 ...

INTERVIEW

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

Donny McCaslin: Fast Future

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Saxophonist Donny McCaslin brought a fresh perspective to the acoustic-electronic jazz soundscape with 2012's Casting for Gravity (Greenleaf Music) which earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Jazz Solo" for the track “Stadium Jazz." Thankfully it was not a one-off as McCaslin reassembles the tightly knit band and savvy production from saxophonist David Binney in Fast Future, a release that continues the groove factor. Like its predecessor, the music pulsates with energy as McCaslin's tenor powers over ...

INTERVIEW

Donny McCaslin: Lightness and Gravity

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Saxophonist Donny McCaslin seems like a young player, given his energy and inventiveness. But he has been playing jazz for three decades. As a child, he was part of his father's jazz ensemble and a member of his high school jazz band. He led his own bands after moving to New York from his native California, but also did considerable sideman duty. In particular, McCaslin broke into the highest ranks of critical acclaim thanks to his turns with bandleader Maria ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donny McCaslin: Casting For Gravity

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Incorporating electronic instrumentation into his palette, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin dishes out a thrusting program that could, to some extent, be nestled within the jazz-fusion genre, but not in the traditional sense. The hard-hitting saxophonist and his band integrate fusion mechanics and spacey treatments to underscore many of the popping grooves, thundering pulses, knotty time signatures and progressive-jazz type soloing exchanges with keyboardist Jason Lindner. But McCaslin doesn't engage technical gymnastics or complexities simply for the sake of it.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donny McCaslin: Casting For Gravity

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Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin has bravely developed a uniquely personal sound that proudly claims its heritage in the long mainstream of jazz, yet sounds freshly innovative. He has released eleven albums under his leadership, among which Recommended Tools (Greenleaf, 2008), with its punishing, revealing trio format, was a high-water mark. McCaslin deploys sheets-of-sound density inherited from saxophonist John Coltrane, together with an inventive approach to rhythm and the placement of notes. This latter characteristic can sometimes resemble the playing of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donny McCaslin: Casting For Gravity

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If saxophonist Donny McCaslin stuck a toe into the ocean of electric jazz with his previous album Perpetual Motion (Greenleaf, 2010), then with Casting For Gravity he dives headfirst into the sea. But don't worry, with his musical dexterity and adeptness on horn, he is in no danger of sinking. In fact, he takes to these waters like a thirsty horse.The saxophonist of choice for the band leaders including trumpeter Dave Douglas, singer Kate McGarry, and composers/arrangers Ryan ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donny McCaslin Group: Half Moon Bay, CA, September 11, 2011

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Donny McCaslin GroupDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaSeptember 11, 2011 From New York City, the Donny McCaslin Group arrived at the Douglas Beach House with everything ready to go. The group consisted of tenor saxophonist McCaslin, pianist Uri Caine, bassist Fima Ephron and drummer Mark Guiliana. McCaslin's latest album, Perpetual Motion (Greenleaf, 2011) formed the foundation for a tour whose California leg was scheduled to end with the Monterey Jazz Festival. It was a ...


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