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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Flying Horse Big Band: Big Man on Campus

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The Big Man on Campus on the fifth recording by the University of Central Florida's dexterous Flying Horse Big Band is composer / arranger / tenor saxophonist Harry Allen who wrote and arranged five of the album's eleven numbers and solos brightly on seven including Henry Mancini's amiable “Dreamsville," Billy Strayhorn's happy-go-lucky “Raincheck" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's amorous “Triste." The band's music director, Jeff Rupert, composed and arranged the shuffling “B.M.O.C." and picturesque “New Creole Love Call," ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dragonfly Breath III: Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus

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Today's zen koan: why does a watched pot never boil? The answer to that question is found in the music of Dragonfly Breath III: because it is always boiling. The roil we speak of comes from the quartet of saxophonist Paul Flaherty, trombonist Steve Swell, violinist C. Spencer Yeh, and drummer Weasel Walter. The III of Dragonfly Breath III denotes the quartet's third release, their self-titled first disc was a live date released in 2013, and Swell's Kanreki: ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Flying Machines: Flying Machines

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Flying Machines is the eponymous debut album by a group led by British guitarist Alex Munk whose late father Roger Munk was the inspiration for the project. Munk Senior was a leading figure in the design and construction of modern airships, otherwise known as Hybrid Air Vehicles. Munk Junior graduated in 2009 from Leeds College of Music with first class honours where he was awarded the prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship. He then progressed his academic prowess at London's Royal Academy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spanglish Fly: New York Boogaloo

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Even down to its very sound, “boogaloo" is a curious word that represents a curiously Latin American music, born during the 1960s immigration wave that spread from Puerto Rico into New York City and simultaneously growing like a friendly weed in and around the pop, soul, rock, and jazz musical cultures that were blooming throughout the city at that time. Spanglish Fly brings together musicians from Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and of course Manhattan, led by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spanglish Fly: New York Boogaloo

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Boogaloo burst out of New York City in the mid 1960's as a crossover dance craze melding Afro-Latin rhythms with American soul. Since then, it has come to represent a galvanizing milestone for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community in the city. It symbolizes that they had arrived and had their own music to show for it. Though it might have been a passing fad, boogaloo directly led to the global explosion of salsa, which put Latin music on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Reconnaissance Fly: Flower Futures

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Vocalist, flautist Polly Moller concocted the premise for this album based on collections of Internet-based spam poetry, or as the press release states, “spoetry." It's quite kooky, yet thoroughly engaging. Slight comparisons to small ensemble Frank Zappa, largely from a lyrical standpoint, come to fruition as the band performs with a theatrical flair, and an ideology that could be framed on a soundtrack for a guileful Off-Broadway production. They merge a consortium of unruffled, breezy jazz passages amid brusque unison ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Butterfly Effect Ensemble: Chimera

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Butterfly Effect Ensemble is a trio of three veteran Israeli musicians--woodwinds player Stephen Horenstein, known for his decade long association with innovative trumpeter Bill Dixon, a dedicated educator and passionate collaborator with cross-genres artists as dancers; percussionist Jeffrey Kowalsky, the principal percussionist in Israel symphony and philharmonic orchestras, who plays on myriad of ethnic percussive instruments (Indian, Arabic, Caribbean and African) and a close collaborator of Horenstein in many of his projects, and pianist Lior Navok, a contemporary composer and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robin McKelle & The Flytones: Soul Flower

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First, Robin McKelle & The Flytones Soul Flower is not neo-soul. Neo-soul is what Amy Winehouse was and Cee Lo Green is (at least on his “Forget You"). Neo-soul is a cheeky attempt to cash in on a classic style while, at the same time, not taking it seriously. Second, Soul Flower might be better termed retro-soul, except that McKelle avoids the pitfall of clinging too tightly to the old style that has plagued other artists trying to put a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fly: Year of the Snake

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While there are numerous jazz trios, few leave a lasting impression. This is not the case for Fly, consisting of younger but fully established jazz artists-- saxophonist extraordinaire Mark Turner and his equally talented cohorts, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. At just over ten minutes, the episodic “Kingston," from the trio's sophomore ECM release, Year of the Snake , encapsulates rousing composition and exhilarating improvisation. What begins tentatively, with inquisitive probing--elongated unison lines and gentle ...


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