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TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

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The notion of jazz as surf music seems absurd at first blush, but it can work surprisingly well. Some time ago I learned this by happenstance while listening to an album by fusion guitarist Alex Machacek as I watched surf videos on YouTube. It was a true “ah ha" moment. Compared to the original soundtrack, Alex's music was much better suited to the surfers' incredible aesthetics, athletics, and the resulting excitement. It struck me that it might be ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

A Mixed Bag – Joonsam, Petros Klampanis, O.R.K., Peter Erskine, David Ambrosio/Russ Meissner

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Joonsam A Door Origin Records 2016 South Korean bassist Joonsam Lee moved to jny: New York City in 2007 and began composing...composing and meeting other like-minded musicians with whom to share ideas. For his debut recording, Lee has assembled these compositions, choosing those which reflect his many musical interests and experiences. With his sturdy rhythm featuring pianist Aaron Parks and drummer Nate Wood--Joonsam (who goes by this single name) adds trumpeter Ralph Alessi on trumpet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alessandro Fadini: A Dark and Stormy Day

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Amongst the firehose-like blast of CDs and downloads aimed at me last summer was A Dark and Stormy Day, the debut album by Italian-born pianist and composer Alessandro Fadini. A new name to me, Fadini was educated to be a mathematician and is apparently self-taught on piano. Don't let that fool you, though. A protégé of Marc Copland, Fadini's chops as a player and composer are formidable. Fierce, even. As a soloist, he has an impulsive nature and his improvisations ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rick Hirsch's Big Ol' Band: Pocono Git-Down

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A native of State College, PA and long-time fixture in the small cities, college towns and regional area jazz scene, saxophonist and educator Rick Hirsch sought to promote and celebrate this overlooked part of the musical community by drawing out twenty of his favorite small-town musician-friends and record in the Pocono Mountains. The result, the audacious and swinging Pocono Git-Down big band album of a gritty and powerful orchestral sound from a group of professional players that one may not ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio Mediaeval & Arve Henriksen: Rímur

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Rímur is a collection of seventeen chants, hymns, folk songs and improvisations based on ancient Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish sources, brought into our contemporary way of sensing by singer/violinist Anna Maria Friman, singers Linn Andrea Fuglseth and Berit Opheim, and eminent trumpeter Arve Henriksen. The music of this album is a clear example of the deep-rooted migrational nature of our local existence. It is music of a remote past, marked by radically different life conditions. It is music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yuri Storione: Schönbrunn

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When the title track of Schönbrunn, Basel-based pianist Yuri Storione's leader debut, awakens the ears, it's clear that a forest of future talent has already sprouted a few robust trees. One of three originals peppered throughout the set, it opens the album in repose, treading softly yet surely, and with a depth of calculation rarely seen in one so young. Storione has a muscular yet fluid touch, at which the keyboard goes boneless. Bassist Zhu Haiming, in addition to adding ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

Larry Coryell: Free Spirit and Pioneer

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Not too long ago, I learned that sadly, one of my great inspirations, guitarist Larry Coryell had passed away here in New York on February 19th, 2017. Somewhere around 1968, I remember being in college at U.C.L.A. and going several times to see Larry play as part of the visionary Gary Burton Quartet. Usually they played at Shelly's Manne-Hole. Perhaps the second time that I saw the group, they were recording their second album, Lofty Fake Anagram in the afternoons ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Sometimes Jazz Takes Guts

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Brownout Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II Ubiquity Records 2016 Brownout bandleader and guitarist Adrian Quesada listened to a lot of different music, including blood-curdling heavy metal monsters Black Sabbath, while growing up in South Texas. Even while creating original music more reflective of their Mexican and American funk, blues and rock roots, he and his bandmates never lost their taste for Britain's Sabbath. Their first album of Sabbath covers, Brownout Presents Brown ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Al Muirhead: Northern Adventures

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When you've been a musician as long as Al Muirhead has, you not only earn many friends in the business, you also recognize who among them can play. For Northern Adventures, Muirhead's second album as leader of his own group, the eighty-one-year-old Canadian trumpeter assembled a who's who of the finest musicians his country has to offer and let them have a go, jam-session style. The result is an album whose fun quotient almost eclipses its virtuosity. “Our only plan," ...


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