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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

An Evening with Pat Metheny at The Barre Opera House

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Pat Metheny Barre Opera House Barre, Vermont January 14, 2017 Pat Metheny doesn't dabble. If he's proven anything over the course of a multiple Grammy Award-winning solo career, it's that he sees each of his eclectic projects through to its logical conclusion. So it is then that his appearance at the Barre Opera House in Vermont on January 14 was just the latest stop on a tour that has been in progress largely without interruption ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and lots more at SFJAZZ Center gala

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2017 Gala Celebrating Zakir Hussain SFJAZZ Center jny: San Francisco January 18, 2017 When SFJAZZ decides to throw a party, it does not fool around. For evidence, you had to look no farther than the presenter's 2017 gala, celebrating both the 5th anniversary of the organization's impeccable new home smack in the middle of city's cultural district and a lifetime of pioneering work by master percussionist Zakir Hussain, the latest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Theo Bleckmann: Elegy

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While ECM is a label largely renowned for its subtlety, attention to space and detail, and overall understated, “less is more" aesthetic--an early sampler titled, even, The Most Beautiful Sound Next To Silence--it's hard to imagine a label debut as a leader that could be less about virtuosity and more about creating soft atmospheres and ambiences than singer Theo Bleckmann's delicately moving, aptly titled Elegy. Bleckmann is no newcomer to the label: he was an important guest on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ingrid and Christine Jensen: Infinitude

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While they've often recorded together over the years--from the collective Nordic Connect quintet and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's early albums including Now as Then (Justin Time, 2003), to many of saxophonist Christine's recordings, from her two much-lauded Jazz Orchestra albums (most recently Habitat (Justin Time, 2014)) to earlier, small group dates including Look Left (Effendi, 2006)--the two Jensen sisters (separated by four years) have never recorded an album collaboratively, with both names sharing the marquee equally...until now. While sharing has never ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tim Daisy: Red Nation "1"

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On the outside, Chicagoan Tim Daisy is a 21st century musician. He plays drums in the forward thinking bands Made To Break (with Christof Kurzmann, Jasper Stadouders, and Ken Vandermark), saxophonist Dave Rempis' Percussion Quartet (with Paal Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and Frank Rosaly), and Trio Red Space (with Jeff Albert and Mars WIlliams). It's his solo work that suggests he is an old soul. We're talking a century ago, if Daisy had been born back then, he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alexander Zethson: Pole Of Inaccessibility

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You are both awake and asleep. Listening, but at the same time paying no heed to the experience. Am I talking about the ancient Buddhist practice of yoga nidra or the recording Pole Of Inaccessibility by Swedish pianist Alexander Zethson? Actually both. The finest tribute that can be paid to these two discs of extended composition and improvisation is that the body is asleep while the unconscious mind is attuned at a much deeper level. Like the nidra ...

INTERVIEWS

Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom

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Clarence Becton is a musicians' musician--meaning, someone well-known in musician circles. He belongs to the generation of American jazz heroes who grew up under economically and socially difficult circumstances, and for that very reason, succeeded in gaining a comprehensive education, emancipating himself, and embodying the history of jazz music by directly learning from and working with greats of almost every stylistic era--ragtime, swing, bebop, post-bop, and avant-garde. Born in 1933, he developed a strong musical interest as a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo: Madjafalao

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Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo is a difficult ensemble to follow. For one thing, they have functioned under the names Poly Rythmo de Cotonou, TP Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and L'International Poly-Rythmo among others. Add to that, a frequently shifting line up, a series of serious misadventures, a long period of dormancy, and their lack of familiarity outside of Benin (in West Africa) is understandable. Saxophonist Mélomé Clément founded the group in 1968 and they went on to substantial success in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mads Tolling and the Mads Men: Playing the 60s

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From the first arco tones, something sounds very familiar, yet hard to identify. The tone in question is big and full, dry, but not too much so. Were this tone a libation, it would be an Old Fashion. Sleek and commanding, yes, this makes me think of Svend Asmussen. This should be no surprise both wunderkind Mads Tolling and Asmussen are Danes with solid technical ability on the violin and a prodigious knowledge of the jazz songbook. Assmussen has just ...


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