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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: Araminta

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Named after the iconic American heroine: escaped slave, abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross circa 1822); the extraordinary New York based trio of guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer JT Lewis have performed together for over 20 years yet have only released three prior recordings: I am a Man (Knitting Factory, 1998), Prototype (Avant Records, 2000) and the double trio recording Ascension (Sunnyside Records, 2011) with trumpeter Ron Miles and two turntablists: DJ Logic and DJ ...

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re: our recent Araminta review

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Dear All About Jazz readers, First, I sincerely apologize for the article that appeared on this page at All About Jazz the other day. Under normal circumstances, it would not have been published, but this one slipped through and I take full responsibility for it. Also, let me be 100% clear that the views of the author were his own and not reflective of my views or All About Jazz's in general. We have editorial guidelines ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman and Wadada Leo Smith: Araminta

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Things are urgent now. Actually, they have been critical for some time, but you might have chosen to ignore them. Politics, racism, sexism, war, inequality, and xenophobia are now issues that you must confront at home, work, in social media, and even within your bowling league. Everyone must have an opinion, and maybe that is the good news. This consciousness of social justice has long been the well that artists and musicians draw from. Half a century ago ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: Ascension

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The raison d'être for the band, Harriet Tubman, is an almost aching musical yearning for a complete freedom. It is a freedom from genre and certainly on Ascension, complete freedom from style as well as style. This what the 20th Century Spanish poet and playwright, Federico Garcia-Lorca described as the heart of duende, a holistic alternative to style and mere virtuosity, seeking an elevated level of delving into the depths of the soul so that the music dilates the mind's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: Ascension

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It has been forty-six years since John Coltrane took his expanded ensemble into a studio to record Ascension (Impulse!, 1965), and many believe the jazz world has yet to come to grips with its significance and meaning. It has only been eleven years since the power trio Harriet Tubman, expanded into the Harriet Tubman Double Trio, rendered its interpretation of Ascension. Formed in 1998, the Harriet Tubman trio picks up where the short-lived supergroup Power Tools (Bill Frisell, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: Prototype

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The second ‘strange meeting’ between the members of the thumping power trio known as Harriet Tubman was recorded live in New York, Finland, and The Netherlands. Why bassist Melvin Gibbs choose to reincarnate his previous band Power Tools can be answered by noting the sales of powered amps and woofers over the past decade. Gibbs, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson conspired in the late 1980s to play noisy loud power-jazz. Gibbs learned it from Sonny Sharrock, played ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: I Am A Man

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Harriet Tubman is: Brandon Ross guitar; Melvin Gibbs bass and J.T. Lewis drums. Titled: “I Am A Man”, this reviewer will deviate from researching any hidden agenda or subliminal message; however, I can ascertain without reservation that these three “NYC Downtown Scene” veterans have produced an enthusiastic outing which traverses many frontiers.

“Freedom of Expression” is an applied concept put forth within the infamous NYC Downtown Scene. In many instances infusions of punk rock-jazz-chamber-world music and so forth materialize in ...


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