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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Denson Quartet: Concentric Circles

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The immediate standout feature of Jeff Denson's group is that he uses a bassoon as the reed instrument. That gives an interesting twist to the quartet's sound. Denson's compositions are a free-ranging mix of fast-paced progressive jazz and pretty ballads. The nimble, woody tone of Paul Hanson's bassoon gives an intellectual feel to the shifting tempos of pieces like “City Life" and “Look Before You Leap" that suggests the quirky music of old Canterbury Sound jazz-rock bands like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Parker: The New Breed

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There are certain artists that you know you can always count on. Whenever they are involved in something, at least it is going to be interesting and often it will be great. Guitarist Jeff Parker is one of those artists. It has been an undivided pleasure following Parker through his many constellations, whether it is Isotope 217, Tricolor, Chicago Underground, Brian Blade Fellowship, Makaya McCraven or Tortoise, just to name a few. However, Parker has also carved ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Cappello & Jeff Albert with William Parker: New Normal

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If sentimentality is the synonym of nostalgia, then the antonym is anticipation, and maybe a better word would be modernity. That word comes to mind spinning the trio recording New Normal by trombonist Jeff Albert, drummer Dave Cappello and their guest, bassist William Parker. Sentimentality is often associated with New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. While the uninitiated (and a certain musical family from NOLA) often look backwards to sounds of a bygone era, let us not forget ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Lederer's Brooklyn Blowhards: Brooklyn Blowhards

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Imagine seeing a despondent Albert Ayler walking around Brooklyn on a cold November day in 1970, with his tenor saxophone under his arm. Some say he threw himself into the East River, a suicide by drowning. His loss, our loss, was one a true original voices in jazz. Now picture Ayler with a copy of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale tucked under his arm. Reading the 800-plus pages of Herman Melville's opus has been attempted by many, but completed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Buckley: You and I

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The life and career of Jeff Buckley were cut extremely short and at a point where the possibilities had barely begun to be apparent. After the fatal drug overdose of his famous father, the folk singer (and, for at least one album, jazz singer) Tim Buckley, the son spent much of his adolescence living on the border of poverty. That life, however, was not without ongoing musical influences, his mother being a classically trained musician. In high school, Buckley played ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Williams: Outlier

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Drummer Jeff Williams is an American expatriate now residing in London, England. Following his formal drumming studies commencing in 1968 at Berklee College of Music, Williams became a seasoned veteran of the U.S. jazz scene, accompanying some of the biggest names in the business including Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach, Cedar Walton, Lee Konitz, Bill Evans, John Scofield, and Miroslav Vitous. Outlier is his third album for Whirlwind and he's assembled a great line-up of British jazz ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Jeff Beck Group: Rough and Ready & Jeff Beck Group a/k/a 'The Orange Album'

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The early phases of iconic British guitarist Jeff Beck's solo career proceeded in fits and starts, due in no small part to his admittedly temperamental nature, but also via twists of fate that, in fairly quick succession, stymied his progress then accelerated it proportionately. The original Jeff Beck Group, including vocalist Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood, drummer Mick Waller and, in later stages, pianist extraordinaire Nicky Hopkins, might've established a breakthrough at their appearance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yago Vazquez/Scott Lee/Jeff Hirshfield: Stream

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The “New Talent" on the very fine Fresh Sound New Talent release, Stream, is pianist Yago Vazquez, who hails from Spain, but who moved to NYC in 2008 to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he graduated with honors in 2010. His band mates in this cooperative piano trio are long time partners bassist Scott Lee and drummer Jeff Hirshfield, both of whom would be familiar to anyone who has followed saxophonist Loren Stillman.


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