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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Baker: Phrases

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After a seven-year absence, vocalist/composer/arranger/educator and foremost fan of the Boise State Broncos, Jeff Baker has returned to the studio to add to his already impressive discography, which includes: Baker Sings Chet (OA2, 2004); Monologue (OA2, 2005); Shopping for Your Heart (OA2, 2007); Of Things Not Seen (OA2, 2009). The distance between the earthy, basic Of Things Not Seen and the present airy and ethereal Phrases is a vast one. Baker increases his instrumentation dramatically, from a quintet ...

REASSESSING

Of Things Not Seen

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How Jeff Baker avoided full coverage at All About Jazz is beyond me, but now is a fine time to write this wrong. In 2009, Baker took a professional and stylistic chance in producing a jazz treatment of songs from the American Christian Songbook, Of Things Not Seen. He had worked up to this bold statement with his preceding recordings: Baker Sings Chet (OA2, 2004); Monologue (OA2, 2005); and Shopping for Your Heart (OA2, 2007). Proving deft and smart with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pearring Sound: True Story

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Colorado native Jeff Pearring began studying the alto saxophone at the age of ten but pursued a career in economics before turning back to music. With a broad range of experiences that encompassed symphonic bands, ska and reggae, it was Pearring's affinity for jazz that guided him upon arriving in New York. Pearring studied with Connie Crothers, one of the great, but under-recognized jazz pianists of the past generation. Crothers passed in 2016 but not before inspiring Pearring to pursue ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Dingler: In Transit

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Living and working between the African and North American continent, bassist Jeff Dingler combines the influences of the two essentially different musical cultures on his sophomore effort, appropriately entitled In Transit, creating a most fluent fusion of Ethio-Jazz in a Bebop context. The musicians enhancing and realizing his musical vision are drummer Gusten Rudolph, pianist Lou Rainone and guitarist Brad Shepik, who himself experiments much in fusing world-music and jazz--just recently apparent on his latest project Human Activity Suite, which ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl

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Jeff Beck Live at the Hollywood Bowl Eagle Rock 2017 As fashionable as concert sit-ins have come to be in recent years, such guesting can be the bane of the live performance. So often it is the case that such invitees can interrupts the flow and/or momentum rather than nurturing it. However, Jeff Beck's August 2016 celebration in Los Angeles of his fiftieth anniversary is the exception to that rule: the stream of diverse personnel ...

IN PICTURES
CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cheer-Accident: Putting Off Death

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This Chicago-based prog rock unit incorporates seamless genre-hopping movements on its 18th album and third for Cuneiform Records. Clocking in at a little over 38-minutes, the musicians provide upper-tier compositions, sans any hint of filler material as opposed to cramming the maximum allowable bits and bytes into the standard CD limitations. Thankfully, each piece stands on its own via a kaleidoscopic perspective, where qualitative content serves as the nucleus of the artists' collective vision. From a pure, comparative ...

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," ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jeff Lorber Fusion at Nighttown

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Jeff Lorber Fusion Nighttown Cleveland, Ohio May 26, 2017 One of the pioneers of the fusion movement of the early '80s that ultimately morphed into the smooth jazz craze, keyboard man Jeff Lorber made his initial mark with the five albums he cut between 1977 and 1981. Leading an ensemble billed as the Jeff Lorber Fusion, the last few albums he recorded for Arista even featured the budding saxophonist Kenny Gorelick, who later dropped ...