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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Bill Evans Trio: On A Monday Evening

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Bill Evans, one of the most influential of jazz pianists, died in 1981. He left a legacy. The brilliant shine of his artistry gained widespread recognition in 1959 with his contribution to Miles Davis classic Kind Of Blue (Columbia Records, 1959), and surged into stellar territory with the release of his own Sunday At The Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961), a trio outing featuring bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The interactivity and equality of input of that particular ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Skaff: Soulmation

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Guitarist Greg Skaff is all about the grease, grit, and grooves on Soulmation. It's a logical extension of his previous work--guitar-fronted organ group dates like East Harlem Skyline (Zoho Music, 2009) and 116th & Park (Zoho Music, 2012)--but it's a tad heavier, raunchier, and funkier than anything Skaff threw us on those records. His approach here is equal parts soul jazz, jam band, and unadulterated rock, nodding toward everybody from Grant Green to Lenny Kravitz to Jimi Hendrix.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bram Weijters & Chad McCullough: Feather

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Three terrific studio CDs--quartet outings, all--have come from the teaming of trumpeter Chad McCullough and keyboardist Bram Weijters: Imaginary Sketches (2011); Urban Nightingale, (2012); and Abstract Quantities (2015), all on Origin Records. Theirs is an always engaging, melodic modern jazz. On Feathers the musicians reduce their artistry down to the duo mode. From the disc's opening notes, on “Fluid," the pair employ modernistic resonance, a sustained mood of solemnity. Weijter uses, throughout, electric keyboards--Fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, and Moog ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Millennium Jazz Orchestra: Lookin' East

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The Netherlands, with a population less than that of New York State, is home to no less than four of the world's most accomplished jazz ensembles--the Metropole Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, the Ebony Big Band and the Millennium Jazz Orchestra whose latest album, Lookin' East, does nothing to subvert its status as a member of the Big Four. Indeed, there is ample cause to argue that the MJO belongs at the very top of that plateau, steep ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Patrick Battstone & Antonella Chionna: The Voice of Robert Desnos

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Pat Battstone and Antonella Chionna have released a CD titled, The Voice of Robert Desnos. You do not need long to understand that there is something special in this duet. The exciting idea: to perform the poetry of Robert Desnos. Desnos' creative processes focused on achieving a state of self-abandon, dream-like spontaneity that allowed him to create his art while transcending the limitations of “reality." Desnos strived for a deeper vision of a sur-reality; one where the “movie screen" that ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series

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In 2015, Simon Reynell, Another Timbre's proprietor, realised he was talking independently to three Canadian composers about producing discs of their music; as a result, the idea of producing a Canadian series emerged. In mid-2016, as part of its “Violin + 1" series, the label released Dirt Road by one of the three, the New York-born, Toronto-resident Linda Catlin Smith. Now, in the wake of the very positive reception afforded to Dirt Road, the Canadian series begins, with the release ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Procol Harum: Novum

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Every once in a great while, a band with some history and, usually, no small pedigree, will reignite the chemistry that begat its sound and do so without over-obvious replication of its essential style. Neil Young and Crazy Horse found themselves in such a rarefied space with Ragged Glory (Reprise, 1990) as did the Allman Brothers Band in the early 2000's. With Novum, Procol Harum is similarly positioned. Cognizance of the fiftieth anniversary of the band's breakthrough with ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Beyond Words by John Prine

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Beyond Words John Prine 179 Pages ISBN: # 978-0-692-74016-3 Oh Boy Records 2016 Anecdotally, Bob Dylan once surmised that John Prine was the last pure folk singer and counts Prine as one of his musical heroes. This statement is tantamount to the similarly anecdotal declaration by Frank Sinatra that Tony Bennett was his favorite singer. Both have the gravity of Jesus finally owning that John was his favorite apostle. All this palaver is ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights

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It's always a pleasure to be reminded what a range of sounds just one instrument can produce. The same 88 keys can be used in endlessly different ways in different inventive hands, and this batch of recordings has several masterful performers taking that starting point toward quite eclectic ends. Dag Arnesen Trio Pentagon Tapes Losen Records 2017 With a love for jazz and folk both classic and modern, Dag Arnesen finds a ...


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