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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anna Webber's Simple Trio with Matt Mitchell & John Hollenbeck: Binary

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If there were a prize for avoiding the obvious, then Brooklyn-based Canadian saxophonist and flautist Anna Webber would be a prime contender. In an effort to take the road less travelled, Webber has used internet-sourced inspiration, including a random binary digit generator, a website that turns words into drumbeats, and even her own IP address, to develop the 11 compositions on Binary, the sophomore outing from her Simple Trio. In a line up unchanged since their eponymous ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge

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Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Martin Hawkins 416 Pages ISBN: # 978-0807164532 LSU Press 2016 James Moore, AKA, Slim Harpo, was a musician that existed at ground level. In his heyday, one was as likely to see him exiting the Excello Records in Nashville, TN one day and driving a truck in New Iberia, LA, the next, then walking into J.D. Miller's recording studio in Crowley, LA, while working on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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The finest compliment you can pay an artist is that his music is instantly recognized in a blindfold test. Sure, back in the day most experienced listeners could identify a Bud Powell, Bill Evans, or Oscar Peterson recording. It's just, these days, there are so many Powell, Evans, and Peterson soundalikes, schooled in the art of emulation, that identity is no longer a prized commodity. That is, unless you value an original voice, one like that of Matthew Shipp.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Veryan Weston: Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs

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This new solo album from keyboardist Veryan Weston was recorded in May 2014 on tracker action organs in seven churches located around England. The recordings here document some of the preparatory research that Weston did ahead of a tour of churches with tracker action organs. That tour involved Weston plus violinist Jon Rose and cellist Hannah Marshall, so this album should be considered a companion piece to Tuning Out (Emanem, 2015), the album recorded on the tour. As ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Troy Roberts: Tales & Tones

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Saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts continues to present music that retains a distinctive strength and originality, still vastly rooted in tradition, while firmly grounded in new perspectives. Hailing from the remote location of Perth, West Australia, Roberts has received numerous awards including 3 consecutive DownBeat Jazz Soloist Awards, a Grammy Nomination medal, and was the only Australian semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music at the young age of 19, he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richie Cole: Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas

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Christmas music is a sort of sub genre of American pop, mostly maudlin and uninspiring in its lyrics, harmony and melody. Yet, it is a perennial magnet for jazz artists. On the other end of the spectrum is Richie Cole, a brash altoist and sort of a merry prankster bebop artist. Fans and critics alike have delighted in his ability to take the complex structures of the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and mold them into ...

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 ...


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