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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oran Etkin: What's New? Reimagining Benny Goodman

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Those looking to preview some of the most interesting jazz offerings due to arrive in any given year know that New York's Winter Jazzfest is the place to do it. For more than a decade, this annual January happening has had its finger on the pulse of the jazz world, giving the press, the fans, and curious jazz newcomers an opportunity to hear the best of what's around and the best of what's to come. The 2015 ...

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Jazz Quanta May

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Oran Etkin Gathering Light Motema 2014 Multi-reedist Oran Etkin gathers his scattered points of inspiration from the whole of the Eastern Hemisphere and a good bit of the Western one. Etkin's main horn is the bass clarinet...not completely unheard of, Eric Dolphy played a mean one, but one heard infrequently enough that it remains almost a novelty. Etkin opens Gathering Light with Ki Narto Saboo's “Gambang Suling," his bass clarinet reaching eastward ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oran Etkin: Gathering Light

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Multi-reedist Oran Etkin's first album--Kelenia (Motema Music, 2009)--fused Malian sounds and Jewish music with jazz. Its follow-up--Wake Up, Clarinet! (1-2-3-4 Go, 2010)--was geared toward kids. Now, for round three, Etkin has cast his net over a huge portion of the globe, pulling together, arranging, and morphing musical ideals he's encountered while touring through Asia, Israel, and portions of Europe. Gathering Light is a gloriously global musical mélange that finds Etkin in good company, creating alternately gripping and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oran Etkin: Kelenia

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Exposure to traditional African music is limited in the western hemisphere so it is always a pleasant surprise when a recording is released, especially when it is a solid, well above average effort. Clarinetist and saxophonist Oran Etkin has fused Malian music with elements of improvisation and jazz in his debut, Kelenia. This is not just mere pastiche but a successful melding of musical genres into a work that maintains a strong traditional identity while solidly remaining ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oran Etkin: Kelenia

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As the open air arias of grilling cicadas and bustling barbecues mix in with the distant thumping of convertibles to announce the new solstice, what better than a hot, mellifluously ornate African chant to brush off what is left of spring and get everyone in a festive mood?The cause of celebration? Summer, of course. But also “Yekeke," an oasis of a song to kick off the festivities to the lively African jazz concoctions of clarinetist Oran Etkin's group, ...


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