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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Barbieri: Planets + Persona

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Prominent British keyboardist Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree, Japan, David Torn) and an impressive support lineup give true meaning to the conventional ambient-electronic allusions of space exploration. But the keyboardist ups the ante by incorporating groove-based settings amid pristinely recorded textures, streaming layers and the use of acoustic instruments for augmentation and expansion-type initiatives. Here, every note resonates and provides x-amount of significance. Working with the world class prog rock band Porcupine Tree and numerous solo and side projects, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Barbieri: Planets + Persona

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Keyboards often play a supporting part in many ensembles, but Richard Barbieri still takes the idea farther than most. His roles as band member (in art-pop outfit Japan and eclectic rock band Porcupine Tree) have always been marked by a distinct lack of spotlighting. He works with atmospheres more than notes, and riffs or heads are the exception more than the rule. This doesn't mean his solo excursions are simple unobtrusive ambience or abstract noise--rather, these are vividly immersive tapestries ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Pinhas / Tatsuya Yoshida / Masami Akita: Process And Reality

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Since guitarist Richard Pinhas' returned to music in the 1990s, his appetite for touring and recording with various artists has produced an impressive array of albums. Another generation knows him from his 1970s work with the prog/space/electronic rock outfit Heldon. Current listeners await each new solo release and encounters with the likes of science fiction writers Maurice Dantec and Philip K. Dick, Oren Ambarchi, Wolf Eyes, and Noël Akchoté. For many listeners it is Pinhas' collaborations with the Japanese musicians ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark F. Turner's Best Releases of 2016

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Another year of outstanding releases which not only unveiled new artists but also fresh material from those I've admired over many years. While the roots of jazz were formed during the music diaspora from Africa to America its branches are continually grafting and evolving--artistically, culturally, and geographically as musicians and composers find creative ways to express the music. As usual, the task is arduous but here are my picks for 2016. Logan Richardson Shift

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Pinhas - Barry Cleveland: Mu

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French guitarist and electronics ace Richard Pinhas set high standards for electronic rock with the advent of Heldon back in 1974. But his voluminous discography as a solo artist and collaborator surges onward with two concurrent 2016 releases for Cuneiform Records: Process and Reality with drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and noise electronics whiz Masami Akita aka Merzbow, and this quartet date Mu, co-led with guitarist, technologist, Barry Cleveland. The frontline reaps the benefits of having bass legend Michael Manring ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Sears: Altadena

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It is inspiration which fuels Brooklyn-based pianist Richard Sears's Altadena, a five part suite commissioned in 2013 by the Los Angeles Jazz Society featuring the legendary drummer Albert “Tootie" Heath. The professional linking between Heath, who first recorded with John Coltrane in 1957 and Sears, a rising young talent, began after the two met and exchanged ideas in 2012. Like many collaborations in jazz between younger and older artists, this connection is one of mutual respect and admiration.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Richard Sorce Project: Closer Than Before

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Lush Brazilian-flavored Latin jazz from composer/pianist/arranger Richard Sorce and his nine-piece group consisting of a five-piece rhythm section, a three-piece horn section and vocalists (augmented by occasional horn and string sections). An accomplished musician and academic, Sorce has received several Meet the Composer grants, is an ASCAP award winning composer and songwriter and the recipient of the Esteemed Faculty Award from New York University, as well as author of several books on musicianship and music theory. So it comes as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Sussman: The Evolution Suite

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On this ambitious recording, keyboardist Richard Sussman draws together several seasoned jazz veterans with the Sirius Quartet for a stimulating, genre-defying album of music. Built around Sussman's five-part “Evolution Suite," the record's guiding theme is also a gesture toward the transcendence of stylistic boundaries that animates Sussman's music. By utilizing conventional jazz, fusion, contemporary classical and a good dose of computer-generated electronics, Sussman is clearly making a statement about the importance of moving beyond pre-established categories in the quest to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Coltrane Birthday Celebration: Harnessing The Coltrane Effect

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Richard Cole Group Tula's Jazz Club Seattle WA September 23, 2016 The calendar read September 23, 2016, the 90th anniversary of the birth of John Coltrane, and as in many cities in America, and around the world, the music of this master innovator is being celebrated in performance, by modern jazz musicians who have been musically inspired by his courage, by his absence of compromise, by his relentless impatience, by his quest ...


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