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Jazz Articles | Blog

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Sussman: The Evolution Suite

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Arranger/conductor Gunther Schuller coined, in 1957, the term “Third Stream," to describe a musical synthesis of jazz and classical music. Early examples of this sound include Miles Davis/Gil Evans' Sketches of Spain (Columbia Records, 1961), saxophonist Stan Getz' Focus (Verve Records, 1961), and the Dizzy Gillespie/J.J. Johnson collaboration, the oddly overlooked and excellent Perceptions (Verve Records, 1961). Pianist/composer Richard Sussman takes that Third Stream idea a step further with The Evolution Suite, by combining jazz, classical and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Bona: Heritage

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The roots of Afro-Cuban music can be traced to its primordial source in the West African Mandika Empire (Mali) of the 15th century. Heritage is a collaboration of Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona with the Mandekan Cubano ensemble in a musical exploration of two cultures with the common bond of Africa as a point of origin and influence. This venture revolves around familiar Cuban dance oriented, melodic structure, accented with Bona's dominant African traits, for an engaging tour de force.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richard Nant / Alan Plachta: Un Viaje

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Things are happening right now in Argentina. There is a jazz scene that just seems to keep on growing and growing. Fortunately, international collaboration has also started to happen and Argentinian musicians are travelling around the world to share their special take on the jazz tradition. For instance, cutting edge pianist Paula Shocron has recently been to New York. Another musician that is familiar with the city is guitarist Alan Plachta. In fact, his sextet with pianist ...


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