All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Articles | Featured | Future

CATCHING UP WITH

Stefon Harris: The Tradition of Jazz

Read "Stefon Harris: The Tradition of Jazz" reviewed by

Twenty-two years into his career, Albany, New York's Stefon Harris has fronted seven Blue Note LPs, served as co-lead on two others and recorded with a host of greats including Joshua Redman, Ry Cooder, Courtney Pine and Christian Scott. Because that's not enough for the 45-year-old, he's also a successful educator, public speaker, entrepreneur and an eloquent interview. He and I spoke last week about his upcoming Blackout album, Sonic Creed. All About Jazz: “Dat Dere," ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Stefon Harris & Joe Locke: Vibes Away!

Read "Stefon Harris & Joe Locke: Vibes Away!" reviewed by

Within the realm of modern jazz, the vibraphone has long enticed unusually imaginative musicians to explore the possibilities of the instrument. Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton have essentially reinvented the vibes for successive generations, while Warren Wolf and Yuhan Su, among others, continue to reconfigure its appeal to entice contemporary audiences. Respective studio works of Stefon Harris and Joe Locke demonstrate how each may also be rightfully numbered among the modern visionaries of the vibes, the records also ...

INTERVIEWS

Stefon Harris: Pursuing the Tradition

Read "Stefon Harris: Pursuing the Tradition" reviewed by

Musician and composer Stefon Harris wears many hats. But he wears them all well. He is a composer, performer, bandleader, businessman, educator and leadership trainer. He handles each with a clear head, confidence and sense of purpose. He's bright, articulate and relates to people on any level. Harris' to-do list on any given day can involve the fact that he is associate dean and director of the Arts Department at the Manhattan School of Music. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefon Harris & Blackout: Sonic Creed

Read "Sonic Creed" reviewed by

In its most basic function, the music that makes up Sonic Creed serves as a mirror to African American life in the here and now. It explores the history, legacy, struggles, and joys of the Black community, speaking to all of it at once through sound and sentiment. Sonic Creed arrives almost a decade after this groove outfit's last showing--Urbanus (Concord, 2009)--but the time away hasn't hurt the band. If anything, Blackout has become a more limber ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ninety Miles: Boulder, CO, January 17, 2013

Read "Ninety Miles: Boulder, CO, January 17, 2013" reviewed by

Ninety MilesMacky AuditoriumBoulder, COJanuary 17, 2013Cuba has long held an allure for jazz musicians. The sounds and particularly the rhythms emanating from that country have influenced jazz nearly from the beginning. From early in the 20th Century, the Latin tinge, as Jelly Roll Morton called it, has seasoned the jazz sound. By the 1940s, through the work of musicians like Mario Bauza, Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie, Afro Cuban jazz became an important part of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefon Harris / David Sanchez / Christian Scott: Ninety Miles

Read "Ninety Miles" reviewed by

On paper, Ninety Miles was a tantalizing project from the beginning; bringing together three of the most exciting voices in modern jazz--Puerto Rican-born tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott, and New York vibraphonist Stefon Harris-- and transport them to Havana to play with two outstanding, piano-led Cuban jazz quartets. The American red tape took a year to negotiate--which shows a dogged determination of sorts on all sides--but the musical connection that resulted was clearly instant, judging by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefon Harris / David Sanchez / Christian Scott: Ninety Miles

Read "Ninety Miles" reviewed by

They're all relative youngsters in a jazz world that still finds nonagenarians like Dave Brubeck hitting the summer festival circuit. Tenor saxophonist David Sánchez may be the elder statesman on the marquis of Ninety Miles, with vibraphonist Stefon Harris in the middle position at 38 and trumpeter Christian Scott still on the shy side of 30, but each of them has already made his mark, making this an all-star in-the-making American/Cuban collaboration on an upward trajectory. Scott's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Stefon Harris and Blackout in Golden, CO

Read "Stefon Harris and Blackout in Golden, CO" reviewed by

Stefon Harris and Blackout Mt. Vernon Country Club Golden, CO October 15, 2009

Stefon Harris is like one of those small, wiry running backs that gets the job done through finesse and quickness rather than brute force. Indeed, at his concert Thursday night at the Mt. Vernon Country Club, Harris sometimes darted back and forth in front of his vibraphone reaching between the bass clef and treble clef like a ball carrier cutting ...

INTERVIEWS

Stefon Harris: Authenticity and Audacity

Read "Stefon Harris: Authenticity and Audacity" reviewed by

Authenticity is a special word for vibraphone wizard Stefon Harris when it comes to his art, which springs from the tradition of jazz music, but is approached through a modern lens that takes into account the sounds and perspective of 2009. He has enough audacity--also a special word for Harris--to say it clearly, to elucidate what he is going for in his music. And he has enough audacity on the bandstand to go for it. “It's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stefon Harris & Blackout: Urbanus

Read "Urbanus" reviewed by

Since emerging in the late 1990s as the vibraphonist of his generation, Stefon Harris has been unfairly tagged as an overly cerebral player for Blue Note projects like the elaborate Grand Unification Theory (2003) and African Tarantella: Dances for Duke (2006). Evolution (Blue Note, 2004), Harris' first with his groove-happy Blackout band, went a long way to demonstrating a capacity for making accessible music with plenty going on under the hood. Following a few years of touring--including outstanding 2006 performances ...