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Jazz Articles

IN THE STUDIO

Leonieke Scheuble's Journey Into The Art Of Jazz

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The setting is a living room in a suburban northern New Jersey home. For the most part, it's filled with things not necessarily available at the furniture outlets that line the local highways. An upright piano takes up most of the wall adjacent to the front door. A harpsichord spans the area between the entrances to the kitchen and the dining room. A comfortable sofa is placed between a Hammond B-3 organ and a Leslie speaker. It is clearly a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Cain: King of the Blues

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Presumably, the title of singer / guitarist Chris Cain's new CD, King of the Blues, refers not to Cain himself but to one of his idols, the legendary bluesman B.B. King, who passed away in May 2015. Cain, who was born and raised in San Jose, CA, attended his first B.B. King concert at age three, and among the album's nine tracks are a pair written by King, “Whole Lotta Lovin'" and “So Excited." Cain composed four others to complement ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Myriad3: Moons

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Myriad3's third release, Moons follows very much in the vein of their first two, Tell (Alma Records, 2012) and The Where (Alma Records, 2014), yet there are subtle differences both in instrumentation and their approach to their material. In short, a lot of growth is evident when one compares Moons to its predecessors. Tell, recorded a scant 2 years after the trio's formation, is essentially a virtuosic acoustic jazz album: three young cats flexing their well-developed chops. The thing that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Camille-Alban Spreng: Odil - Something

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With an intuitive rhythmic malleability worthy of a drummer, Camille-Alban Spreng is the kind of pianist who enjoys playing fast and loose with meter as much as melody. The compositions on Odil -Something center around motifs that are intricate yet propulsive, which his quartet handily dashes off with easy flair. They can sound like a classic acoustic group or a funky fusion ensemble when the keys turn more electric, and the songs have no problem shifting and adjusting accordingly. These ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown / In The Tradition / Illusions / Blythe Spirit

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Jazz-reissues are important because they help to write and rewrite jazz-history. Through reissues, the prominence of an artist is maintained and the canon is confirmed, but it can also be questioned and corrected. A double-disc from the excellent reissue label, BGO, brings four key records from leader and alto saxophonist, Arthur Blythe, back into circulation. The records, all released on Columbia, are: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (1979), In The Tradition (1980), Illusions (1980) and Blythe Spirit (1981). The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steffen Kuehn: Leap Of Faith

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Leap Of Faith is the fourth album from Grammy-winning trumpeter Steffen Kuehn, but it's the first record to truly represent and showcase every aspect of his artistry. He produced the album, he was involved in the mixing process, he wrote eight of the ten compositions featured within, and his horn playing is central to the success of the music. This is truly Steffen Kuehn in all his glory, taking his talents to new heights and levels of visibility.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

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While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or never heard. To bolster that appraisal, one need look no farther than tenor Rickey Woodard whose solos are models of perception and coherence, or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlotte Jazz Orchestra: Uptown Down

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Uptown Down is the second album by the Charlotte (NC) Jazz Orchestra, a credibly proficient ensemble for a city that size. Unlike its earlier, in-house endeavor, this one is intended for public consumption; also unlike its sequestered debut, the CJO has chosen this time to intersperse its half-dozen instrumentals with vocals by Renee Ebalarosa. Is that a good thing? The answer depends largely on one's fondness for big-band singers. Let's simply say that some listeners would prefer to hear an ...


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