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BOOK REVIEWS

Nothing but Love in God’s Water by Robert Darden

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Nothing but Love in God's Water--Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0271050843 Penn State Press 2014Critic Ed Ward's The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 (Flatiron Books, 2016) is a history written with a very even and broad horizon in mind. Bigger than the blues, country, and soul: rock & roll is an internationally large tent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dialectical Imagination: The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture

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The title The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture may conjure an elaborate theatrical vocal production but it is neither that, nor anything else that is even remotely familiar. Pianist/composer Eli Wallace and drummer Rob Pumpelly make up the duo Dialectical Imagination and describe their blend of free improvisation and chamber music as “ecstatic music," a description that--more often than not--is a surprisingly concise account of music that is rarely as succinct itself.A California native, now ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Noble / Kristoffer Berre Alberts: Coldest Second Yesterday

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Saxophone/drum duets tend to bring out the devil in people. Norwegian reedman Kristoffer Berre Alberts' approach might come as a surprise for those familiar with him only through his work with bands such as Snik and Cortex. Here he explores the edges to the exclusion of almost all else, with barely a conventional pitch among the false fingering and overblowing. But his companion Steve Noble is one of the most rhythmic of European free drummers and his presence ensures that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ross Hammond: Follow Your Heart

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Have you doubted the existence of God? Wondered if there is a place called heaven? You may react to those questions with an emphatic “yes," or, if your answer is you have “no doubts," you posses a substance called faith, an article beyond reason and knowledge. Listening to Follow You Heart by guitarist Ross Hammond bolsters the argument for this thing called faith. Hammond's solo acoustic set, recorded in a Sacramento church, opens with “Sinner Man," and a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Casey: The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door

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Making his recording debut with much anticipation, saxophonist Mike Casey delivers an inspiring performance on The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door featuring four re-imagined standards from the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Kurt Weill and Jackie Mclean as well as three originals from the band. A graduate of the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music, Casey, drummer Corey Garcia and bassist Matt Dwonszyk have been performing regularly for three years prior to this recording.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago: Chicago II

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Chicago II deserves its stereo remix and mastering by British audiophile extraordinaire Steven Wilson for any number of reasons, the most prominent of which is that, at this early juncture in the band's career, its creativity was at full flower, minus the pedantic tendencies or self-conscious pretension that would arise on later records. Everything was in balance on this sophomore effort, from the composing credits shared by guitarist/vocalist Terry Kath, keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm and bassist/vocalist Peter Cetera (who ...

INTERVIEWS

Jamil Sheriff: Helping shape a brave new jazz world

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Jamil Sheriff is a jazz pianist, composer, and educator. About 20 years after finishing studies in Leeds College of Music, the pianist became the head of the jazz department in the same institution; today he is regarded as one of the top jazz educators in the UK. Among many things Sheriff teaches composition, aural awareness, and ensemble. Known for his composition skills, he worked with large ensembles and recorded with them in the past: Daydreams (2003) and Backchat (2008) with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chano Dominguez: Over the Rainbow

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Jazz music is an interpretive art form, it is in fact, the quintessential American art form. This is an undeniable attribute to the genre, which over the past century has impacted musical culture internationally, sharing it's compositional and improvisational commonalities and absorbing the unique musical identities of neighboring musical movements. Certainly this is the case with the musical forms of Latin America, with notably strong contributions emanating from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and perhaps most prominently, the Afro-Cuban rhythms ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Albert Cirera: Before The Silence

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On Before The Silence, four musicians from the Iberian Peninsula collectively birth one 53-minute improvisation, split into three tracks and a final short coda. Pianist Agusti Fernandez is likely the most recognizable name here, but the nominal leader reedman Albert Cirera has an enduring association with the pianist, first as a student, then appearing as part of his Liquid Trio. Completing the outfit are bassist Hernani Faustino and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini, known from the Portuguese RED Trio, and in the ...


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