Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz Meets Death

Read "Jazz Meets Death" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

There once was a great music. It was born in America and branded with the name Jazz. The music was later re-named madam Zzaj, by one of her lovers, the Duke. She grudgingly accepted the moniker of Jazz over the years. It was how she was bought and sold after all. Jazz had several intimate relationships over the years. Each one of these caused her to experience tremendous spiritual and emotional transformation. There was the great Armstrong, who raised her ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro: Harmolodic Monk

Read "Harmolodic Monk" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Every time it looks like all the gold has been mined from Thelonious Monk's music, somebody comes along to prove otherwise. Harmolodic Monk finds multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle and percussionist John Pietaro applying saxophone icon(oclast) Ornette Coleman's freeing philosophical ideal(s) to Monk's oft-performed music. To some, the resultant performances may seem far more complex than the originals, complete with mind-expanding abstractions, reductions, and alterations. To others, this music may be very simple to grasp. In truth, both viewpoints ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro: Harmolodic Monk

Read "Harmolodic Monk" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

In multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle's insightful blog, “That Fat Eb Feels Mahogany to Me," he discusses a challenge shared by many jazz musicians: “With people doing more and more repertoire projects to get work and for sheer love of that artist, I have been thinking about ways to explore the relationships between the kings without doing a straight cop. Playing obscure tunes is one thing, but there must be a way to look at their work from a new perspective."

BOOK REVIEW

The Jazz Musician's Tarot Deck

Read "The Jazz Musician's Tarot Deck" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

The Jazz Musician's Tarot Deck Matt Lavelle 55 pages ISBN: 14186207 Lulu 2013 Multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle is an artist who loves a challenge. Not content to play one instrument, he plays several: trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, and alto clarinet. Looking to expand his creativity, he started blogging a few years ago, which led to publishing the memoir and how-to guide New York City Subway Drama, and Beyond. Seeking to go beyond straight autobiography, Lavelle's ...

BOOK REVIEW

Matt Lavelle: New York City Subway Drama, and Beyond

Read "Matt Lavelle: New York City Subway Drama, and Beyond" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

New York City Subway Drama, and BeyondMatt LavelleSoftcover; 196 pagesISBN: 9781462044412iUniverse2011 Jazz autobiographies are a genre all their own, running the gamut from the no-holds-barred disclosures of trumpeter Miles Davis, to the cautious reflections of pianist Paul Bley, to the mystical insights of bassist Victor Wooten. A new and welcome entry is multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle's New York City Subway Drama, and Beyond, which has the rare quality of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Matt Lavelle: Goodbye New York, Hello World

Read "Goodbye New York, Hello World" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle's CD is entitled Goodbye New York, Hello World--and he means it. Since 1999, Lavelle has been a vital part of the New York City avant-garde jazz scene: in addition to electrifying live performances and impressive CD releases, he has also been a thoughtful commentator on the music world, including blogs, Facebook posts, and a memoir-in-progress that's creating a buzz both online and off. These days, Lavelle's music and life have been taking him increasingly to Europe--including an ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Matt Lavelle: Spiritual Power and War Rug

Read "Matt Lavelle: Spiritual Power and War Rug" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Matt Lavelle Trio Spiritual Power Silkheart 2007 Eye Contact War Rug KMB Records 2007

Jazz trios led by a horn other than a saxophone are something of a rarity and while Matt Lavelle is known primarily as a trumpet player (William Parker's Little Huey Orchestra), on Spiritual Power he mostly divides the bulk ...


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