Articles

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

LIVE REVIEW

Jazzdor Strasbourg 2019

Read "Jazzdor Strasbourg 2019" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Jazzdor Strasbourg 2019 Fosse des Treize and other venues November 10-13, 2019 Jazzdor is a unique double-sided European jazz festival offering a 15-day November edition in Strasbourg and environs including German town Offenburg on the opposite side of the Rhine river, and it also presents a June edition in Berlin. It is a bilateral French-German affair embedded in a multinational panoramic view. We are now half-way to the Berlin edition 2020 taking place in ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Orchestre National de Jazz: Europa Berlin

Read "Europa Berlin" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

When guitarist-composer Olivier Benoit was appointed in 2014 as the new artistic director of the prestigious French Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ) some local neo-cons expressed their worries that this orchestra may lose its jazzy touch. Benoit composed before music for orchestras like the Lille-based Circum Grand Orchestra and the La Pieuvre ensemble, but is known as an experimental guitarist and adventurous improviser whose musical language is genre-binding. Europa Berlin, the second musical portrayal of a major European cities after ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Orchestre National de Jazz: Piazzolla!

Read "Orchestre National de Jazz: Piazzolla!" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

The Argentinian composer, bandoneón player and tango revolutionary Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was no stranger to jazz. As a music student in Paris in the mid-1950s, he was inspired by the joyous improvisation he witnessed in the effervescent Left Bank jazz scene. He would go on to collaborate with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan (Summit/Reunion Cumbre, Erre, 1974) and vibraphonist Gary Burton (The New Tango, Atlantic, 1986). Indeed, Piazzolla integrated jazz sensibilities into his music over a span of decades. On the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Orchestre National de Jazz: Shut Up And Dance

Read "Orchestre National de Jazz: Shut Up And Dance" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Orchestre National de JazzShut Up And DanceBee Jazz2010 Daniel Yvinec's first foray as artistic director of France's National Jazz Orchestra, a tribute to English rock oddball Robert Wyatt (Around Robert Wyatt, Bee Jazz, 2009) drew well-deserved critical praise. To some, however, it sounded more like a pop masterpiece than appropriate fare for state-sponsored guardians of the jazz repertoire. “Is this an ONJ?" sniffed pianist and former ONJ director Antoine Herve (class ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Orchestre National de Jazz: Around Robert Wyatt

Read "Orchestre National de Jazz: Around Robert Wyatt" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Orchestre National de JazzAround Robert WyattBee Jazz2009 Hearing that France's National Jazz Orchestra has prepared a program of music by Robert Wyatt, the venerable sage of English rock and roll, is intriguing, but not necessarily shocking. After all, the legendary Soft Machine, for which Wyatt served as drummer and vocalist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, pushed prog rock far into the direction of jazz-inspired improvisation. But Around Robert Wyatt borrows ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Orchestre National de Jazz: Electrique

Read "Electrique" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

In the wake of the magnificent Close to Heaven (Le Chant du Monde, 2006), the French national jazz orchestra's tribute to the Led Zeppelin songbook, musical director Franck Tortiller found himself attracted to the early 1970s plugged-in jazz-rock fusion of the Headhunters, Weather Report and Lifetime. The result is Electrique. That's his story, anyway, and it's been approvingly repeated in the glowing reviews the record has already received in the French jazz press.The reasons for the critics' enthusiasm ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Orchestre National de Jazz: Close to Heaven

Read "Orchestre National de Jazz: Close to Heaven" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Orchestre National de Jazz Close to Heaven Le Chant Du Monde Harmonia Mundi ---> 2006

Some readers might recall, fondly or otherwise, Dread Zeppelin, a band with at least one too many gimmicks: fronted by an Elvis impersonator, they performed reggae versions of Led Zeppelin songs (in place of the drum solo on “Moby Dick," the Elvis stand-in read aloud from the novel Moby Dick). One is tempted to approach a new album of ...


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