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LIVE REVIEWS

4 Wheel Drive at Hong Kong Arts Centre

Read "4 Wheel Drive at Hong Kong Arts Centre" reviewed by Rob Garratt

4 Wheel Drive Quartet Hong Kong Arts Centre Jazz World Live Series Hong Kong September 3, 2019 When exactly did jazz artists covering pop music shift from being a cheap and/or twee—but near-universally frowned-upon—novelty, to an almost obligatory rite of passage? Some will point to the pioneering piano deconstructions of Radiohead, The Beatles, et al by Brad Mehldau, others the more recent hip-hop collabs and Robert Glasper Experiments—more may reach further back ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Landgren: Unbreakable

Read "Unbreakable" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The very first album released by German progressive label ACT Records (in 1994) was by the Funk Unit led by trombone master Nils Landgren, recorded Live in Stockholm that summer with Maceo Parker as special guest. Other Funk Unit releases for ACT Records include Paint It Blue (1996), the trombonist's tribute to composer/saxophonist Cannonball Adderley with Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, drummer Bernard Purdie and other guests; and Funky Abba (2004), Landgren's Funk Unit tribute to the legendary Swedish popsters, graced ...

LIVE REVIEWS

WDR Jazz Fest 2016

Read "WDR Jazz Fest 2016" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

WDR Jazz Fest Theatre Munster Münster, Germany January 30, 2016 The multi-stationed broadcaster WDR (West German Radio) is known throughout most of greater Germany as a powerhouse of jazz programming and concert promotion. That lofty reputation was upheld and then some with Jazz Fest 2016, which included a Saturday night with one of the strongest single day lineups of pure jazz seen recently. From a pair of dynamic big bands to some intense small formations, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Landgren: Some Other Time

Read "Some Other Time" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Hot on the heels of his guest appearance on Mo' Blow's funky Live In Berlin (ACT Music, 2016), trombonist and singer Nils Landgren moves over to Broadway with Some Other Time. As the sub-title makes clear, this is A Tribute To Leonard Bernstein--a worthy and at times achingly beautiful tribute, too. Landgren is joined by Manhattan Transfer vocalist Janis Siegel and by the excellent rhythm section of Jan Lundgren on piano, Dieter Ilg on bass and Wolfgang Haffner ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Landgren: Christmas With My Friends IV

Read "Christmas With My Friends IV" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Christmas is a time for tradition--turkey, mistletoe, reindeer, plum pudding. Since 2006 another fine tradition has been insinuating itself into the Christmases of jazz lovers--the Nils Landgren Christmas With My Friends album. The Swedish trombonist, singer and bandleader is now on volume IV. Packaged in bright, shiny, green and silver, it's a mix of old and new, familiar and unfamiliar. Every track, with a couple of notable exceptions, is a holiday-themed joy and even the exceptions seem, in Landgren's hands, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Landgren: Christmas With My Friends III

Read "Christmas With My Friends III" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The test of a great Christmas album is simple: will it sound good in August? Christmas With My Friends III should ace that particular test. Even those who derive most festive fun from repeatedly grunting “Bah, Humbug" at passing kindergarten children will be drawn into the spell of this music. Beautifully performed by some of the European jazz scene's finest singers and musicians, the gentle grace of the music comes to the fore and serves as a reminder of Christmas' ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Landgren & Joe Sample: Creole Love Call

Read "Creole Love Call" reviewed by Chris May

Nils Landgren is an odd one. On the one hand he creates good for the soul, inventive chamber jazz; on the other he turns out touristic blandofunk. Creole Love Call, recorded in New Orleans and including some of the city's musical luminaries, though too far upstage and away from the action, lies about halfway between these two extremes. It's not as good as Landgren's work with Esbjorn Svensson or Tomasz Stanko, nor as unfortunate as last year's Funky Abba, a ...


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