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Articles by Chris M. Slawecki

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marbin: Israeli Jazz

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Marbin's name and music come from the combined visions of saxophonist Danny Markovitch and guitarist Dani Rabin. Dani was born in California but grew up in Israel, where he met Markovitch and first formed Marbin as a duo in 2007. “Both Danny and I grew up in Israel listening to Israeli music, but we also grew up listening to jazz, rock, folk and blues," Rabin explains. “We felt it's appropriate to name the album Israeli Jazz because it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Malo: Latin Bugaloo: The Warner Bros. Singles

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"Malo was pretty much a jam," reflects Malo bandleader Jorge Santana (younger brother to Carlos Santana) in the notes to Latin Bugaloo. “Just a lot of natural energy. But it had to be structured into an arrangement." Latin Bugaloo compiles the A-and B-sides of six Malo singles released during the band's 1970s golden age, plus two sides ("Pana" and “Just Say Goodbye") released as a single only in Turkey for reasons not even Santana remembers. Because the original ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nils Landgren: Unbreakable

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rhett Frazier: Welcome to the Club

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Rhett Frazier was born and raised in Texas and Oklahoma, by a family deeply steeped in every strain of America's soul music. And born and raised to vocally stomp through soul and funk. Grandpop played guitar and fiddle in a western swing band. Cousins Alan and Mike are bluegrass and country music mainstays, The Frazier Brothers. Uncle Mick Roemer is a jazz pianist and singer. After fronting several incendiary blues bands that barnstormed through Texas and Oklahoma, Frazier ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Craig Fraedrich: Out of the Blues

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Out of the Blues, featuring Craig Fraedrich on trumpet and flugelhorn with The Jazz Trumpet Ensemble, would have sounded great in the sweltering hard-bop landscape that Cannonball Adderley, The Jazz Messengers led by Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other jazz legends began to explore in the late 1950s. Fraedrich has been featured trumpet soloist with The Army Blues, the premier jazz ensemble of the US Army, since 1986. He has also served as the group's trumpet section leader, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hugo Fattoruso: Hugo Fattoruso Y Barrio Opa

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Once upon a time in Uruguay, teenage brothers Osvaldo and Hugo Fattoruso stepped out of their musical family trio to play guitar and bass for popular Latin American jazz (swing) and rock 'n' roll ensembles, venturing in and around the region and woodshedding, which gave them time and space to work candombe rhythms and bossa nova harmonies and their attendant Afro-Cuban and European underpinnings into the Fattoruso's own composing style. Hugo eventually moved to New York City, redoubled the Afro-Cuban ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Sonic Styles of the Seventies

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Hugo Fattoruso Hugo Fattoruso Y Bario Opa Far Out Recordings 2018 Once upon a time in Uruguay, teenage brothers Osvaldo and Hugo Fattoruso stepped out of their musical family trio to play guitar and bass for popular Latin American jazz (swing) and rock 'n' roll ensembles venturing in and around the region, woodshedding which gave them time and space to work candombe rhythms and bossa nova harmonies, and their attendant Afro-Cuban and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

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Trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith is one of the few musicians remaining from the original, founding generation of Chicago's legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. But he has hardly rested since; Smith's Ten Freedom Summers (2012, Cuneiform) was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music; in 2017, Smith swept the Downbeat Critics' Poll for Trumpeter, Artist, and Album (America's National Parks, [Cuneiform]) of the Year, and he was named Musician of the Year by the Jazz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Slivovitz: Liver

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Slivovitz, and especially this live set, are not for the musical faint of heart. As a live recording, LiveR is “live-r" than most. Recorded in Milan in May 2016, it explodes from their native Italy into your senses with a colorful and frantic sound, a wailing mongrel child that fiercely claims such shared, diverse birthrights as The Mothers of Invention, The Butthole Surfers, James White & The Blacks, The Stooges, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. Yes, all on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dexter Payne Quintet: Jazz for All (Jazz Forró)

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Dexter Payne plays clarinet with an easy, warm and conversational style. It never sounds like he's pushing or stretching toward the next note, but more like he kind of just lets the next note flow out from this one. On Jazz For All, Payne and his quintet flow through Brazilian choro from a unique, multi-cultured and multicolored perspective: As a mainstay for Thinking Plague and Hamster Theater, accordion player Dave Willey boasts impressive avant-experimental credentials; pianist Victor Mestas Pérez has ...