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Jazz Articles


Miles Davis: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5

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If ever a band of Miles Davis' deserved the high-intensity inspection/dissection represented by The Bootleg Series Vol. 5, it is his second great quintet. With that man with the horn as the great catalyst, the rapport between pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams is virtually unparalleled in the history of jazz, but to hear the machinations behind their creations here is almost as fascinating as the 'finished product' itself (liner notes rightly suggest ...


Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's Dateless Night

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Paul Kelly is one of our most brilliant songwriters in large part because he is so courageous in taking an unconventional approach to his creative endeavors. In the last few years alone, since his last recording of original material under his own name, Spring And Fall (Dramatico, 2012) he's undertaken a tour in which he's performed his entire discography in chronological order, overseen and participated in homage to r&b in the form of The Merri Soul Sessions (Cooking Vinyl, 2014) ...


Big Star: Complete Third

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In perusing the credits of the Big Star's Complete Third box set, it may be puzzling to notice only the names of original members guitarist/vocalist/composer Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens, plus, almost as prominently, producer of the Ardent Studios Memphis sessions, Jim Dickinson. And the notation of baroque strings and horns may well seem contrary, at least at first, to the Beatles/Byrds influences ( as self-conscious as they sometimes sounded) duly noted by esteemed rock writer and music lover ...


Davy Knowles: Three Miles From Avalon

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It's tempting to call Davy Knowles' Three Miles From Avalon a sequel to his first solo album The Outsider (Independent, 2014). But that misrepresents an artistic progression that goes back to the days this young native of the Isle of Man was fronting the blues-rock quartet Back Door Slam back in 2003. Fractured by the tragedy of one member's death, that group eventually gave birth to Knowles' decision to work solo under his own name with accompanying musicians, which is ...


Eric Johnson: EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano

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The very announcement of a (largely) solo acoustic album from Eric Johnson is enough to startle fans of the Texas bluesman as well as those who know him only by name and a little of his tenure as a contemporary guitar hero. Hearing EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano will no doubt dazzle those in both camps.That's because even in his use of a non-electrified fretboard instrument, with occasional utilization of acoustic piano, Johnson's able to ...


Marcus King: The Marcus King Band

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Praised, mentored and produced by none other than the titular leader of Gov't Mule, Warren Haynes, precocious twenty-year old songwriter/guitarist/vocalist/bandleader Marcus King faces some heady expectations with the release of he and his band's second full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records via the Evil Teen imprimatur. But The Marcus King Band addresses those expectations with confidence, panache and imagination right from the start of this eponymous record, firing on all cylinders from the beginning of “Ain't Nothing ...


Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau: Nearness

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Brilliant musicians don't always make brilliant music when they collaborate and while that's sometimes been the case with pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman, on the duo concert recordings that make up the appropriately-titled Nearness, they live up to their elevated pedigree. And that's individual as well as shared cachet: Mehldau spent a fair amount of time, some eighteen months to be exact, as a member of Redman's groups in the early Nineties and they formally collaborated on Highway ...


Peter Case: Peter Case

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The music on Peter Case's debut solo album is as pure and straightforward as the title of this eponymous work. And that's even taking into account the layered approach T Bone Burnett applied in one of his earliest production jobs. The seven bonus tracks illustrate how both this original material of Case's stands strong on its own terms, especially in his authoritative performances, as a foundation for a brilliant all-around collaborative work. Peter Case devotees as well as ...

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