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Articles by Doug Hall

ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

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Acclaimed trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Wadada Leo Smith has released an oratorio of seven songs inspired by the iconic civil rights leader Rosa Parks. In his own words, Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs is “concerned with ideas of freedom, liberty and justice, a meditation centered around the civil rights movement." Looking at Smith's more than 50 years of creative and artistic vision, this release is yet another inspired organic musical direction that has established him ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alister Spence: Imagine Meeting You Here

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Imagine Meeting You Here (Alister Spence Music, 2019) is the release by Alister Spence, a recognized leader in Australia's new music directive and one of his country's most original and distinctive jazz pianists and composers of orchestral pieces. Certainly there is a reflection in the title of this release that is his biographical journey and meeting in musical imagination. A project that developed in 2015 when Spence was beginning a doctoral PhD in creative practice (music composition) which morphed into ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bessie Smith Empress of the Blues Tribute at The Cabot

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Bessie-Empress of the Blues Tribute The Cabot Beverly, MA December 4, 2018 In a wonderful coincidence of timing, The Cabot, in Beverly, Ma. celebrated and honored the great and legendary blues vocalist icon, The Empress of the Blues--Bessie Smith -at the very same time the beautiful newly renovated 1920's theater venue is turning 100 years old with this fund-raising kick-off event. Smith was performing in the 1920's, establishing a singing career with her distinctive passionate ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra at the Lilypad

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Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra The Lilypad Cambridge, MA November 12, 2018 As a protégé of legendary trombonist/arranger/composer Bob Brookmeyer at New England Conservatory in Boston, Ayn Inserto was part of a very special tribute last March when she treated the audience to a pre-release performance of the title composition from her current release Down the Rabbit Hole (Summit Records, 2018). Fronting an orchestra of 17 plus seasoned and exceptional musicians, many of whom loyal to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kyle Nasser at The Red Room, Cafe 939

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Kyle Nasser The Red Room, Cafe 939 CD release concert Boston, MA October 11, 2018 With an academic background originally in economics and political philosophy, you have to excuse the open mike opportunity jazz saxophonist Kyle Nasser takes to talk a bit about philosophical differences between tonal jazz compositions, counterpoint, harmonic experimentation and the question of original music. He is just a naturally curious human being with a mind that won't be quiet. Fortunately, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Metheny Quartet at The Cabot

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Pat Metheny The Cabot Beverly, MASeptember 30, 2018 On a very special night at the intimate and newly renovated 1920s Cabot Theater, in Beverly, MA., a sold-out performance was delivered by extraordinary jazz virtuoso, musician, composer and phenomenal guitarist, Pat Metheny. A highly respected musician among his peers and now a veteran, having received all accolades including 20 Grammy Awards, was just launching a new tour with an exceptional younger generation quartet. The evening's performance ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jean-Luc Ponty at The Cabot

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Jean-Luc Ponty The Atlantic Years The Cabot Beverly, MA August 24, 2018 A perfect match was found between the intimate setting at the Cabot's newly renovated 850 seat, former 1920's art-deco period theater in Beverly, Ma. and the soaring, melodic and mesmerizing sounds of masterful electronic jazz-rock French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. The venue offered the perfect fit, creating an atmosphere for a listener's audience ready to appreciate the extraordinary talents of this highly respected, classically ...

INTERVIEWS

George Wein: A Life and Legend in Jazz

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Last summer, in June of 2017, I had the privilege and opportunity to interview George Wein, founder and producer of the seminal Newport Jazz Festival. At 91, he was just in the process of supporting and transitioning the new artistic director Christian McBride into this demanding and critical role for the future of the Newport Jazz Festival, to ensure the continuation of the legacy. The impact of this festival has been historically felt by the jazz community for its breadth ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad

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Danny Green Trio The Lily Pad CD Release concert Cambridge, MA June 16, 2018 Acclaimed San Diego pianist and composer Danny Green and his trio, Justin Grinnell and Julien Cantelm performed a set supporting their CD release One Day It Will (2018), at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, Ma. Sat June 16th. The intimate setting of this small venue in the heart of a Cambridge neighborhood offered the perfect setting for the lyrically charged ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lello Molinari Quartet at Regatta Bar

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Lello Molinari Quartet Regatta BarCambridge, Massachusetts May 1, 2018 During the creation of Lello Molinari's current release Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 2(March, 2018) the renown jazz bassist was intentionally stepping back to his roots of southern Italy, specifically Naples--which he left in 1986 to study at the Berklee College of Music, in Boston. In Lello's own words he empathized, “If you think about Italian music, it's like saying 'Jazz'--there's so much and it's so ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer

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Bob Brookmeyer: A Celebration Jordan Hall Boston, MA March 1, 2018The on-going celebration of New England Conservatory's 150th anniversary brought well deserved attention to the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation departments for the 2017-2018 performance season. On March 1st, at Jordan Hall, NEC presented a very special tribute celebration to the legacy of Bob Brookmeyer, the legendary jazz musician (valve trombonist, pianist) composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, performer and mentor to many jazz ...

INTERVIEWS

Grace Kelly: Free From Boundaries

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If you look at all the accomplishments of musical prodigy Grace Kelly, (acclaimed jazz saxophonist, singer, entertainer, songwriter and composer) it doesn't immediately register that that she is just 25 years old. With a resume that includes a CD release (Dreaming in 2005) at 12, a special guest artist performance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops 2007 Jazz Series at 14, and at 15 an invitation by Wynton Marsalis, in 2008, to play with Dave Brubeck for the “Let ...