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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

I.P.A.: I Just Did Say Something

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Scandinavians have made an indelible mark on the progressive jazz front for the past several decades. For example, modern era bands such as Atomic and units led by trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær, often present hybrid journeys into free jazz or nu-bop, Avant jazz rock and other shrewdly devised cross-functional endeavors. Since 2007, Norwegian-based I.P.A. has been a major exponent of the fertile Euro jazz scene. Influenced by trumpeter Don Cherry and his lineage to Ornette Coleman's legacy, this unit ups ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Construction: Centreline Theory

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Centreline Theory is an impressive debut for British drummer, composer Jim Bashford's Construction with his fellow countrymen, bassist Tim Harries (Bill Bruford's Earthworks, Brian Eno), saxophonist Robin Fincker (Vincent Courtois, Whahay) and Icelandic guitar ace Hilmar Jensson (Tim Berne, Jim Black's AlasNoAxis). Bashford is also an educator and busy session artist who seems equally comfortable engaging the free jazz realm, evidenced by his stints with tenor sax titan Paul Dunmall, and jazz fusion among other idioms and spinoffs.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

LE POT: Hera

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This Swiss ensemble maximizes the pristine sonic qualities of a church --St. Romain in Raron --that combines a pure, organic soundstage with the complexities of highly expressive jazz and improvisational overtures, including impressionistic interpretations of choice works by famed British classical composer Benjamin Britten. There are occasions when the ensemble projects a thought-provoking ideology of an avant-garde spin on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew jazz fusion era, which of course was groundbreaking yet quite unconventional for its time. Every ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Parrinha / Lopes / Jacinto: Garden

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On a global basis, Portuguese guitarist Luis Lopes may be the more recognizable artist of the trio due to his longtime affiliation with Clean Feed Records via its worldly outreach. But his fellow countrymen, reedman Bruno Parrinha and cellist / electronics ace Ricardo Jacinto have been in the thick of things amid the newer horizons approach to jazz and improvisation on the European front. Garden is a sojourn into an alien musical world, as the band seemingly derives ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stephan Crump: Stephan Crump's Rhombal

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During the advent of bop and the hot n' heavy mainstream swing years, a session with a stellar lineup of critically acclaimed musicians would often be referred to as the [insert magazine name] Critics' Poll All-Stars or something like John Doe and his Jazz All-Stars. However, venerable bassist Stephan Crump underscores the premise of this album as a “commemoration" that is not about sadness but the “spiritual revolution I witnessed in my brother during our last days together." But the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bent Knee: Say So

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Even though I haven't had an opportunity to check out this Boston-based ensemble's first two albums, I've heard the buzz within prog rock circles about the positive output of its multifaceted soundscapes, variable modes of execution and exhilarating live performances. Moreover, Say So, marks the band's debut outing for Cuneiform Records. Led by vocalist Courtney Swain who vaults though octaves with the greatest of ease, the program amounts to a seamless convergence through highly artistic rock sensibilities amid ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality

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Esteemed West Coast trombonist Michael Vlatkovich's second release with the large ensemble outfit Ensemblio, features a cast of largely, So. California artists including tuba performer Bill Roper and keyboardist Wayne Peet, who is also credited with the engineering duties on this pristinely recorded studio set. Nonetheless, Vlatkovich tosses more than just a few curveballs into the mix. The ensemble frequently subdivides into smaller factions during mini-motifs, but the program is an off-centered case study when considering how numerous ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matty Harris: Double Septet

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Multi-reedman Matty Harris' double septet is a large ensemble endeavor, featuring many Los Angeles artists, including venerable woodwind ace Vinny Golia for a program brimming with numerous horns-based convergences, soulful proclamations, subtle melodic inventions and pieces often designed with embryonic buildups and burgeoning choruses. Other movements enact notions of a calm-before-the-storm stylization amid interweaving passages and accents. Harris and associates primarily reside on the outside realm of jazz, but it is not chaotic by any stretch. The band toggles between ...


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