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Articles by Ian Patterson

BOOK REVIEWS

Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation

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Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation Ulf Olsson 184 Pages ISBN: 978-0520286641 University of California Press 2017 The Grateful Dead, possibly the most heavily documented band ever, was under one form of microscope or another from its inception in Palo Alto, California in 1965. Music critics, academics, the FBI, all have attempted to understand the cultural phenomenon that was The Grateful Dead--and in doing so it seems, ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

BAN BAM: Talking Music

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Regular goers to jazz/improvised music gigs and festivals might have clocked the fact that those on stage tend to be predominantly male--a mirror, more often than not, of the make-up of the audience. Women instrumentalists are the exception rather than the norm. Though what exactly, we should perhaps ask ourselves when it comes to music and gender, is normal? This, and many other questions related to the gender imbalance in jazz/improvised music, are put under the microscope at ...

LIVE REVIEWS

BAN BAM: Music Talking

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BAN BAM The Complex jny:Dublin, Ireland November 25, 2017 BAN BAM is a new, one-day festival by Improvised Music Company--an initiative to address the gender imbalance in jazz/improvised music. A related All About Jazz article covered the conversations by industry professionals around the gender issue that took place in the afternoon. This second BAN BAM article turns its attention to the music side of the festival. A wickedly varied line-up of five acts attracted ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sizhukong: Hand In Hand

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For fans of Taiwanese jazz-folk fusioneers Sizhukong it's been a long wait for the follow-up to Spin (Sony Music, 2012.) The band, formed in 2005 by pianist/composer Yuwen Peng, could never stand accused of rushing its releases but that's not a bad thing when the music produced is of a consistently high quality. In the intervening years Sizhukong has toured internationally, changed record label and personnel, but essentially, its musical identity, on this, its fourth recording, remains largely the same, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joost Lijbaart: Under The Surface

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Silence frames music--before it sounds and after the final vibration of the last note has died. Often associated with an absence of communication, silence is also revered in certain communal ritual/cultural spaces. Poetic or damning, eerie or calming, silence never leaves us indifferent. Some composers have embraced it to a significant degree as part of the compositional process, John Cage's “4'33" being surely the most famous example. With Under the Surface Dutch drummer/percussionist and composer Joost LIjbaart embraces silence as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ahmad Jamal: Marseille

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Four years between studio albums is a long gap by Ahmad Jamal's standards. Not that the 87-year-old pianist has been idle since the widely acclaimed Saturday Morning (Jazz Village, 2013). He's released two live albums in that time--Live at The Olympia (Jazz Village, 2014) featuring Yusef Lateef and Live in Marciac 2014 (Jazz Village, 2015)--and remains a major draw on the world's most prestigious jazz stages. Though Marseille bears many of Jamal's hallmarks--old songs reworked, standards, a ballad--the pianist still ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Penang House Of Music: Shining Light On Penang's Jazz/Indigenous Music Heritage

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In the heart of downtown Georgetown, Penang, on the top floor of KOMTAR, a typically bustling Malaysian shopping mall, an oasis of calm can be found in Penang House of Music. Calm, but stimulating too, for PHOM is a museum-cum archive celebrating Penang's rich and varied musical heritage, including the island's long-standing, ever-evolving relationship with jazz. “Something like PHOM has never existed before now in Malaysia, or in this part of the world," says Paul Augustin, co-founder of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aleka Potinga: Aleka

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Aleka is the eponymous debut EP--and stage-name--of Alexandra-Ioana Potinga, a Romanian jazz vocalist and cellist based in Dublin. Aleka performs in several bands, as vocalist in Tommy Halferty's Camus Jazz and as cellist/backing vocalist with Ruba Shamshoum. This outing features her working band at time of recording (bassist Barry Donohue has since replaced Kevin Higgins) on four selections--two of Aleka's originals plus Nik Drake's “Riverman" and a reworking of a song from a Romanian film. At just under ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront

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Pat Metheny Belfast Waterfront jny:Belfast, N. Ireland November 14, 2017 “We've been trying to get a gig here for forty two years," Pat Metheny told the crowd at the Belfast Waterfront. Happily, the Missouri guitarist had at last found the city. It had been hidden out of sight all the time, on the far side of Ireland from America. He should have asked Charlie Haden or Ornette Coleman. His old sparring partners knew.


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