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Articles by Ian Patterson

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Umbra: West

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American road trips have long inspired writers, from Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck and Tom Wolfe, to Hunter S. Thompson, Robert M. Pirsig and Bill Bryson. Fewer are the extended works, similarly inspired, written by musicians. Some things, it seems, may be easier put into words. Umbra's West is inspired by founding member Chris Guilfoyle's 2017 road trip, as evidenced through the song titles, through North America's Western states to Canada. It marks Umbra's full debut, but can be seen as ...

LIVE REVIEWS

12 Points 2018

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12 Points 2018 The Sugar Club Dublin, Ireland September 5-8, 2018 Returning to its spiritual home of Dublin after back-to-back editions in San Sebastian and Aarhus, 12 Points 2018 marks one of the highpoints of the Irish musical year. Its appeal lies not just in the fact that it brings together twelve bands from twelve countries, after all, many festivals can boats similar geographical reach, but rather in its spirit of adventurous.

LIVE REVIEWS

David Lyttle & Joseph Leighton at Keady Clachan

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David Lyttle & Joseph Leighton Keady Clachan Keady Mountain, Limavady N. Ireland September 1, 2018 The old, stone and timber-beam cottage is nestled halfway up Keady Mountain. It's typical of numerous farm outhouses throughout Ireland. On the outside at any rate. Inside, however, it has been converted by organic farmers Joan McGandy and Mickey Mullan into an intimate live music venue. For the past five years, Keady Clachan, as it is dubbed, ...

INTERVIEWS

Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony

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Free-jazz, which marked the first revolution in jazz since bebop, and, some might say, the most significant revolution in the entire history of the music, was controversial and divisive. Still today, over half a century later, free-jazz is sometimes dismissed out of hand as just so much noise, or worse, finds itself simply airbrushed from the more conservative histories of jazz. Yet all genres/eras of jazz, from traditional jny: New Orleans to the neo-classical revival of the 1980s ...

RETHINKING JAZZ CULTURES

David Lyttle: Leading Jazz Into The Hinterlands

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There was a time when jazz groups would zig-zag all over the country, by train, in customized buses or in cars, playing date after date in towns big and small. Tours that kept a band on the road for months at a time were once the norm for many jazz outfits--the bread and butter of countless jazz musicians. Touring on such a scale, in such a manner, however, is largely a thing of the past. Outside of dedicated jazz clubs, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Shorter: Emanon

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Just the fifth release from Wayne Shorter's celebrated acoustic quartet in its near two-decade career, the triple-CD plus graphic novel that is Emanon marks something of a creative high point in its journey. The first CD, a four-part suite for quartet and the thirty-four-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, is Shorter's first studio recording since Alegria (Verve, 2003), while the second and third discs capture the quartet live in London. The accompanying forty-eight page comic-book, co-written by Shorter and Monica Sly, with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christy Doran: 144 Strings For A Broken Chord

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In a long and distinguished career, Christy Doran has fronted or been a founding member of a number of important jazz-fusion / jazz-rock groups, from the seminal Swiss band OM in the early 1970s, to current outfits New Bag and Sound Fountain. His collaborations with some of the most important jazz artists on both sides of the Atlantic, spanning some forty years, are too numerous to mention. A lesser-known facet of the Ireland-born, Lucerne-based guitarist has been his composing for ...

LIVE REVIEWS

3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

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3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music Luslawice/KrakówPoland July 25-28, 2018 “An international jazz violin competition? Really?" That is usually came as a surprise to the applicants, and eventual participants themselves, that an international jazz violin competition should exist says a lot about the rarity of such an event. Yet as the bi-annual Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition has demonstrated, there is certainly no shortage of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esbjorn Svensson Trio: e.s.t. live in london

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Ten years on from the tragic death of Esbjörn Svensson, it's easy to forget just how ground-breaking e.s.t. was. Its seamless embrace of jazz, pop, rock and electronics aesthetics brought CD sales and a following more typical of successful pop acts. It was also the first European jazz band on the cover of Downbeat. Easy to forget, too, how influential the trio remains. Countless times, when a new a piano trio presents itself, the back-handed compliment is offered: 'Oh, they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

AERIE: Sonic

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It is a little over two years since Ingo Hipp's pan-European quintet AERIE launched its impressive 2016 debut, Hatch & Host (Neuklang Records). Hipp's adventurous writing coupled with strong solo voices were the hallmarks of that outing, and, by and large, remain the guiding forces of SONIC. If anything, there's perhaps more emphasis on the compositional element at the expense of extended improvisations on the band's second release, with intricate unison lines, deft harmonic layers and knotty, undulating rhythms the ...