Articles by Jakob Baekgaard

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Howe Gelb: Gathered

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Singer/songwriter Howe Gelb has made his name with desert-rock/alt-country pioneers, Giant Sand, but he also has a lengthy solo-career, and his 24th album, Gathered, finds him in his usual excellent form. The album follows a flirtation with jazz that came to the fore on the superb Future Standards (Fire Records, 2016) and the follow-up Further Standards (Fire Records, 2017). Those albums were very much carried by Gelb's skewed piano playing, equally old-fashioned and hip, swinging in his ...

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Various Artists: Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

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On the surface, some jazz festivals look a lot like each other, with the same established names travelling around the globe. This is globalization at its worst, meaning we can travel endless miles to hear the same musicians we could have heard in our own backyard. However, a good jazz festival is also a celebration of local musical culture. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the perfect example of this. But make no mistake, like every other festival, ...

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Introducing Reel to Real Records

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As the driving force behind the Cellar Live label, saxophonist Cory Weeds has been busy doing his share to promote contemporary jazz, so it comes as a pleasant surprise that he has found the time to start the archive label Reel to Real. Unlike reissues that are sometimes lost treasures that are found again, an archive release is a found treasure that has never been heard before. Weeds has found the perfect partner in producer Zev Feldman ...

INTERVIEWS

Harold Danko: His Own Sound, His Own Time

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The famous sculptor, Henry Moore, hit the nail on the head when he said: “there's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it." This statement certainly rings true in the case of pianist and composer, Harold Danko. Even though he has retired from a long and distinguished career as a music teacher and now holds Professor Emeritus status at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, the school where he chaired ...

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CTI on BGO, Part 2

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2018 proved to be a very good year for reissues of CTI-albums on the British label, BGO. They stepped up with an abundance of albums from the likes of guitarist Jim Hall, saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and flautist Hubert Laws (you can read about them here). So far, 2019 also looks promising and kicks off with releases from Brazilian percussion wizard Airto Moreira and Turrentine. Hubert Laws also returns, this time in a combined release with guitarist George Benson.

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Various Artists: The Social Power of Music

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It could be argued that music has been around for as long as humans have walked on Earth. When we are born, one of the first things we do is cry and scream, and to calm babies down, lullabies are sung. As we grow up, music becomes the soundtrack for joy and mourning; the rites of passage in life are marked by wedding songs and funeral blues. We use music as a guiding light and a way to express what ...

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OrgelDuo: Hr & Fru OrgelDuo Travels the World

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The idea of combining jazz with a graphic novel seemed like a onetime-event when saxophonist Wayne Shorter did it with Emanon (Blue Note, 2018). But here comes a project in the same spirit, albeit with a more quirky and humorous touch. Hr & Fru OrgelDuo Travels the World is an invitation into the strange and wonderful world of a cartoon couple, Mr. and Mrs. OrgelDuo. Many groups speak about creating their own universe. OrgelDuo, comprising organist Simon Eskildsen ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine Part 4-4: My Funny Valentine

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The first thing Cory heard when he stumbled into Café Picasso was the familiar voice of his drummer, Pearl, getting into an argument with two other musicians. They were all laughing loudly, but he could tell by the tone that it was also serious. Pearl caught his eyes and exclaimed: “Cory! Just the man I need. Come on over here! These rookies are trying to school me ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine Part 3-4: Blue in Green

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 When Cory came home to his apartment, he could see lights shining in many of the windows. He felt good knowing that he was not the only one awake, and as he walked up the stairs, he heard people pacing, a baby crying and the sound of muffled voices. He could smell garlic and spices and remembered that he was still hungry. Inside his apartment, ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine Part 2-4: New York is Full of Lonely People

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 It was late in the evening when Cory left the club. As always, he quickly became exhausted when he left the stage. It was not playing that was difficult. He was comfortable in his own skin on stage and often felt a real connection with the audience. It was a transient feeling and he could not catch everyone, but he played for someone and those who heard ...

INTERVIEWS

Cooper-Moore: Catharsis and Creation in Community Spirit

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It's tempting to think of a life in music as a linear story with a beginning, middle and end, because that's the way life is: we are born, we live, and then we die. In this narrative, one could assume there will be highs and lows and masterpieces might emerge out of a misty fog of events. The idea is that some pieces of music must be better than others. This way of thinking naturally poses the question of which ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine, Part 1-4: Dancing in the Dark

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 It was at the end of the second set when Cory realized that he couldn't play. Nothing had really changed. He looked across the room in Jan's Supper Club and saw the same familiar faces and some new ones too. Valentine wasn't there. She would never be. He had tried to persuade her many times. “Look," he had said, “it's free. I'll write you on the guest ...


Oshun by Omar Sosa & Yilian Canizares

This music video features the track "Oshun," from the CD Aguas by Omar Sosa and Yilian Canizares. Its animated graphics were created using After Effects, Moho Pro, and Photoshop by Madrid-based Cuban artist Leonardo Perez Garcia and depicts the transforming and healing powers of the Yoruba water deity. The music video invites all of us to connect with the profound and life-sustaining properties of water in our own lives.

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