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Jazz Articles


Yes: Tales from Topographic Oceans (Definitive Edition)

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It was the album that, based on challenges during the five months it took to record, should really never have come to pass. It was the album that broke a three studio album/one live recording winning streak of increasing critical acclaim. It was the album, when at least for some critics, suggested the group's seemingly endless wellspring of creative indulgences were beginning to cross over into excess. It was the album that began to divide the band's fanbase, for the ...


U.K.: Ultimate Collectors' Edition

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Well, there's certainly been a wait for this one, but for fans of what may be the last high profile progressive rock group to emerge in the 1970s, U.K.'s Ultimate Collectors' Edition proves well worth it. What began as an already sizeable 16-disc box for a group that, during its relatively brief tenure, released just two studio albums and one live recording, has become an 18-disc set with the addition of a recording of the group's final show in Nijmegen, ...


John Scofield: Country for Old Men

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When guitarist Bill Frisell first began a more decided focus on roots music, bluegrass and country & western music with the release of 1996's Nashville (Nonesuch), despite being largely very well-received, jazz purists rankled when the largely bluegrass/folk-informed album began to garner awards like Downbeat Magazine's Best Jazz Album of the Year. While Frisell's oftentimes Americana-tinged work has, in the ensuing years, become more fully accepted for the wonderful music that it is, fellow six-stringer John Scofield is unlikely to ...


King Crimson: Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)

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Plenty has already been written about King Crimson's surprise reemergence in 2014 at All About Jazz, beginning when the now 47 year-old progressive/art rock band commenced its first tour since 2008 (and its first extensive one since 2003) with a new, expanded lineup featuring a front-line of three drummers and a back-line of two guitarists (one, also, a vocalist), a bassist/stick player and a reed/woodwind multi- instrumentalist. From reviews of two nights at San Francisco's Warfield Theater in the fall ...


John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia: Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987

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It's truly a shame that, all too often, artists with diverse careers become pigeon-holed, defined by the primary genre in which they first achieved notoriety. Take guitarist John McLaughlin, for instance. Ask most jazz fans about him and what will first come out of most of their mouths will include either the words “fusion," “jazz-rock" and/or Miles Davis, in any permutation/combination (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those a little further in the know might also be aware of ...


Mark Isham: Blue Sun

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Mark IshamBlue SunColumbia Records1995 Better-known, perhaps, for his work in the film arena as scorer for movies including 1986's The Hitcher, the 1992 reboot of Of Mice and Men and 1998's Blade, Mark Isham has, nevertheless, demonstrated his instrumental prowess as a trumpeter on albums including pianist Art Lande's Rubisa Patrol (ECM, 1976), singer/songwriter Van Morrison's Beautiful Vision (Warner Bros., 1982), David Sylvian's Brilliant Trees (Virgin, 1984), David Torn's Cloud About Mercury (ECM, 1987) and ...


Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess

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It may look good on paper, but you can never really know how “super group" collaborations are going to work out until they actually get together and do something. In the case of the power trio named after its members--bassist/stick player Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stick Men), drummer/guitarist Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani) and keyboardist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment), all names familiar to progressive rock fans--it would seem a low-risk proposition, given ...


Sinikka Langeland: The Magical Forest

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Some pairings seem, in retrospect, to be made in heaven; so inevitable that it's only when they actually take place that it becomes clear how predestined they were all along. Sinikka Langeland--a forward-thinking traditional singer and kantele (Finnish zither/dulcimer variant) champion garnering significant attention in her home country of Norway over the past two decades--has, since coming to ECM with 2007's Starflowers, achieved even broader recognition for her somehow other-worldly, effortlessly beautiful music that is at once antiquated and timeless. ...

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