Articles by John Kelman

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff: In The Shadow Of A Cloud

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She may rarely perform live in this context, but Yelena Eckemoff has managed to build, over just seven years and a mammoth eleven releases--including her second release of 2017, In the Shadow of a Cloud--a loyal and growing following in the jazz world. It's all the more remarkable for a multi-talented expat Russian pianist who began life in the classical world, and only entered the jazz world in 2010 with Cold Sun. But there's even more to marvel ...

LIVE REVIEWS

King Crimson at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall

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Part 1 | Part 2 An Evening with King Crimson Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal / Non-Festival Event Montréal, Canada / Toronto, Canada July 3, 2017 / July 5, 2017 Having covered the reunited, refreshed and reinvigorated “seven-headed Beast of Crim" for two nights each in San Francisco in 2014 and, again, in Montréal in 2015, was there really a good reason to see ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2017

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Part 1 | Part 2 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2017 Montréal, Canada June 29-July 3, 2017 It's always a thrill to return to Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM). Deemed the biggest jazz festival in the world by the Guinness World Book of Records, it only takes one step out into the six square blocks closed off in the city's downtown core to believe it. Multiple outdoor stages make it ...

LIVE REVIEWS

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2017

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TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Ottawa, Canada June 23-26, 2017 Amongst the most significant challenges that face any festival is, as the gray and no-hair crowd continues to age, finding ways to cultivate and grow a younger audience. But when you're a Canadian festival, another major challenge is a simple fiscal fact: most artists--even those coming from farther afield like Europe and Asia--expect payment in American funds, and with the Canadian loonie currently resting at about 75 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Lantern

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Despite having to replace percussionists a couple of times since its inception in 1970, Oregon's otherwise consistent lineup of reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, guitarist/pianist/primary composer Ralph Towner and double bassist Glen Moore remained unchanged for forty-five years--surely some kind of record in the jazz world. And with current drummer/percussionist Mark Walker joining the group for 1997's Northwest Passage (Intuition), Oregon has, over the last two decades, enjoyed its longest-standing lineup. Until 2015, that is, when it was announced, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

SFJAZZ Collective: Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions

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In the thirteen years since the SFJAZZ Collective first came together in February 2004, this revolving door octet (septet, in 2009) of “cream of the crop" US-based jazz musicians has, most years, followed a consistent modus operandi: select a well-known jazz (and, in two cases, beyond jazz) musician and pay tribute through innovative arrangements of his/her music, alongside a set of new original compositions--in almost every case, one each contributed by every member of the Collective. In the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Theo Travis: Open Air

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It's been a very busy decade for Theo Travis. The British reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist has appeared, to varying degrees, on literally every album that Steven Wilson has released since turning to a solo career in 2009--from Insurgentes and 2011's Grace for Drowning (Kscope), through 2013's best-selling The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories), 2015's commercial breakthrough Hand. Cannot. Erase. and 2016's interim EP, 4 1/2 (all on Kscope)--while touring the world for three years with the rising progressive rock ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Larry Coryell's 11th House: Seven Secrets

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Time truly is fleeting; just look at the circumstances surrounding the release of Larry Coryell's Seven Secrets, the guitarist's first studio release with his 11th House group in 41 years. The idea for reuniting this seminal '70s fusion group first came in 2015, when the lineup for a previously booked one-week engagement at New York's The Blue Note club unexpectedly fell through. Rather than cancel, Coryell suggested bringing most of the 11th House's original members back together--trumpeter Randy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Quercus: Nightfall

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It may have taken seven years for the innovative British trio featuring singer June Tabor, saxophonist Iain Ballamy and pianist Huw Warren to find a label and release their first album together, but they sure landed on their feet. Not only was the trio's 2013 debut, Quercus, released on the renowned ECM imprint; it was also enthusiastically received by critics and fans alike, winning that year's prestigious German record critics' Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Jahrespreis (Album of the Year). And ...


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