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Articles by John Kelman

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rolling Stones: From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray)

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It's hard to believe that 56 years after the band formed, and 55 years after it released its first single, a cover of Chuck Berry's “Come On" that reached an admirable first-time position of #21 in the UK charts, the Rolling Stones continue their strangle hold on the moniker “The World's Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band." The group may release new studio albums increasingly less frequently, with a full eleven-year gap between 2005's A Bigger Bang (Virgin) and a return ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Soft Machine: Hidden Details

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Following a series of releases for Moonjune Records under the moniker Soft Machine Legacy, beginning with 2005's Live in Zaandam and concluding, most recently, with 2013's Burden of Proof, this quartet consisting largely of members from the classic Canterbury group Soft Machine has finally decided to drop the “Legacy" and go it with the original name alone. And why not? For a group that began in the mid-'60s and, over the next 15 years or so, released eleven ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

FAT: #awesome

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While the appropriately titled #awesome represents Alex Machacek's third album in six years with his (similarly witty and self-effacingly monikered) FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio), this trifecta of virtuosic Austrian musicians goes much further back. Both bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert Pirker appeared on roughly half of the expat-Austrian/Los Angeles-based guitarist's acclaimed 2006 Abstract Logix debut, [sic], while Machacek and Preuschl can be heard together on the even earlier The Next Generation of Sound (Extraplatte, 2000). In the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Travis & Fripp: Between the Silence

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Having reformed in 2013 with its distinctive three-drummer frontline and hitting the road for the first time in over a decade the following year, King Crimson's guitarist/keyboardist and only remaining original member Robert Fripp is another example of a musician in his senior years maintaining a more active schedule than, perhaps, at any other time in his career. With the group gigging extensively every year since, Fripp has also been busy, between tours, overseeing a growing catalog of live audio ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie

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John Abercrombie Open Land: Meeting John AbercrombieMusic Heritage Productions / ECM Records2018 It's almost a year to the day since the world lost John Abercrombie and, for many of his fans, that loss remains something still deeply and palpably felt. A guitarist who managed to be instantly recognizable without relying on many of the signatures that help identify most guitarists--certain approaches to phrasing and melody and specific tonal approaches amongst them--Abercrombie may not have garnered ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2018: Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 22018 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Various Venues, Montréal, Canada June 29-July 3, 2018 Every return to Montréal for the city's annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is much-anticipated. Closing off six square blocks in the downtown core is rare enough; but, over the past 39 years since the festival's first edition in 1980, the program has grown to the point where it's a serious challenge to ...

LIVE REVIEWS

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2018

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2018 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Multiple Venues Ottawa, Canada June 21-June 26, 2018 For its 2018 edition, the 39th annual TD Ottawa Jazz Festival faced a number of significant logistical challenges. First, Confederation Park, which has traditionally been the location of its large, outdoor venue, a food court and number of shops where attendees can pick up CDs of the artist they just saw, T-Shirts and more, is currently under renovation and, therefore, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Vintage Years 1970 - 1991

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There are bands that manage to carve out a place for themselves in the music world that lasts for decades; there are others who, while having created a name for themselves during their peak years and, while they continue to tour and, even, make the occasional studio album, are invariably best remembered for their seminal early years. Wishbone Ash first emerged on the cusp of the 1970s, a time when it seemed anything and everything was possible. While ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Squire: Fish Out of Water (Deluxe Edition)

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If ever there were an album that deserved the deluxe treatment, it would be Fish Out of Water (Atlantic, 1975), which would turn out to be (more or less) the only solo album ever released by Yes co-founder and electric bass trailblazer Chris Squire. There was a special remastered edition released in 2007 by Castle Music, but Esoteric Recordings' two-CD and, in particular, seven-disc Deluxe Edition multimedia edition well and truly trump that out of print edition, providing the kind ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dwiki Dharmawan: Rumah Batu

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There are, in these times of reduced music sales, fewer and fewer models that help niche labels to survive. In the case of New York-based MoonJune Records and its intrepid head Leonardo Pavkovic, the path to survival seems increasingly more about doing what he does for the love of it, and less about fiduciary gain (much as he would, like anyone, love to reap some financial benefits for his hard work). That said, few labels could not only survive but, ...