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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Keith Jarrett: A Multitude of Angels

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The phrase “triumph of the human spirit" may be commonly used, but rarely in musical contexts. There have, however, been relatively recent examples of such achievements, like when Michael Brecker managed to not just make it into the studio, six months before he died from a fatal blood disorder in early 2007, but delivered one of the (if not the) best performances of his career, on the saxophonist's studio swan song, Pilgrimage (Heads Up, 2007). But a little ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

King Crimson: On (and Off) The Road

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Sometimes the best music--and some of the best bands--are those that come from the most difficult of births. When King Crimson co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp had the idea for a new band after dissolving the last incarnation of the '70s-era Crimson lineups seven years prior, it was a completely new concept and, with the exception of returning drummer Bill Bruford, a totally revised lineup. Gone were the mellotrons and symphonic leanings of old. In their place: technological advancements including ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Enjoy Jazz 2016

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2016 Enjoy Jazz Festival Heidelberg, Mannheim & Ludwigshafen, Germany October 24-November 1, 2016 Returning to Heidelberg and the Enjoy Jazz Festival after a three-year absence is still more than a bit like returning to a second home. Not just the same hotel (the ever-charming Hollander Hof, along the Neckar River by an old footbridge), which has not only managed to retain most of its staff from 2009-13, but still remembers and assigns the same hotel room ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...


All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.