Articles by John Kelman

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anouar Brahem: Blue Maqams

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Following an unusually long, five-year gap between 2009's low register-driven The Astounding Eyes of Rita and 2014's particularly ambitious orchestral collaboration, Souvenance, Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem returns with Blue Maqams, another game-changing release on ECM Records. Change--or, in some cases, natural evolution--has never been hard to find on Brahem's previous nine albums for the label, the oudist's consistent home (barring his soundtrack to The Silences of the Palace, release in 1994 by Caroline) since his ethno-centric trio date, Barzakh (1991). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

King Crimson: Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017

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As many King Crimson fans eagerly await the November release of its latest 40th Anniversary Series box set--this time spanning the years 1970 through 1972, when saxophonist/flautist Mel Collins was a constant alongside band co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp for three studio albums (1970's In the Wake of Poseidon and Lizard, and 1971's Islands) and one live album (1972's Earthbound)--along comes Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017, another “warts and all" live soundboard recording along the lines of Live In ...

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Bill Frisell: Hurricane Harvey Relief: A Compilation From His Live Download Series

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Bill Frisell Hurricane Harvey Relief: A Compilation From His Live Download Series BillFrisell.com 2017 Many musicians may use their celebrity to speak out about issues that matter to them, but only a relatively precious few are actually prepared to put the time, effort and money where their mouths are, creating contexts where much- needed funds can be raised to support those causes. It's even better when they do so in a way that rewards fans ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Strykin’ Ahead

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Having just turned sixty this year, it's still quite remarkable that Dave Stryker--a musician who, unfortunately and unfairly, fits into the category of “one of the best guitarists most have never heard"--has released well over thirty albums as a leader/co-leader (including his Stryker/Slagle Band, with saxophonist Steve Slagle, and Latin-informed Trio Mundo) in a little more than a quarter century. This, of course, comes after he cut his teeth, beginning in the mid-'80s and when the guitarist was in his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Wilson: To the Bone

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From the moment that he decided to “go solo"--despite his previous flagship group, Porcupine Tree, beginning in the late '80s as a solo project that only evolved into a group when it became popular enough to necessitate putting together a band in order to perform live--Steven Wilson has, in many ways, defied categorization and expectation, while consistently imbuing his music with a seemingly infinite and richly diverse series of influences. Wilson is, after all, a true music geek: ...

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 ...

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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 ...


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