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Articles by Lyn Horton

BEST OF / YEAR END

Lyn Horton's Top Releases of 2010

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William Parker Quartet Uncle Joe's Spirit House(AUM Fidelity) Matthew Shipp 4D(Thirsty Ear) David S. Ware Saturnian, Volume One(AUM Fidelity) Vox Arcana Aerial Age(Allos Documents) David Rempis and Frank RosalyCyrillic(482 Music) Joe McPhee / Dominic Duval / Jay Rosen / Mikolaj Trzaska Magic(Not Two) Wadada Leo Smith / Ed Blackwell Blue Mountain's Sun Drummer

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scanner with the Post Modern Jazz Quartet: Blink of An Eye

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From the very first sounds heard on Blink of An Eye's “Shadow Splice," a ground is gradually established with bass piano chords, a minor-key string bass arco line, a floating vibe resonance and steady pulse rising from the cymbals. As the Ellingtonian “Blues In C" evokes, the source of improvisational music is the tradition of jazz. No argument. But over time, the tools feeding into that tradition change and become a go-to part of the instrumental inventory, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Parker Organ Quartet: Uncle Joe's Spirit House

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Defining his direction is one recognizable talent that composer/musician William Parker constantly demonstrates, though not in so many words; but within his art, the direction is clear as day. The musicians he chooses to fulfill his intentions are also exactly whom he needs, for he understands how they operate to blend in joyous confluence that is the realization of his music. In Uncle Joe's Spirit House, Parker's Organ Quartet constructs an aural Space addressing his own personal ...

PROFILES

David S. Ware: Planetary Musician

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On Sunday, June 27th, 2010, about a half-hour after its scheduled 9:30 pm appearance on the Abrons Art Center main performance stage in New York City, the David S. Ware Trio was setting up. The audience for this night of Vision Festival XV was its usual wandering and low-hum conversational self. William Parker stood by his upright bass way over on the left and, on the right, drummer Warren Smith settled down on a seat behind a larger than normal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer: Solo

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On the heels of being named Musician of the Year in June, 2010, by the Jazz Journalists Association, Vijay Iyer has released his first solo piano recording. Solo comes after the critical success of his trio's Historicity (ACT Music, 2009) and quartet's Tragicomic (Sunnyside, 2008). Iyer is a kind of Renaissance man, with a jaw-dropping biography on his website; it is a wonder how he can accomplish so much. But the much-ness in his life seems to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections: Emerald Hills

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All four of flutist Nicole Mitchell's groups reveal specific tangents which her music can follow. One of those groups--Sonic Projections, whose evolution grew out of paying tribute to George Lewis' book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008)--shows what Mitchell believes to be her rebellious side. Mitchell is herself a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM).

Sonic Projections consists of Mitchell, pianist Craig Taborn, tenor saxophonist ...

PROFILES

Wadada Leo Smith: A Vital Life Force

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“To teach and create and not expect or demand anything in return."--Wadada Leo Smith, quoted in an article printed in The Houston Chronicle, November 4, 2006

On the nine-by-eleven inch cover of the February, 2010, issue of Wire magazine is a full-page photo of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Only the upper half of his body is pictured. He is wearing a dark blue, nearly black, Mandarin collar jacket, which stands out against the dimly lit, grey stucco wall that acts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Musillami: Old Tea

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Guitarist Michael Musillami has seized onto the meaning of irreplaceable moments with Old Tea, dedicated to his 29-year-old son, who took his own life on March 10, 2009. In an extraordinarily touching story, Musillami's liner notes say what cannot be said musically. But the music, executed by his outstanding regular trio, expresses more than can be verbalized. Bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller take on Musillami's music with a sensitivity befitting the celebration of human life. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Swallow / Ohad Talmor / Adam Nussbaum: Playing in Traffic

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Recorded at the 2008 Xopana Festival in Madeira, Portugal, Playing in Traffic begins with its title tune and a rhythmic walking line from electric bassist Steve Swallow's nimble fingers. Drummer Adam Nussbaum follows with rapid stick and brushwork and tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor folds into the rhythm with precise staccato phrases. This bouncy cut introduces a body of music that becomes nostalgically tuneful, simultaneously demonstrating focus and integrity. Talmor is a master at making melody his subject ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David S. Ware: Saturnian (Solo Saxophones, Volume One)

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In a 2003 interview, reed player David S. Ware talked about “a revelation which changed his musical life." It occurred while performing in Boston, where he suddenly could “witness" himself playing the music. When that happened, he cultivated the epiphany as meaning that he, alone, is the channel for the music which comes out of his horn. Nothing could be embodied more clearly than in Saturnian, a solo release recorded live at the Abrons Art Center in New York City ...