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Articles by Mike Jacobs

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Human Element: You Are In You

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Seeking to expand upon the stylistic legacy of Joe Zawinul... Only a group of pretty heavily respected musicians could pull off a mission statement like that. Yet that's pretty much what keyboardist Scott Kinsey, bassist Matthew Garrison, drummer Gary Novak, and percussionist / vocalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan declared when they formed Human Element. But let's face it, these guys have some very impressive papers. In addition to Tuncboyaciyan and Garrison being members of a 90's edition of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin: John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco

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If you're a concert-goer of a certain age (and ilk), 2017 and early 2018 have proven fairly remarkable. Whether “last waltzes," overdue reunions or just plain old-school tenacity, many titans and heroes of the jazz-rock/prog era--such as Brand X, King Crimson, Soft Machine and The Dixie Dregs--have been making the rounds in some major markets and stomping the terra. But foremost among them all may have been the John McLaughlin / Jimmy Herring Meeting of the Spirits tour.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tim Miller: Trio vol 3

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Best not to bury the lead. Tim Miller's Trio Vol 3 sets a new high-water mark for the guitarist's output, an advance from and worthy successor to his last trio recording nearly a decade ago. There, a potential pull-quote is out of the way... Before returning to the review, something--what many newcomers to Mr. Miller's work might find to be the elephant in the room--begs addressing. (Legato-philes and T.M. fans, feel free ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lanzetti: Whose Feet are These That are Walking

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Unless you've been off planet lately, you've most likely heard (or at least heard of) Snarky Puppy. Their rise has certainly been hard to miss. So too is the fact that the band is populated by some very promising young musicians -many of whom have been dipping their toes into solo waters lately. The most recent of these ventures is the debut from SP guitarist Bob Lanzetti, Whose Feet Are These That Are Walking. This release doesn't come ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kneebody: Anti-Hero

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Several questions came to mind when listening (repeatedly) to Kneebody's latest offering, Anti-Hero. 1. “Why does this feel important?" Easy one. Anti-Hero is by far the strongest effort yet from arguably the most original collective to strafe the jazz world in recent history. All the pheromones that make Kneebody so attractive have never been fuller in force. Next question... 2. “Is Kneebody really a band or some nefarious hive-mind experiment gone musical?"

LIVE REVIEWS

FORQ at The World Cafe Live

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FORQ The World Café Live Philadelphia PA July 31 2017 One can be well-versed in the two (whoops, now three) albums worth of music by FORQ, (and in the music from the other bands the individual members hail from) and still not be totally prepared for the impact of the following statement: FORQ is a band best experienced live. This is understandable given that they were kind of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nate Smith: Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere

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To get right to it, rarely does a first effort as leader come along that is so worthy of attention. With Postcards From Everywhere, Nate Smith has offered a many-faceted jewel whose luster only grows with re-examination. On one level, this is indeed an album that satisfies the requisite expectations for a debut from a drummer of Smith's caliber. It has tunes covering a wide range of influences, great grooves in both straight and unusual meters, and of ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Steely Dan's Jon Herington and Jim Beard

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While keyboardist / producer Jim Beard and guitarist Jon Herington are both solo recording artists with long and varied careers that straddle jazz, rock and beyond, they may be best known these days for being longtime members of Steely Dan's current touring band. They have also been close friends for nearly 40 years. They sat down for a conversation as they were preparing for their first-ever duo tour to start in June 2017. All About Jazz: What was ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash

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The Herington / Beard Duo The Kennett Flash Kennett Square, PA June 15, 2017 Nestled in the small town of Kennett Square Pennsylvania, the Kennett Flash is a bit of an anomaly these days-- and a welcome one at that. It's a small non-profit venue for the arts, able to hold no more than 100 people, set up with family-style table seating. With its intimacy and solid turnout this night, it also seemed an ideal ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's

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Kneebody Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia PA April 7, 2017 Generally when a band announces that a group member is waylaid and can't make the gig, those in the audience start to resign themselves to an evening of subconscious apologetics--("It's not the same but pretty good for a guy subbing on short notice." or “They're doing pretty well for being a man down.") But this is Kneebody... So when saxophonist Ben Wendel told ...