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Articles by Paul Rauch

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Rathbun: Atwood Suites

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The mingling of jazz music and poetry is not a new concept. It has always been an amiable, yet at times, uncomfortable fit. From a verse standpoint, it is in many ways liberating. While most vocalized lyrics and spoken word forms rely on rhyme to speak to cadence and rhythm, free verse poetry liberates the narrative from the confinements of structure, and much like an improvising instrumentalist, takes spoken language into a intertwining duality with the melody within harmonic dimension. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Johnaye Kendrick: Flying

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Once, maybe twice in a generation, a singer enters the world of jazz and captivates the genre so dominated by jazz instrumentalists. There are qualities in the voice, delivery, the exquisite phrasing, and inexhaustible ability to deliver a narrative in such a way that expresses the jazz and blues tradition in a special and personal way. Johnaye Kendrick is one of those singers. Upon graduating from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, then sequestered at Loyola University in New Orleans, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Markley Quartet: Basic Economy

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Pianist/composer Ben Markley has enough jazz pedigree to draw interest from jazz fans on an international level. After all, he has performed with such notables as Brian Lynch, Terell Stafford, and Eddie Henderson. His work on the jazz scene in Denver is well regarded, as is his work as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, not what one would call a hotbed of jazz music. It was Markley's most recent recording Clockwise: The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nick Biello: Vagabond Soul

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Alto and soprano saxophonist Nick Biello has been gaining momentum as an artist on the New York scene in the late 2010s, culminating in this recording for Truth Revolution Records, Vagabond Soul. His prodigious talent as an instrumentalist, composer and arranger is plainly on display on this significant offering, as it is on the myriad of recordings he has made as a side musician. His partnership for this recording with pianist Phil Markowitz is a true sign of the respect ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duende Libre: Drift

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Duende Libre is an energetic trio of Seattle musicians utilizing the American jazz tradition as a jumping off point for exploration of global musical forms. The creative vision for the band is perhaps that of pianist/composer Alex Chadsey, yet it is his two mates, drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch, and uber bassist Farko Dosumov that bring his musical vision to life. Chadsey sets the bar high for this band by including the term “duende" as part of its moniker. While ...

INTERVIEWS

Sidney Hauser: Justice and Jubilation

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The hiring of young saxophonist Sidney Hauser, to fill the second alto saxophone chair with the prestigious Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra may seem like a musical sidenote to the history of this 17 piece ensemble that was formed in 1995. But considering the marginalization of women instrumentalists in jazz over the course of the genre's history, Hauser's appointment is impactful, and represents only the second full time appointment in the history of SRJO. While the hiring of a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers

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Much has been written about the different creative processes engaged between classical and jazz musicians, more specifically, as applied to the collective worlds of jazz and classical piano. New York based pianist Bongwool Lee has an intimate relationship with these perceived differences. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, she was exposed by her parents to a variety of music at a very early age, winning her country's acclaimed Samik Competition at age seven. Considered a prodigy in the classical world, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chamber 3: Transatlantic

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Chamber 3 began as a trio effort started by German guitarist Christian Eckert, and Seattle based drummer Matt Jorgensen, who forged a friendship while studying at the New School in New York in the early nineties. Over the years, they engaged in many projects and tours together, culminating in this project that includes German tenor saxophonist Steffen Weber. The band added a fourth member in the person of Seattle bassist Phil Sparks for their last release, Grassroots (OA2, 2017), and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stafford Hunter: Continuum

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Stafford Hunter is known as a trombonist who grew out of the modern paradigm set by Steve Turre. He also shares a unique quality with Turre, in that he is an expert player of conch shells in the jazz idiom, joining him in the ensemble, Steve Turre and Sanctified Shells. While this tie with Turre is a logical conclusion, the dots don't quite connect in terms of playing trombone in jazz. While his association with the Duke Ellington ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lauren Sevian: Bliss

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Since joining the Mingus Big Band in 2003, baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian has been opening eyes in the saxophone world, especially in the exclusive club that includes those dedicated primarily to the bari. Her style more resembles that of modern tenor players such as Donny McCaslin and Mark Turner, while retaining the pure sound and articulation one might expect from a true baritone master. She as well has been a powerful role model for female jazz musicians and the current ...