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Articles by Paul Rauch

INTERVIEWS

Jay Thomas: We Always Knew

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Legacy is a fleeting notion. It is incomprehensible in real time when a career hits high points, when certain doors open to quantitative opportunity. Jay Thomas can tell you a thing or two about that, based on his own personal experience as a jazz artist over half a century. His story includes playing on the Seattle scene as a teenager, leading to opportunities hampered by among other things, drug addiction. It is as well a story of overcoming those obstacles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thomas Marriott: Romance Language

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Trumpeter Thomas Marriott has established his jazz credentials over the years through a collection of beautifully inspired and well received albums on the Origin Records label. His formidable chops, extensive vocabulary, respect for tradition and penchant for musical adventurism has put him into the conversation concerning the top practitioners of his instrument in modern times. Marriott has the rare ability to look deeply into the matter at hand, whether it be through interpretation of classic repertoire, or performing his deeply ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

LaVon Hardison: There Will Be Trouble

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Vocalist LaVon Hardison has been garnering recognition for her work on stage and in the studio in and around Seattle for several years. Named Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 2017 by Earshot Jazz in Seattle, Hardison 's acclaim is largely relegated to the dynamic and innovative jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest. With a soulful sound rooted in her upbringing in the Baptist church, Hardison made her mark in theatre, before venturing into jazz stylings. Her strength ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Halberstadt: Open Heart

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Seattle based pianist Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest for several decades, applying his talents as a pianist, composer, educator, and author. He has four previous releases as a leader, most recently with Flash Point (Origin, 2010). So yes, it has been some time since we last heard from the multidimensional pianist. In the meantime, Halberstadt has garnered a reputation as an accompanist for jazz vocalists, most notably with ...

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 ...