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Articles by R.J. DeLuke

INTERVIEWS

Bob James: Piano Player

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In a career that spans about five decades, Bob James has made an impact on a variety of musical genres. His roots are in jazz, but he has run the gamut from playing avant-garde jazz on the outer fringes--which he was doing when discovered by Quincy Jones--to composing and arranging for a variety of people in the jazz and pop worlds. He did extensive work for the well known CTI Records and has won Grammys recording with the ...

INTERVIEWS

Bob Reynolds: Communication Is Key

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Bob Reynolds, a saxophonist and composer of note with nine recordings under his own name and a work load that has him playing with artists like Larry Carlton, Snarky Puppy, Josh Groban, John Mayer and others, pauses when considering the genre of jazz and how he fits in. Reynolds doesn't have to apply his talents to the changes of jazz standards or neo-bop workouts written by his peers to be fulfilled. He can do it. It can be ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon

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Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon Maxine Gordon 261 Pages ISBN: #9780520280649 University of California Press 2018 Dexter Gordon's place among those who created and performed some of the most influential music of the 1940s, 1950 and the early 1960s, when so many giants walked the earth, is indisputable. He was one of those giants, physically and otherwise. That stature comes to sharp focus in a new biography ...

INTERVIEWS

Kika Sprangers: Musical Adventurer In Holland

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For a 23-year-old, saxophonist/composer Kika Sprangers is showing strong growth and maturity as a musician in her native land of Holland, busy all year with gigs with both a small group and a large ensemble. Busy both blowing alto and soprano sax, but also busy writing material inspired by a variety of sources. She's only been playing for 15 years, but this year was selected Young VIP of 2018 by jazz programmers in the Netherlands. There are only ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Friehofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2018

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Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY June 23-24, 2018 Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival rolled into its the start of its fifth decade with a fresh format and plenty of fresh faces. The festival plays out each year during an amazing two days in the great Saratoga Performing Arts Center venue amid the natural beauty of Saratoga State Park and, though tainted by rain at various points, the ...

INTERVIEWS

Anat Cohen: Musical Zelig

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In the 1983 Woody Allen film Zelig, the pseudo-documentary's main character is a man who, out of a desire to fit in, takes on the characteristics of the people he happens to be around, including, in chameleon-like fashion, turning up as a black jazz musician in jny: Chicago. (The character, played by Allen, is white). Since arriving on the jny: New York City scene in 1999, via jny: Tel Aviv and the Berklee College of Music, Anat Cohen ...

INTERVIEWS

Andreas Varady: Guitar Wizard On The Rise

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Listening to Andreas Varady play guitar, it's difficult to guess his age. Its not just the fleet fingers across the fret board, the subtle bending of notes and the dexterity. Many young players display those features. He possesses a warm tone, a mature style with free-flowing ideas that go to interesting places. His style is mature and he's a teller of stories. Mature and strong enough to impress Quincy Jones, who brought the guitarist into his management company ...

INTERVIEWS

Mark Morganelli: Adds Club Owner To His Resume

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Mark Morganelli has long been known as a fine trumpet player and a promoter with years of experience in the jny: New York City area dating back to a jazz loft 39 years ago, through booking at the Village Gate, Birdland, morphing into his nonprofit Jazz Forum Arts organization known for the summer concert series he has produced for many years. He's produced at Avery Fisher, the Beacon, Town Hall and many other theaters around the New York metro area. ...

INTERVIEWS

Hugh Masekela: Strength in Music and Character

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This article was first published at All About Jazz in May 2009. “I think it is incumbent, not just on every artist, but every person who has as their source communities that are disadvantaged, to give back," says Hugh Masekela, antiapartheid champion, friend of the downtrodden and musician extraordinaire who is still going strong at the age of 70. “If you don't give back, I think you end up somewhere down the line looking at yourself in a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2017

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Saratoga Performing Arts Center Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival Saratoga Springs, NY June 24-25, 2017 Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and it was done in fine fashion. Acts from the very first festival in 1978 (A George Wein creation) appeared, as well as young up-and-coming artists. The latter has become a staple of the festival. Producer Danny Melnick (who worked for Wein for many years) goes out of his way to ...