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Articles by Victor L. Schermer

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea at the Kimmel Center

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Chick Corea The Music of Thelonious Monk Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Academy of Music Philadelphia, PA April 8, 2018 In the words of Robin Kelley, Thelonious Monk's definitive biographer, Monk was “An American Original," meaning that he was both one of a kind and contributor to an evolving tradition. This impossible-to-resolve paradox of Monk affects any ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Pat Martino Quintet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA March 31, 2018 Legendary guitarist Pat Martino has recently made it a point of periodically performing at Chris' Jazz Café in his home town of Philadelphia. The management welcomes it because he has a large fan base and plays to full houses. This reviewer appreciates it because a) he bonded with Martino fifteen years ago after interviewing him for this website; and b) ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bobby Zankel Wonderful Sound 4 at Da Vinci Art Alliance

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Bobby Zankel's Wonderful Sound 4 Featuring Sumi Tonooka (Additional Performances by Vocalist Bonnie Lander and Sirius JuJu Quintet) Fire Museum Presents @ DVAA Da Vinci Art Alliance Philadelphia, PA March 24. 2018 This show afforded a rare opportunity in an intimate setting to hear the great Philly-grown pianist Sumi Tonooka with Bobby Zankel, a cutting edge alto saxophonist admired for his composing, arranging, and band leading. So ...

OPINION

Jazz and Assault Rifles: A Peace Barrage

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I just participated in the March 24 “March for Our Lives" event in Philadelphia, one among many cities where the Parkland, Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootout led to a large turnout of people advocating for an end to school violence and greater gun control, including, for many, the banning of assault rifles. You may think this violence-preventing effort has nothing to do with jazz, but I think of jazz as an antidote to violence of all kinds, a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roberta Piket: West Coast Trio

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This album brings together New York-based pianist Roberta Piket with two outstanding musicians from the Los Angeles area: bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz and drummer Joe La Barbera. Hence the title “Roberta Piket: West Coast Trio." To spice things up, Piket brought along her long-time cohort Billy Mintz on percussion on one track, and special guest guitarist Larry Koonse on two of them. The result is an interesting blend of West Coast “cool" and sophisticated New York mainstream that pleases the ear ...

INTERVIEWS

Julian Pressley: From The Duke To Ornette In His Own Way

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Julian Pressley isn't exactly a household name, but it's a name every jazz aficionado should know. When he plays his alto saxophone, ears perk up because he's playing what they came to hear: music that embodies the legacy. Passionate, quick-witted, and full of new ideas, Pressley stands out in the crowd, a genuine original. Yet you can hear Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, Jackie McLean, James Moody, Cannonball Adderley, and even Ornette Coleman coming out of his horn. Pressley ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Branford Marsalis and Jean-Willy Kunz at the Kimmel Center

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Branford Marsalis, Saxophone, and Jean-Willy Kunz, Organ: From Classical to Jazz Kimmel Center for Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA February 16, 2018 This concert of mostly classical works for saxophone and large scale pipe organ turned out to be somewhat of a surprise to the audience of jazz fans, who packed in to hear their hero, Branford Marsalis. The concert emcee, Michael Barone (a radio producer who also hosts a program called ...

INTERVIEWS

Dan Monaghan: The Man Behind The Swing

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Dan Monaghan is a working drummer who makes an indispensable contribution to the music by being the one who provides the swing and support that allows the other musicians to achieve their diverse objectives. He performs so often in the Philadelphia area that if you go to a jazz show, there's a fair chance he'll be the drummer. He's a sensitive musician, responsive to everything the players are striving for. He leads from behind. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “I am ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Django: A Film As Much About History and Culture as About A Musical Icon

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Django Director: Étienne Comar Milky Way 2017 Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) practically invented jazz guitar. A product of gypsy culture and music, living and working in Paris in the 1930s-40s, he and his group, the Hot Club Quintet, which notably included violinist Stephane Grappelli, brought their own brand of swing to the clubs of Montmartre. American musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington were captivated by Reinhardt's playing and, along with his recordings and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond with the Victor North Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Mary Ellen Desmond with the Victor North Quintet Chris' Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA February 3, 2018 It was the Saturday night before the Superbowl kickoff, and the crowds were out and about in Philadelphia with a “Go Eagles" attitude. A full house crowded into Chris' Jazz Café to hear their vocalist pride, Mary Ellen Desmond with the solid backing of tenor saxophonist Victor North's Quintet including the venerable John Swana on trumpet and valve trombone, ...