Articles by Victor L. Schermer

INTERVIEW

Bobby Zankel: The Soul of Jazz - Past, Present, and Future Tense

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[This is the first of an All About Jazz series of interviews and articles on “The Many Faces of Jazz Today: Critical Dialogues," in which we will explore the current state of jazz around the world. Jazz has expanded in many directions. The business, educational, geographical, recording, and entertainment aspects have undergone major transformations. Today, there are myriad ways of playing and understanding the music. So what is jazz all about today, towards the end of the second decade of ...

INTERVIEW

Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans

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In his own unassuming way, Bill Evans changed the face of jazz piano trio forever. He made the piano a lyrical, expressive voice for the most subtle and deep emotions, and he transformed the rhythm section from a time-beating, swing-maintaining outfit into an intimate, conversational musical unit. He loved tradition. It was just his grasp of the music and the special way that he composed, arranged, and played that influenced his contemporaries and the generations that came after him. He ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monette Sudler Sextet: The Philadelphia Realbook Project

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Monnette Sudler Sextet Terra Hall, University of the Arts Jazz Bridge: The Philadelphia Real Book Project Philadelphia, PA April 28, 2017 Monnette Sudler is a lauded Philadelphia-based guitarist with all the technique and finesse you could ask for, but she also has a way of moving around the strings which is expressive and soulful, communicating a story beyond words, touching the heartstrings. Earlier in her career, beginning in the 1970s, she moved up ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Swana: Bright Moments

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Simply put, this album is so listenable and stood out so noticeably among the many CDs I've been spinning for myself recently, that I thought All About Jazz readers ought to know about it. I first heard then trumpeter John Swana a decade or more ago when he jammed at pianist Tom Lawton's memorable long-term gig with the late great bassist Al Stauffer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. I was awestruck by Swana's clarity, sustained non-vibrato tone, and ...

OPINION

New York Times Downsizes Jazz Coverage: A Response

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The February 23rd report from the Salon website that the The New York Times has downsized its coverage of live and recorded jazz is quite a shock, and, in my opinion, a poor decision on their part which I hope they will seriously reconsider. Their iconic and highly competent reviewers, Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen, have left the newspaper, although their reasons for departure aren't clear. Salon cites the reason for the downsizing to be a decline in the number ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jim Ridl Quartet Featuring Zach Brock at Collingswood Community Center

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Jim Ridl Quartet Featuring Zach Brock Collingswood Community Center Jazz Bridge Neighborhood Concert Collingswood, PA March 2, 2017 The Jazz Bridge is a meritorious organization that not only sponsors outstanding concerts in and around Philadelphia, but also offers support to musicians in distress. Their recently published Philadelphia Real Book contains sheet music for tunes composed by Philadelphia jazz legends as well as lesser known greats such as the memorable Father John D'Amico. Jazz Bridge ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

I Am Not Your Negro: History Revisited through a Personal Lens

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I Am Not Your Negro Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson Director: Raoul Peck Distributor: Velvet Films This electrifying docu-drama invoking the eloquent words and profound personal experience of the great writer James Baldwin brings to life the stormy and transformational period of the Civil Rights movement in a way that is far more vivid than the images many saw on their small TV screens in the 1960s. The images, sound track, Baldwin's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Deborah Brown: Kansas City Here I Come

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Jazz vocalists occupy a wide swath of styles from those who mercilessly belt out a tune to those who use the ever evolving vocabulary of the jazz idiom with care and precision. Deborah Brown is one of the most sophisticated of the latter genre. She is a true artist. She never wastes a note, inflection, or dynamic. She meticulously treats the nuances of every song with the care of a concert and opera singer. Such precision only makes her more ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Norman David: The Eleventet - Please Call

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Clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Norman David founded and has been leading Philadelphia's Eleventet for over three decades. After thirty years playing in in and around the city, the band found their recording groove with their first CD, At This Time (Norman David/Coolcraft, 2011). Now, in this new release, they deliver swinging and ear-popping sounds while at the same time offering nuances, subtleties, and creative ideas that generate interest for the more serious listener. David plays a mean soprano sax, while ...


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