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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nick Finzer: Hear & Now

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New York-based trombonist Nick Finzer has benefited from mentorships under trombone masters Wycliffe Gordon and Steve Turre; but his third CD release, Hear And Now also brings the original trombones master, J.J. Johnson to mind. One of Johnson's last CDs, the minor masterpiece, Heroes (Verve Records, 1995), featured a sextet configuration with an enormously-talented pianist, Rene Rosnes, in the mix. Hear & Now is a sextet outing with an up-and-coming, unlimited potential talent, Glenn Zaleski, sitting in front of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Richie Cole: Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas

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Christmas music is a sort of sub genre of American pop, mostly maudlin and uninspiring in its lyrics, harmony and melody. Yet, it is a perennial magnet for jazz artists. On the other end of the spectrum is Richie Cole, a brash altoist and sort of a merry prankster bebop artist. Fans and critics alike have delighted in his ability to take the complex structures of the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and mold them into ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ingrid and Christine Jensen: Infinitude

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While they've often recorded together over the years--from the collective Nordic Connect quintet and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's early albums including Now as Then (Justin Time, 2003), to many of saxophonist Christine's recordings, from her two much-lauded Jazz Orchestra albums (most recently Habitat (Justin Time, 2014)) to earlier, small group dates including Look Left (Effendi, 2006)--the two Jensen sisters (separated by four years) have never recorded an album collaboratively, with both names sharing the marquee equally...until now. While sharing has never ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Three Sounds: Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968

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The old tapes hide in the archives, deep in the dark corners of record company closets, and even the occasional back yard tool shed--Hal Schaefer's How Do You Like this Piano Playing (Summit Records, 2009). Finding and bringing these lost treasures to the listening public seems to have turned into an industry of its own. And praise be the effort. The year 2016 alone saw the releases of newly discovered gems by pianists Bill Evans, with Some Other Time, (Resonance ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and their inevitable aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend, Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a good deal of live material there. In 1979, Pepper was approached by a small Japanese niche label, Yupiteru, later to become Atlas ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ari Hoenig: The Pauper And The Magician

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Concept albums have largely been the domain of progressive rock bands, whilst jazzers tend to prefer the term 'suite' to describe thematically linked pieces of music. Ari Hoenig's The Pauper and the Magician is arguably more the former than the latter, as these six compositions are inspired by a fable-like tale of Hoenig's design, without overt musical continuity. But for the liner notes describing the narrative as it unfolds-an evil magician entices a panhandling pauper to enter his wicked realm--it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Three Sounds: Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968

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Pianist Gene Harris was a durable jazz force from the beginning of his career as leader of the soul-jazz trio, The Three Sounds in the mid-1950s until his death in 2000. He described himself as “a blues pianist with chops" and that is as good a description as can be had. He had a piano style full of Count Basie and seasoned with Art Tatum (never too much of the latter to make his playing sound superfluous of showy}}.

LIVE REVIEWS

Houston Person at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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Houston Person Quartet Turtle Point Club House Kiawah Island Concert Series Kiawah Island January 8, 2017 No rough edges, no experimentation, music just as smooth as chocolate pudding. A perfectly molded musical travelogue down memory lane. Not a formula for a grand performance, but somehow tenor saxophonist Houston Person makes it work, time after time. Person is a throwback to the simpler and easier times of the 1940's. The songs familiar, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terell Stafford: Forgive and Forget

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Veteran trumpeter Terell Stafford delivers the second installment of saxophonist Herb Harris's dynamic “Jazz Masters Unlimited" series production, with the unveiling of Forgive and Forget, providing a forum for Stafford's talents and improvisational skills. Showcasing a repertoire penned and arranged by Harris, the trumpeter surrounds himself with a formidable quintet that makes his performance here much easier to appreciate. The A-list of players appearing with Stafford include tenor saxophonist extraordinaire Tim Warfield who served as the first masters series feature ...


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