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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

An Evening with Pat Metheny at The Barre Opera House

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Pat Metheny Barre Opera House Barre, Vermont January 14, 2017 Pat Metheny doesn't dabble. If he's proven anything over the course of a multiple Grammy Award-winning solo career, it's that he sees each of his eclectic projects through to its logical conclusion. So it is then that his appearance at the Barre Opera House in Vermont on January 14 was just the latest stop on a tour that has been in progress largely without interruption ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Theo Bleckmann: Elegy

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While ECM is a label largely renowned for its subtlety, attention to space and detail, and overall understated, “less is more" aesthetic--an early sampler titled, even, The Most Beautiful Sound Next To Silence--it's hard to imagine a label debut as a leader that could be less about virtuosity and more about creating soft atmospheres and ambiences than singer Theo Bleckmann's delicately moving, aptly titled Elegy. Bleckmann is no newcomer to the label: he was an important guest on ...

INTERVIEWS

Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom

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Clarence Becton is a musicians' musician--meaning, someone well-known in musician circles. He belongs to the generation of American jazz heroes who grew up under economically and socially difficult circumstances, and for that very reason, succeeded in gaining a comprehensive education, emancipating himself, and embodying the history of jazz music by directly learning from and working with greats of almost every stylistic era--ragtime, swing, bebop, post-bop, and avant-garde. Born in 1933, he developed a strong musical interest as a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mads Tolling and the Mads Men: Playing the 60s

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From the first arco tones, something sounds very familiar, yet hard to identify. The tone in question is big and full, dry, but not too much so. Were this tone a libation, it would be an Old Fashion. Sleek and commanding, yes, this makes me think of Svend Asmussen. This should be no surprise both wunderkind Mads Tolling and Asmussen are Danes with solid technical ability on the violin and a prodigious knowledge of the jazz songbook. Assmussen has just ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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It's difficult to encapsulate pianist Matthew Shipp's inimitable musical vision and approach exclusively with words. The elusiveness of his aesthetic stems from its malleability: Shipp retains his unwavering objective of unfettered expression, yet never fully eschews tradition, yielding an unrivaled brand of stirring music. A consummate innovator, Shipp's singular musical vocabulary has matured and diversified over decades of enterprising music, spanning a multitude of genres and musical ensembles. 2016 was a particularly fruitful year for Shipp, with releases ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Mark Nauseef / Toma Gouband: As The Wind

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Evan Parker's Psi label was once a flourishing concern, releasing up to ten albums a year in its peak years between 2004 and 2011, but activity has tailed off recently. After releasing five albums in 2012, neither 2013 nor 2014 brought anything, leading to fears that no more would be heard from Psi. Thankfully, since then it has revived, with 2015 and 2016 producing one album each, the welcome reissue of Parker's 1978 solo classic Monoceros followed by this new ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Dorian Devins Hits a Double in the Bleak Midwinter

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New York centered jazz singer and lyricist Dorian Devins first rocked my sensitive Southern Consciousness in 2013 with the release of The Procrastinator (Rain1 Jazz). Devins marked a return to that jazz step-child, vocalese: the application of lyrics to well-known wordless jazz compositions. The recording was a cornerstone of that year. Devins played a very large part on The Lou Rainone Quintet +1's Skydance singing two of her compositions (Rain1jazz, 2015). Here on the fulcrum between then and now, Devins ...


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