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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jim Self and the Tricky Lix Latin Jazz Band: Yo!

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A tuba in a Latin jazz band? Jim Self, what were you thinking? No matter. Whatever you were thinking, the end result is far more agreeable than even you could have imagined. Yo! (sorry, we can't handle the upside down exclamation point) is a generally delightful album by Self's well-bred nonet, due in no small measure to his full-bodied tuba and a series of bright and pleasing charts. The album's subtitle reads “Featuring the Music of Francisco Torres" (who also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Goran Ivanovic Trio: Goran Ivanovic Trio

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Virtuoso Serbian guitarist Goran Ivanovic has been busy performing, if not recording since the 2008 Folk Tales and the 2006 Goran Ivanovic Group, with the only subsequent album being the 2009 Guitar Duo with Andreas Kapsalis. That void has been remedied with the very impressive Goran Ivanovic Trio, although listeners familiar with the first two recordings might miss the extra counterpoint of a second solo voice. Matt Ulery continues holding down the bass duties, but Peter Tashjian replaces ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joan Jeanrenaud: Visual Music

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Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud had been a member of the celebrated Kronos Quartet for more than twenty years when, she found herself sidelined with a serious health issue. Following an extended leave from music she embarked on a solo career, turning out the highly-regarded albums, Strange Toys (Talking House, 2008), Metamorphosis (New Albion, 2009) and--in association with PC Munoz--Pop-Pop (Deconet Records, 2010).On Visual Music Jeanrenaud is reunited with percussionist Munoz on three tracks, William Winant on vibraphone and Dohee ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joan Jeanrenaud: Visual Music

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Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud spent more than twenty years as a member of the experimental and always innovative Kronos Quartet. She left the group in 1999, and has since created an adventurous and captivating body work, including four previous CD releases, including the Grammy-nominated Strange Toys ( Talking House Records, 2008) and 2010's Pop-Pop (Deconet Records), in collaboration with percussionist/multi-instrumentalist PC Munoz. As with all her recordings, Visible Music is a work of art that was created without consideration ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Earl Hines: Piano Genius At Work

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This boxed set of seven CDs and one DVD pays tribute to Earl “Fatha" Hines, one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz. From 1928, when he took over the piano stool in Louis Armstrong's band, through to the birth of bebop and modern jazz in the 1940s, when he fronted a big band that featured both Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Hines was up there on the cutting edge. He defied categorization, his ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Earl Hines, Pete Johnson and James P. Johnson: Reminiscing at Blue Note – 1939-43

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In the beginning, there was the piano--if not in jazz generally, then definitely at Blue Note Records. From the start, Blue Note founder Alfred Lion was obsessed with the piano. Blue Note's very first recordings, in 1939, were 19 tunes by boogie-woogie pianists Meade “Lux" Lewis and Albert Ammons. You can hear them all on one fabulous CD called The First Day. Later that same year, Lion recorded more piano favorites by all-time greats Earl “Fatha" ...

IN THE ARTIST'S OWN WORDS

But Beautiful: My Life with Billie Holiday

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Every Saturday morning, when I was a little girl, my sisters and I went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for what we called “Saturday Classes": piano lessons, theory, music history--serious classical music training for serious little musicians. Saturday afternoons, when we got home, we had a ritual. We'd get out our “dress-up" from the vintage steamer trunk that housed a collection of my mother's 1960's party dresses and my grandmother's furs, go through my parents' record collection--the Beatles, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Hubweber / Frank Paul Schubert / Alexander von Schlippenbach / Clayton Thomas / Willi Kellers: Intricacies

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As titles go, Intricacies stands as one of the more appropriate. Not so much in the sense of obscurity or being difficult to understand, but rather with reference to the entanglements engendered by the ear stretching five way interplay. Recorded in the German capital's B-Flat club in early 2014 the 2 CD set captures a multi-generational crew of Berlin-based improvisers on two lengthy spontaneously generated tracks and a shorter encore. What they create is recognizably free jazz, in that rhythmic ...


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