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INTERVIEW

Nicole Johänntgen: Henry And The Free Bird

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In Richard Bach's book Jonathon Livingston Seagull (Macmillan 1970), the tale of a seagull with a passion for flight and freedom, there is a line that goes: “Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly." Nicole Johänntgen, jazz musician, composer, bandleader, educator and advocate for women musicians, saw the way to fly from an early ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dan Tepfer Trio: Eleven Cages

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Pianist Dan Tepfer makes an excellent point here, reminding us that the concept of freedom is actually built on architectural stability. With Eleven Cages Tepfer has his Thomas Merton moment, likening the framework of each song to the walls of his newfound freedom. He recognizes and emphasizes the fact that different structures are housings for exploration and creation, not handcuffs on the imagination or rigid dictates in design methodology. Tepfer's well-formed views on the permanence and plasticity ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicholas Payton: Afro-Caribbean Mixtape

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In 2011 New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton set fire to social media with his outspoken views on the death of jazz, race and Black American music. The backdraft produced not only fiercely opposing views but also hate-mail directed towards Payton. While the debate continues on what is and what isn't jazz, there's never been a question about Payton's talent or abilities. Throughout his discography as a Postmodern New Orleans musician, Payton's mastery of the horn is without reproach and sung ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ed Neumeister & His NeuHat Ensemble: Wake Up Call

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If you are one of those restless wanderers who is searching high and low for easy listening, look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you are drawn to music that is more or less off the beaten path and challenges your mind and spirit, composer / arranger / trombonist Ed Neumeister's new album may well serve as the anomalous Wake Up Call you've been waiting for. It takes no more than a few moments of listening to the labyrinthine, through-composed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Denys Baptiste: The Late Trane

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When a church is named after a jazz musician you know there's something more than music involved here. The spirituality with which John Coltrane immersed himself as exemplified by A Love Supreme, was just one of the drivers that helped make the saxophonist one of the greatest innovators of jazz. His later works were even more iconoclastic, embracing abstract themes and a conscious move towards free jazz, but still utilising time as propelled by the rhythmic powerhouse that was Elvin ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Will Butterworth Trio/Adam Turns at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

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Will Butterworth Trio/Adam Turns: The Nightingale & The Rose Crescent Arts Centre Belfast Book Festival Belfast, N. Ireland June 17, 2017 Fortune and happenstance collided beautifully at the Belfast Book Festival with the performance of pianist Will Butterworth's jazz suite “The Nightingale & the Rose," inspired by Oscar Wilde's children's tale of the same name. That Wilde's tale--written in 1888--has been frequently adapted for the opera, ballet, cantata and even Sufi poetry, says ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lance Canales & The Flood At Biscuits & Blues

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Lance Canales & The Flood Biscuits & Blues San Francisco CA May 28, 2017 Lance Canales & The Flood rolled into Biscuits & Blues on a Sunday evening with their authentic foot stompin' blues and intimate life stories. Canales, a proud son of the Central California farm region, called Fresno home. His stand up bassist Stan Lum also hailed Fresno. For some reason, Canales' drummer did not show up for the gig and ...

PROFILES

Ronnie Foster: Emotion, Excitement, Energy, and Passion

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When it comes to jazz history, few would argue that the years between 1950 and 1970 were a golden era filled with exciting music crossing many stylistic genres. From the concert stage to the Chitlin' Circuit, the era was ripe with talented musicians of all persuasions, many of whom have since faded from memory. Rarely is this due to talent or lack thereof, but more likely a result of many factors including substance abuse, changing trends, and the fickle nature ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Chris Oatts Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

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Chris Oatts Quintet Chris's Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA June 23, 2017 Philadelphia keeps churning out great musicians, and one of those who is beginning to generate considerable interest is Chris Oatts. A graduate of Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dick Oatts, but make no mistake about it: Chris Oatts is a force to be reckoned with in his own right, forging his own style and ...


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