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INTERVIEW

Pablo Diaz: Drumming Life

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Rhythm is in our body and in our blood. The heart beats and our pulse is a sign of life. Instinctively, humans have connected themselves with rhythm from early days until the present. Just think of ancient tribe rituals or the mechanic trance of a techno party. Many jazz percussionists have dedicated their life to the rhythms of the body and the world. One of them is the Argentinian drummer Pablo Diaz, who has been on a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Grant Stewart Trio with Special Guest John Swana at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Grant Stewart Trio with Special Guest John Swana Chris' Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA August 18, 2017 In this supremely swinging hard bop set, Toronto-born New York saxophonist Grant Stewart joined long-time Philadelphia musicians: organist Lucas Brown, drummer Dan Monaghan, and special guest John Swana to knock out standards with a rare execution that was as tight as what might be the final takes on a recording date. The event was notable for Swana's first-time ...

IN PICTURES

Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony 2017

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The Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony is hosted by the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. This year's program ran from August 6th to August 11th. In keeping with the global vision Dave and Iola Brubeck brought to the art form, the Colony features five international students attending through the Brubeck Institute's continuing partnership with the UK's National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra. Along with these international youth come high school ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson: Honey And Salt

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We will forgive you if you believed drummer Matt Wilson's previous recording Beginning Of A Memory (Palmetto, 2016) was a summing-up of his career to date. On that recording he invited just about every musician he has worked with as a leader. The conspicuous absence was, of course, Dewey Redman, who had passed on in 2006. Nonetheless, his latest project,Honey And Salt, music inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg, is an album he has been making since he strode ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steven Wilson: To the Bone

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Wait long enough and everything old becomes new again. Steven Wilson's career has often seemed like one long exercise in putting that idea into practice. Through at least half a dozen different musical outfits, he's continually borrowed from and paid homage to the vast genre stew of music that's shaped his life, from progressive rock to psychedelia, house, shoegaze, noise/drone, acid folk and much more. Most albums through his solo career have tended to center around one particular niche from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Reed: Flesh & Bone

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Years in the making, Flesh & Bone was inspired by a racist incident Chicago-based drummer Mike Reed experienced in 2009. While on a European tour, Reed and his band, People, Places & Things, were caught in a neo-Nazi rally in the Czech Republic. Reed's ensemble--half black, half white--had been deliberately deceived into boarding a train bound for the small town of Prerov, where an anti-Gypsy protest was in the process of erupting into a full-blown skinhead riot. Fortunately, for Reed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Landrus: Generations

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With Generations baritone saxophonist Brian Landrus has created an ambitious set of music for full orchestra that is based in jazz but also touches on classical music, hip hop and reggae, giving prominent position to instruments like harp and vibraphone to give his ensemble an airy, spacious sound.It all begins with the five-movement “Jeru Concerto," Landrus' tribute to one of the icons of his instrument, Gerry Mulligan. It mostly consists of his baritone swirling through a lush, slow ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note

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Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker Blue Note New York, NY August 16, 2017 As part of a week-long residency at the Blue Note, legendary keyboardist-composer Bob James broke sonic bread with up-and-coming bassist Michael Palazzolo and faithful drummer Billy Kilson. The result of this communion was a head-nodding dive into one of jazz's most hallowed oeuvres. As was clear throughout this performance, central to the bandleader's commercial success--not counting the many times his ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book

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Most everything in Fred Hersch's oeuvre has always miraculously existed as slow read and page-turner all at once. The many phrases, songs, and albums spun from the mind and fingers of this highly expressive pianist-composer have been something to really take time with, to be savored and appreciated for their beauty and depth of creative thought. But his performances simultaneously invite curiosity about what sits around the next bend. That seemingly paradoxical duality is just one of the many gifts ...


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