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BOOK REVIEWS

50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

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50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Dave Lisik and Eric Allen 316 Pages ISBN: #9780692808580 SkyDeck 2017 During the heydays of the big bands, people swooned and jitterbugged to the swinging sounds of these large ensembles. Names like Count Basie, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Cab Calloway, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw were household names to most folks. Large ballrooms featured the big bands and ...

NEW YORK @ NIGHT

Django A Gogo 2017 Music Festival

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Django A Gogo 2017 Music Festival Carnegie Hall New York, NY March 3, 2017 Stephane Wrembel, the France-born, Berklee-educated guitarist now based in New Jersey, produced the first Django A Gogo festival in 2004 as a single evening to pay homage to Django Reinhardt. Since then, the “Gypsy Jazz" style of the genius guitarist, composer, co-leader of the original Quintette du le Hot Club de France and progenitor of the genre, has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

JKA Quintet: From the Nocturnal Chironian

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A long-lost poem written as a teenager, a series of evocative dreams, and the interpenetration of astrology, Greek mythology and Jungian archetypal psychology form the conceptual framework for From the Nocturnal Chironian by Danish bassist and composer Jens Kristian Andersen. The music on From the Nocturnal Chironian is only one aspect of its physical manifestation. The CD booklet (and, I imagine, the gatefold sleeve of the LP version) features the artwork of Rithva Landler, a painter whose aim was to--as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dog Leg Dilemma: Not This Time

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A sonic cornucopia, Canadian electric jazz quartet Dog Leg Dilemma's debut Not This Timeunfolds like a deconstructed buffet. Bits and pieces of musical genres drop in and out of the album's seven compositions with John Woo freneticism, combining at seemingly random intervals as if someone swept the cutting room floor of a recording studio and then assembled the whole by pasting together the discards of everything from circus music, to German Om-pah bands, to reggae, to punk, to ambient soundscapes ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis: The Stone House

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At a 2009 ECM @ 40 celebration in Mannheim, Germany that was part of the ongoing Enjoy Jazz Festival, Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava spoke, in a public interview, about how free jazz, back in the day, wasn't really free. There were rules: no time and/or no changes, for example; with memorable melodies not impossible, but not encouraged. Rava continued on to enthuse that now, in the 21st Century, free jazz really is free: if you want to play time, you ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

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The notion of jazz as surf music seems absurd at first blush, but it can work surprisingly well. Some time ago I learned this by happenstance while listening to an album by fusion guitarist Alex Machacek as I watched surf videos on YouTube. It was a true “ah ha" moment. Compared to the original soundtrack, Alex's music was much better suited to the surfers' incredible aesthetics, athletics, and the resulting excitement. It struck me that it might be ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Khan: Backlog

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In what could best be described as an enduring exploration, Steve Khan has undertaken the role of expanding and redefining the role of the guitar in the hybrid genre of Latin Jazz. Backlog continues with the concept established as far back as 2005 on The Green Field (Tone Center), in the transformation of straight-ahead jazz compositions into unique Khan improvisations drawing deeply from the Afro-Cuban tradition. The percussion duo of Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende have been an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago: Chicago II

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Chicago II deserves its stereo remix and mastering by British audiophile extraordinaire Steven Wilson for any number of reasons, the most prominent of which is that, at this early juncture in the band's career, its creativity was at full flower, minus the pedantic tendencies or self-conscious pretension that would arise on later records. Everything was in balance on this sophomore effort, from the composing credits shared by guitarist/vocalist Terry Kath, keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm and bassist/vocalist Peter Cetera (who ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Nothing but Love in God's Water by Robert Darden

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Nothing but Love in God's Water--Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0271050843 Penn State Press 2014 Critic Ed Ward's The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 (Flatiron Books, 2016) is a history written with a very even and broad horizon in mind. Bigger than the blues, country, and soul: rock & roll is an internationally large ...


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