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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Storming Through the South

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First, three hearty cheers and a laurel wreath for trumpeter Mike Vax who has kept the splendid Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra together (with some inescapable changes in personnel, not to mention name) for twenty-five years, supervised no less than eighteen annual road tours and produced half a dozen in-concert albums, the most recent of which, Storming Through the South, was recorded during the orchestra's spring excursion in 2015 --sixteen cities in seventeen days covering Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Pat Martino Trio at the Kimmel Center

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Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Pat Martino Trio Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts A String of Pearls Philadelphia, PA June 18, 2016 The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) was founded a little over two years ago, under the direction of trumpeter Terell Stafford. Featuring some of the finest Philly musicians, compositions, and trends, it has quickly emerged as a top of the line big band for the city and the region. Their ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Why Jazz? A Concise Guide

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Why Jazz? A Concise Guide Kevin Whitehead 184 pages ISBN-10: 0199731187 Oxford, University Press 2011 Small books on big themes are a tough gig. Jazz is a uniquely American, musically challenging, and highly improvisational musical form. Jazz is also a rather vexing topic to explain to the uninitiated (or even to the initiated, who quarrel much over it). Several years ago, I played some late-period work of John Coltrane (the first four ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?

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On May 18, Betty and I flew to Los Angeles to attend Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion, a four-day panorama sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute and held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, about a stone's throw or two from the LAX airport. We arrived early afternoon so we could also be present for the “bonus" concert that evening, billed as an all-star tribute to vibraphone great Terry Gibbs with Chuck Redd sitting in on vibes for the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Special Kay!

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WOW! No, it is definitely not advisable to open a review with an unequivocal superlative (for one thing, it sort of gives the game away, doesn't it?). But on Special Kay!, its ninth impressive album in twenty-four years, DIVA--the gold standard among all-female big bands since its inception--really gives a commentator no reasonable choice. Simply put, this is a mind-blowing live performance at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, NY, that electrifies and satisfies from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terry Vosbein: La Chanson Francaise

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There's something about the music of France that strikes a romantic chord in almost every heart. Even when writing about anguish, loneliness and ennui, the French have a way of encasing those emotions within beguiling melodies that somehow make the pain seem more endurable. It is this singular blend of gallic romance and sorrow that animates La Chanson Francaise, the newest CD by Virginia-based composer / arranger Terry Vosbein who leads an earnest and well-spoken nonet (also his ally of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2015

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In 1975, Howard University, a bulwark of higher education in our nation's capital since 1867, formed its first Jazz Ensemble and named a young trumpeter / educator, Fred Irby III, as director. One year later, Irby ushered the ensemble into a recording studio to verify its prowess, a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for forty years. Irby remains at the helm today, and HUJE 2015 is the latest in an ever-expanding catalogue of impressive albums produced by the university's flagship ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Quanta April – Five Women IV: Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Eisele, Stacy Sullivan, Eileen Howard, Lauren White

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We are enjoying a rich period of jazz vocals creation; the story continues... Ella Fitzgerald Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set Verve 2016 Ella Fitzgerald is certainly the vocalist to include first in this review as hers is one of the few voices that are the jazz vocals gold standard. The Universal Music Group, owner of the Verve Records catalog, have discovered yet one more way to repackage ...


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