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LIVE REVIEWS

Trondheim Jazzfest 2018

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Olafshallen, Dokhuset and other venues Trondheim Jazzfest Trondheim, Norway May 8-12, 2018 Trondheim, Norway's third largest city, is the country's main center of intelligence in science, engineering and technology. It holds a key place in Norwegian history and identity in general, and in jazz/music specifically. The six-day Trondheim Jazzfest is part of the coastal series of spring festivals along with Stavanger and Bergen. For as long as I have known ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt...And More Dirt

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Pi Recordings, under the leadership of Seth Rosner, got its start in 2001 with the simultaneous release of two CDs from avant-garde reedman Henry Threadgill, Everybody's Mouth's A Book, featuring the band Make a Move, and Up Popped The Two Lips, by the Threadgill group Zooid. This was a re-emergence for Threadgill; his three-record deal with Columbia Records had ended in 1996, with the release of Where's Your Cup. He has since made the most of his relationship with Rosner's ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Borneo Jazz Festival 2018

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Borneo Jazz Festival Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia May 11-13, 2018 When May arrives, jazz fans in South East Asia know it is time for the Borneo Jazz Festival. It has been presented since 2006 in Miri, the second biggest city of Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. The new venue, the Coco Cabana, is a big wooden construction that resembles traditional Balinese architecture, beautifully located on reclaimed land between ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brand X: Locked & Loaded

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There are a great many bands whose lineups have been so fluid that keeping track of who was in the band when is no mean feat. Few bands have, however, had as complicated a history as Brand X. Even in its latest re-reincarnation, there's been a lineup shift between the high octane fusion group's January, 2017 performance documented on But wait...There's more!, released independently the same year, and Locked & Loaded, culled largely from a show just five months later ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Robert Rich & Markus Reuter at Streamside Concerts

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Robert Rich & Markus Reuter Streamside Concerts Arden, NC May 18, 2018 American ambient keyboardist Robert Rich and German touch guitarist Markus Reuter have known each other for over a decade, and produced two albums together. But they have never toured together until now, a short tour they are calling Flood Expeditions after their most recent record, 2017's Lift a Feather to the Flood. So far the real world weather has been laying the irony ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Salvo Losappio: Long Story Short

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Although Long Story Short is an entirely appropriate title for Italian-born tenor saxophonist Salvo Losappio's debut CD as leader, as its playing time is a lean LP-like thirty-eight minutes, Rush Job might have been an even better one. Losappio's name and face adorn the front cover of the album, which names his four sidemen but does not disclose which instruments they play. That information is consigned to an accompanying press release. Song titles and running times are shown on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nik Bärtsch: Awase

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The exquisite Awase is Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch's eighth release with his band Ronin. Although the ensemble has had a few personnel changes, the album maintains the creative energy and the spirit of its previous work. The title refers to a principle of martial arts that translates to coming together and an appropriately dynamic synergy marks all six tracks. The cinematic “Module 34," for instance, consists of atmospheric and expansive refrains that resonate against Bärtsch's cascading piano. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich

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On Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich, echoes of the jazz and classical traditions rub shoulders in a bewitching amalgam of insistent phrases, left hand tumult, undulating abstractions and gossamer melody. “No change there then," you might say when considering this installment of Matthew Shipp's solo oeuvre from May 2016. By this stage in his career the pianist was standing as one of the premier instrumentalists in the modern jazz arena, with an utterly distinctive style. That is borne out by ...

MIXCLOUD

Sam Rivers Quartet Live In Padua, 1978

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For this new installment of our “From the Archive" series, we present an excerpt from the concert by the Sam Rivers Quartet hosted by Centro d'Arte in 1978 in Padua, Italy. The quartet featured some of the finest musicians operating in the creative scene of the '70s, with Sam Rivers on saxophone, Dave Holland on double bass, Joe Daley on tuba and Thurman Barker on drums. The track is a prime example of this band's ability to shift from groove ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers

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The music of pianist Bongwool Lee has a hopeful feeling. The Korean-born and now New York-based artist drew her first jazz inspiration--after classical studies in her homeland--from the work of Oscar Peterson, who sent much musical time walking on the sunny side of the street. But where Peterson rolled mostly in the jazz standards/Great American Songbook realm, Lee presents, on her debut recording, My Singing Fingers, a set of compelling original compositions. With one exception--the Ray Henderson-penned classic “Bye Bye ...