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The Victor Wooten Trio at The Ardmore Music Hall

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The Victor Wooten Trio The Ardmore Music Hall Ardmore PA March 4, 2017 Bass innovator Victor Wooten may not quite be a household name, but he's pretty well known as instrumentalists go. This is attributable to his talents, yes, but also to the many different types of projects in which his talents have been presented over the years. From the unique crossover spacegrass / jazz / jam band appeal of Bela Fleck ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom

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Released to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, the message of Saxophonist Noah Preminger's Meditations on Freedom is as direct as the music is powerful. Conceived immediately after Election Day 2016 and recorded shortly thereafter without cuts or edits, the music is a testament to both Preminger's artistic prowess and deep commitment to political engagement.The album's nine offerings present a series of potent statements on social justice, the struggle for equity, and a stark repudiation ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom

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Open and civil discourse has always been a tenant of democracy. Recent political events in the U.S. have reduced that discourse to a crude, gutter-level low that has left an alienated population in its wake, marginalized and left without a strong voice. From the time of the Civil War, protest music has provided counsel for vulnerable segments of society. With Meditations on Freedom saxophonist Noah Preminger adds his voice to the ranks of Billie Holiday's “Strange Fruit" (Commodore, 1939), Charles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Adam Berenson / Scott Barnum: Penumbra

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Not one to be tethered to genres or styles, pianist and composer Adam Berenson has been long at home as a jazz pianist, a classical composer, an electronics player or any permutation of those roles. His previous double-CD Lumen (Dream Play, 2014)--complete with two string quartets--was indeed a far-ranging collection of styles and genres that the composer positioned in the broad category of chamber music. With the duo release Penumbra, Berenson and bassist Scott Barnum take to yet another experimental ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Jerome Wilson's Best Releases of 2016

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Any “best of the year" list is really a snapshot in time. It's impossible to listen to all the worthwhile jazz music out there so you end up making a list based on what you've heard during the year. With apologies to Kris Davis, John Scofield, Darcy James Argue and all the other musicians whose CDs I haven't heard yet, here is my current Best Of for 2016. Nels Cline Lovers Blue Note Records

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready

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How prophetic is it that we now live in the second century of Sun Ra's earthly existence? Born (maybe) in Alabama 1914, Herman Poole Blount became the pianist, arranger, band leader, poet, and can we say prophet(?) we know as Sun Ra. He was both a man of his times and a messenger from the space. I say he was maybe born in 1914, because the person known as Sonny Blount claimed to have been abducted by space aliens in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Awakening Orchestra: Atticus Live!

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Sorry. If this is the direction in which big-band jazz is moving, please apply the brakes as quickly and gently as possible so that this listener may exit the train. When it comes to big bands, some members of an older generation cling to standards that must always be upheld. Not swinging is from time to time a forgivable sin, depending on the circumstances; plodding erratically forward with a minimum of charm and no clear purpose in mind is less ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Awakening Orchestra: Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis

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On the heals of the excellent debut This Is Not the Answer, Vol 1 (Innova Recordings, 2014), composer/conductor Kyle Saulnier leaves the writing credits to featured guitarist/composer Jesse Lewis on Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis. Not a regular member of Saulnier's Awakening Orchestra, Lewis had recorded each of these tracks on his similarly named Atticus (Self-Produced, 2008). Saulnier was intrigued by the notion of recreating these tunes with his twenty-piece jazz orchestra and set about to capture that ...

LIVE REVIEWS

London Jazz Festival 2016

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The London Jazz Festival, now in its 24th year, straddles the capital--its noble aim, as ever, is the provision of musical succour for the diverse tastes that make up the larger British jazz audience. You want mainstream, you'll find it. Looking for fusion, then look no further. Free jazz, bebop, blues? Step this way. Postjazz? Postjazz? I'm sure I saw it here somewhere. The first Sunday caught James Blood Ulmer at the East End's Rich Mix. Backed by ...


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