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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Friend: Twin

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It's probably not best practice to liken anyone to anyone, yet we do it all the time, take comfort in the left hand column on CD Baby, or the recommends on iTunes or Amazon. Forgive this Captain Obvious then, when Sam Friend's album Twin gets likened to James Taylor and his son, Ben Taylor here, so a bookmark can be left. A few more souls around like the family Taylor is no bad thing. And what the hell, “You've got ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Fiedler: Like, Strange

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Change can occasionally be necessary for artistic growth. For over a decade, trombonist Joe Fiedler has led a stripped-down bass and drums trio, as documented on Plays The Music of Albert Mangelsdorff (Clean Feed, 2005), The Crab (Clean Feed, 2007), Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound, 2011), and I'm In (Multiphonics, 2015). Seeking a greater range of color and texture in his music, Fielder recruited vanguard saxophonist Jeff Lederer and multifaceted guitarist Pete McCann to join his current working trio with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mark Dresser Seven: Sedimental You

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So much has been written about Mark Dresser's brilliance as a bassist that his skill as a composer can be in danger of being forgotten. But showcases like Sedimental You and its predecessor Nourishments (Clean Feed, 2014) should more than redress that potential imbalance. His artfully arranged structures prove engaging vehicles for the improvisational insight of his star-studded cast. Trombonist Michael Dessen constitutes the only holdover from the previous outing. He's joined in the front line by flutist Nicole Mitchell ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Fiedler: Like, Strange

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It's not always easy for musicians to know what to call their own stuff, especially the kind of players who prefer not to settle into one cozy niche. Joe Fiedler certainly makes it difficult, being a fan of things from classic swing to avant-garde--some of which use the trombone in easily familiar ways, some of which couldn't be farther away from its usual wheelhouse. Through a career that's ranged from the Glenn Miller Orchestra to Sesame Street, many others have ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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


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