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Jazz Articles


Mark Dresser Seven: Sedimental You

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Bassist Mark Dresser has had a long, distinguished career in jazz and new music working with a long list of musicians that includes Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis and John Zorn but he hasn't recorded much lately as a leader. This project sees him leading and writing for a diverse group of familiar and relatively new players in an unusual front line combination of clarinet, flute, violin and trombone. The group has a unique sound, like some 1920's society ...


California Guitar Trio: Komorebi

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Things come somewhat full circle for the California Guitar Trio on their fifteenth album Komorebi. Having often experimented with all manner of electronics and effects to weave sound textures, here they drift back towards compositions that use their acoustic guitars pure and unadorned. It was made live in a room with a minimal rig, much the same way their earliest recordings were when starting out in 1991 (and the crystal quality on this one is sharp enough to let you ...


Nels Cline: Lovers

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No one can accuse guitarist Nels Cline of being predictable. He has recorded with his avant-garde trio the Nels Cline Singers most consistently (with bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Scott Amendola), but also led larger groups, such as the one on New Monastery (Cryptogramophone, 2006). More recently there was his duet with guitarist Julian Lage on Room (Mack Avenue, 2014), not to mention his membership in the rock group Wilco since 2004. His Blue Note debut Lovers is a unique ...


Nels Cline: Lovers

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When I first heard excerpts from Nels Cline's Lovers project, I wasn't too impressed. I thought it sounded like some kind of archaic “mood music" album. Then as I heard more about the set, including the songs being performed and the personnel performing them, I became intrigued. Now I've heard the entire thing and understand what a monumental work it is. Cline has created a kaleidoscopic orchestral tribute to all the facets and emotions of love that is ...


Derek Brown: Beatbox Sax

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One man bands are something of a novelty: some guy with a half a dozen instruments (or more)--guitar, drums, harmonica--affixed to his body in various ways. Saxophonist Derek Brown blows the one man band route with just the saxophone on Beatbox Sax. The first reaction on spinning the disc, opening with Brown's original composition, “Catch 'Em Up," could understandably be: “That's not live, he's slipping in loops and salting the saxophonic sonic stew in the studio with electronics." ...


Nels Cline: Lovers

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The power of Nels Cline's Lovers does not stem from his guitar mastery. It flows from the solidity of its finely orchestrated vision. Rendered over 18 pieces and marking the fulfillment of a 25-year endeavor, the album explores the contours of intimacy through a series of compositions ranging from ambient abstraction, to blues, to jazz ballads, to excruciatingly taut hybrids that fold this diversity together in layers of elegance. Never marred by the indulgences or lack of focus ...


The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl

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In casual talk and conversation now some half a century since the explosion of their popularity, the Beatles can seem a quaint phenomenon from the Sixties. But such a notion disappears when their music is playing as is the case with The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl. A companion piece to Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, the Ron Howard film devoted to their years on the road, this audio title is a modified and expanded ...


Take Five with Jennifer Bellor

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About Jennifer Bellor: Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor blends contemporary jazz, classical, and popular styles. Her works have been performed by Washington National Opera, Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, UNLV Jazz Ensemble, and many others in the United States and abroad. She earned a 2013 DownBeat Award for her composition “Midnight Swim" for big band in the original composition/orchestrated work category at the graduate college level. Her composition Noir ...

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