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Jazz Articles


Stuart McCallum & Mike Walker: The Space Between

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The Space Between is the follow-up album to this intriguing guitar duo's first album from 2014, Beholden. Both of these British guitarists, long-time friends hailing from the North West of England (the Greater Manchester area to be precise) probably need no introduction since they've been making waves on the jazz scene and beyond for years. The opener, paradoxically entitled “And Finally" begins with a melody that teasingly almost perverts that most well-known theme from Beethoven's “Ode To Joy." ...


Haakon Graf/Erik Smith/ Per Mathisen: Sunrain

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"Sunrain" is a common Scandinavian weather phenomenon: after weeks of rain, there are often clouds with showers pouring down as the sun peers through the other side. Keyboardist/composer Haakon Graf considers it “a metaphor for the fabric of life, a place between a smile and a tear, like my music..." His trio with drummer Erik Smith and bassist Per Mathisen began performing live in 2011. The liners name them Norway's leading jazz-funk trio, and based on the music here that ...


Cameron Mizell: Negative Spaces

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Cameron Mizell is not a well-known guitarist but he is a talented one. Working with just keyboards and drums on this CD he goes on an expansive excursion through the realms of jazz, progressive rock, funk and country. Just the first four tracks, which actually run together without a break, he goes through New Age meditation, slow-winding progressive rock, distorted psychedelia and finally twangy roadhouse country with Brad Whiteley switching expertly between electric piano and organ as needed ...


Charlie Hunter: Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth

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Adorned with the kind of facetiously sardonic title he's applied to a few recent records, Charlie Hunter's latest album nevertheless documents further changes in his ever-restless musical persona. Not only is this, his seventeenth-plus album as a leader, on a new label, but he enlists a new accompanist and, perhaps most significant of all, returns to playing the eight-string guitar. Recorded live in a studio in Hudson, New York, on Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched ...


Will Calhoun: Celebrating Elvin Jones

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Properly paying tribute to a figure like the late Elvin Jones is about more than aping a style of drumming and referencing songs; it's about acknowledging a specific life force, how it fueled the music, and how it lives on in those who Jones influenced on the bandstand, in the studio, and through his recorded work. Drummer Will Calhoun hits the mark in all of those ways on Celebrating Elvin Jones. For Calhoun, Jones was both a ...


Arun Shenoy: Change Brings New Opportunities

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In the Biz is devoted to the business of making jazz music. We will feature established and emerging jazz artists and discover how they successfully maneuver in the often-challenging world of music today. This is the first article in the series. I recently spoke with Singapore-based jazz composer and record producer Arun Shenoy. His 2012 album, Rumbadoodle, launched Shenoy into international fame and garnered the talented musician a first Grammy nomination. His brand new A Stagey Bank Affair ...


The Funky Knuckles: New Birth

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With the recent ascendance and mass embrace of Snarky Puppy, there may be a tendency by some to superficially assess The Funky Knuckles as SP redux. This would be a mistake. Yes, they both have a similar instrumental footprint and stylistic aesthetic, hail from the same Jny:Dallas scene and are even label mates, but it might be akin to dissing Albert Collins because there's BB King. The initial resemblance is there, but both have their own unique game faces. Plus, ...


Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2016

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Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Canada July 3-7, 2016 In many ways, the front of one of the festival's new T-Shirt designs said it all: swing blues soul improvisation latin gospel R 'n' B crossroads silence groove world Many festivals once known primarily as jazz festivals have broadened their scope. Whether or not it still gives a festival the right ...

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