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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension: Live at Ronnie Scott's

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Music has taken him and his guitar to some of the most exotic far reaches of the world, but Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club will always have a special place in John McLaughlin's heart. His mid-1960s time in the famous jny: London venue's house band was a key early step in his musical life, and he idly wonders “where would I be without them?" five decades later. No doubt he would still be a legend today; such boundless curiosity and imagination ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Kinsey: Near Life Experience

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It's been a full decade since Scott Kinsey last released an album under his own name (the 2006 Abstract Logix debut, Kinesthetics) and, if anything, Near Life Experience manages to trump actually its predecessor in both ambition and Kinsey's significant cast of invited contributors. Near Life Experience also continues to hone the cinematic keyboardist's increasingly expansive, pan-cultural musical world view; one that has long dominated the keyboardist's work, dating back to his days playing with Tim Hagans and Bob Belden's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

FAT: (Living the Dream)

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While he's been living in Los Angeles for many years, Alex Machacek clearly values longterm musical relationships. While the majority of his recordings for the Raleigh, NC-based Abstract Logix imprint have seen the Austrian-born guitarist working with the likes of Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison, Neal Fountain and Gary Husband, his 2005 label debut, [sic], was notable--beyond its stunning compositions and mind-boggling post-Allan Holdsworth-ian guitar gymnastics--for the participation, on most tracks, of two fellow Austrians: bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Sipe Trio: Jeff Sipe Trio featuring Mike Seal and Taylor Lee

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Drummer Jeff Sipe was a member of Colonel Bruce Hampton's Aquarium Rescue Unit and has played with many other musicians. But probably his most visible association was the power trio with Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane, followed by a more recent trio with guitarist Alex Machacek. So he is clearly very comfortable in an improvising rock/jazz guitar trio. He says of the format: “The trio format is still exciting to me," Sipe explains. “It's very transparent. There is nobody there ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Krantz: Good Piranha Bad Piranha

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If Wayne Krantz seemed to be embracing vocals on Krantz Carlock Lefebvre (Abstract Logix, 2009), where he sang on a third of the tracks, then the transition seemed complete on Howie 61 (Abstract Logix, 2012), where he sang on eight of the ten tracks, with the guitar--at least as an improvisational tool--taking a back seat to more melodic concepts. Good Piranha Bad Piranha marks Krantz' return to instrumental territory and reunites him with long-standing sparring partners, Keith Carlock and Tim ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chingari: Bombay Makossa

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Released just days before the death of pioneering mandolin maestro U. Srinivas, Bombay Makossa assumes an added poignancy as one of his last recorded ventures in a career that began as a child prodigy in the late 1970s. Though nearly all the tracks were penned by Ranjit Barot Chingari was intended as a trio of equals. Accordingly, there's a fine compositional balance in the arrangements and tight trio interplay throughout. Chingari means spark in Hindi and collective sparks certainly fly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: The Boston Record

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The jny:Boston crowd's roars on this live set from John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension's 2013 tour say as much about the dazzling interplay of the band as it does about McLaughlin's enduring appeal. For sure, McLaughlin remains one of jazz-fusion's major draws but the acclaim has little to do with nostalgia and everything to do with the excitement that his performances--in whatever guise--generate. This incarnation of the 4th Dimension seems to have inspired McLaughlin to his fieriest electric playing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oz Noy: Twisted Blues Volume 2

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Two and a half years on from Twisted Blues Volume 1, guitar ace Oz Noy returns with another incendiary serving of jazz-inflected blues. In the intervening period Noy has hardly been idle, releasing a couple of instructional DVDs and touring regularly but his return to the recording studio with his blues bag is certainly welcome. As on Twisted Blues Vol 1, Noy surrounds himself with numerous collaborators--seventeen in total--and no two songs feature the same line-up. Though recorded two years ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension: The Boston Record

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Ever since guitarist John McLaughlin formed the 4th Dimension--his first electric fusion band in a decade--fans have been hoping he'd dig a little further into his back catalog. The wait is over with The Boston Record, a live album recorded in 2013 at Boston's Berklee College of Music. This isn't 4th Dimension's first live album, though it is the first to feature the seven year-old group's current configuration. Ranjit Barot, first heard with McLaughlin on Floating Point (Abstract ...


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