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Articles | Featured | Future

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Bruno Raberg Trio: Tailwind

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Tailwind is the tenth album as a leader for Swedish-born, longtime Boston-resident bassist/composer Bruno Råberg. His most recent groups have been piano-less: Hot Box (Orbis Music, 2015) was a quartet with trumpet, saxophone and drums; For The Unknown (Orbis Music, 2016) brought back the same group sans drums, and was entirely based on freely improvised music. Both albums also featured Råberg's electronic post-processing. By comparison this is a much more mainstream affair: an acoustic trio with pianist Bruce Barth and ...

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Ran Blake / Christine Correa: Streaming

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Pianist Ran Blake has been known for his duo work with vocalists dating back to his 1962 collaboration with Jeanne Lee, The Newest Sound Around (RCA Victor). In recent years, he has been working with three individualistic singers, Sara Serpa, Dominique Eade and Christine Correa. The year 2017 brought a session of folk songs and soundtrack music with Eade, the excellent Town And Country (Sunnyside Records). This time it's Correa's turn in a program of mostly jazz and pop standards. ...

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Bruno Raberg: Tailwind

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In a 2005 interview, double bassist Bruno Råberg discussed how Scandinavian music reflects the country's vast mountains and forests. “You can see very far and that calmness and meditative spirituality comes through," he says. Born in Sweden, but a longtime resident of Boston, you sense Råberg still carries his homeland close to the heart. For sure his acclaimed composing has touched base with many cultures. His previous range includes the lush Music For Strings & Soloists (Orbis Music, ...

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Ran Blake & Christine Correa: Streaming

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Back in 1946, Ran Blake watched The Spiral Staircase and was rather freaked. This classic chiller's opening scene shows a silent film flickering whilst a woman accompanies the visuals on piano. Blake later composed his own piano sketches for each character and wrote fan letters to the entire cast. His only reply came from Carlton, the housekeeper's sleepy bulldog, via a paw print autograph. Blake also claims a childhood interest in Irish ghost stories and church spirituals. Thus ...

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Noah Preminger-Frank Carlberg: Whispers And Cries

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A duo doing standards doesn't theoretically smack of originality in 2018, yet a number of present tense saxophone-piano pairings have demonstrated otherwise. Last fall, soprano maverick Sam Newsome and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc went down the rabbit hole with a good number of classics for Magic Circle (Self Produced, 2017)); around the same time, saxophone icon Dave Liebman and piano elder statesman Martial Solal presented a half-dozen gems given over to exploration during Masters In Bordeaux (Sunnyside, 2017); and now, rising ...

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Chris McCarthy: Sonder

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You won't find too many jazz musicians eager to cover post-punk stalwarts Deerhoof on their debut record, as keyboardist Chris McCarthy does on Sonder. But maybe McCarthy's not too interested in being regarded as just a “jazz musician." If anything, the cross-genre creativity on display here suggests that McCarthy is trying to make music beyond category--and to a large extent he succeeds. The diversity of the repertoire itself reveals a great deal about the broad sweep of McCarthy's ...

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Andrew Schiller Quintet: Tied Together, Not to the Ground

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Andrew Schiller may be fairly young and only starting his recording career, but he's already learned some very good lessons. His debut as a leader demonstrates a level of compositional smarts that's impressive at any age, quietly building a series of coolly thoughtful quintet pieces, boasting an excellent ensemble and arranging each part in service of a well-constructed whole. From listening alone, you wouldn't guess that his earliest musical experiences came with playing electric bass in a punk ...

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CLAZZ Ensemble & Frank Carlberg: Federico on Broadway

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Pianist/composer Frank Carlberg teams up with the Netherlands-based Clazz Ensemble for some truly off-kilter and wryly humorous musical mayhem on Federico on Broadway. Like Willem Breuker and Carla Bley, Carlberg's music has roots in the avant- garde but has gravitated slowly towards the tonal. Like Bley and Breuker, Carlberg has a humorous streak, and he's fond of incorporating odd bits of non-jazz influences into his long-form compositions. To that end, Federico on Broadway finds Carlberg proudly wearing his musical obsessions ...

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Ro Sham Beaux: Ro Sham Beaux

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The four New England Conservatory students who make up Ro Sham Beaux would have you believe that their sound is some kind of convoluted indie-rock/jazz hybrid. That pretense is present in the rock 'n' roll production values of the record and in the album artwork; it's even there in the press release.That's all well and good, but only serves to confuse the issue. This quartet is a cookin' little jazz combo, hard working and fun, with every indication ...

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Ro Sham Beaux: Ro Sham Beaux

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Most jazz tunes are arranged in a certain way: head, solos, head. It's a valid and useful way to present improvised musical ideas based on a theme or chord progression. The head can be a simple melody or a convoluted riot of contrasting harmonies and tempi. Rock or pop songs are constructed differently: verse, chorus, verse, plus an intervening bridge and perhaps a short instrumental solo. Ro Sham Beaux plays around with both of these archetypes in an amusing and ...

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Frank Carlberg: Uncivilized Ruminations

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Pianist/composer Frank Carlberg continues to perfect his distinctive blend of poetry and left-of-center jazz. Carlberg does it together with a stellar cast of close collaborators; most important of them is vocalist Christine Correra, with whom he has been collaborating for two decades. Both have performed poetry by Wallace Stevens on Variations on a Summer Day (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2000); Jack Kerouac, Robert Creeley, and others on In the Land of Art State of the Union (Fresh Sound New Talent, ...

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Nicholas Urie: My Garden

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Nicholas Urie made an impressive footprint with the release of his Excerpts From and Online Dating Service (Red Piano Records, 2009). The composer/arranger modus operandi changes little on My Garden, where he takes his texts from the poetry of West Coast writer Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), and weaves them into provocative and often violent tapestries of contemporary big band sounds. Bukowski was a gutter poet laureate, who at the height of his popularity, labored in a Post Office ...