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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

David Hazeltine and Mike Kaplan: Two Perspectives On Cedar Walton

Read "David Hazeltine and Mike Kaplan: Two Perspectives On Cedar Walton" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Years ago, I often went to a club in which a guest soloist was coupled with the house rhythm section. At one point in nearly every opening set, in an effort to find some common ground, the leader called Cedar Walton's “Bolivia." Sitting and waiting in anticipation for the theme to be played became an important part of witnessing each performance. Regardless of who was on the bandstand, “Bolivia" never failed to bring out the best in everyone.

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Gilad Edelman: My Groove, Your Move

Read "My Groove, Your Move" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Gilad Edelman is the son of Marc Edelman, the brains and will behind Sharp Nine Records, a fiercely independent label which has produced some of the finest straight-ahead jazz records of the past fifteen years. Despite limited resources and operating in the midst of the industry's severe downturn, Sharp Nine has released impressive recordings by significant, well-traveled artists like pianists David Hazeltine and Tardo Hammer, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, alto saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith, the bands Planet Jazz and One For ...

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Dmitry Baevsky: The Composers

Read "The Composers" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

In some respects, The Composers is cut from the same cloth as Down With It, Dmitry Baevsky's 2010 release on Sharp Nine. The alto saxophonist selects seldom-played compositions from the jazz canon and executes thoughtful interpretations, so that the heads of tunes like Cedar Walton's “Ojos de Rojo," Wayne Shorter's “Mister Chairman," and Duke Ellington's “Self Portrait (of the Bean)" stand quite nicely on their own. A crack rhythm section consisting of pianist David Hazeltine, bassist John Webber, and drummer ...

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Dmitry Baevsky: Down With It

Read "Down With It" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

As jazz moves in many different directions and breaks free from the all too familiar and readily categorized sounds of its first century, how does an artist make bebop sound like something other than an exercise in nostalgia or an academic pursuit? In the hands of the thirty-four year-old alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky, bop is still a vein worth mining. Down With It, Baevsky's third date as a leader, contains an inspired selection of material, smart execution, and some marvelously ...

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Grant Stewart: Plays the Music of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

Read "Plays the Music of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by George Kanzler

Here's a refreshing take on Ellingtonia, one that doesn't rely on the overdone ("Take the A Train," “Perdido") or easy ("C-Jam Blues"). Canadian native Grant Stewart brings a post-Swing, combo approach to his Ellingtonia, even going so far as to reference Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk{{ and the {{Duke Ellington/John Coltrane collaboration. The tenor saxophonist, whose own distinctive style has echoes of Clifford Jordan and later Al Cohn in tone and conception, leads a pos tbop/hard bop-leaning ...

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Joe Locke / David Hazeltine: Mutual Admiration Society 2

Read "Mutual Admiration Society 2" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

In the last year of the twentieth century, Sharp Nine Records released Mutual Admiration Society, a quartet date co-led by vibraphonist Joe Locke and pianist David Hazeltine, which also included bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Billy Drummond. A brainchild of Sharp Nine honcho Marc Edelman, the collaboration between these two longtime friends was based on a desire to explore each other's strengths. Hazeltine was keen on interacting with the blues-oriented, earthy side of Locke's playing, as well as experiencing the ...

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Tardo Hammer: Look Stop & Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron

Read "Look Stop & Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Nearly a decade ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Hammer Time, the impressive debut album by (as I wrote then) an “enormously talented" young pianist, Tardo Hammer. While we've both grown older since then, I am happy to report that at least one of us (guess who) has continued on an upward path. Hammer's latest album for Sharp Nine Records (his fourth) is another handsome feather in his cap. The lively and engaging session is devoted entirely to music ...


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