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The Comet Is Coming: Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

Read "Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery" reviewed by Chris May

In 2018, saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings' Sons Of Kemet became the first British band to be signed to the canonical US label Impulse. That partnership has now been augmented with the futuristic trio The Comet Is Coming, in which Hutchings goes under the alias King Shabaka. Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery is the band's second, extraordinary, genre-melting album. In the late 1950s, the New Yorker's jazz critic Whitney Balliett coined the phrase “the ...

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John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition

Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

The fulsome clarity of the monaural sound on Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album by John Coltrane may be just the gateway necessary to entice those listeners used to a single home speakers, ear buds or their smart phones. After all, as Ashley Kahn notes in his lengthy essay, this double set of compact discs features the iconic saxophonist's classic quartet in its prime, and so deserves to be heard by musiclovers of all stripes and equipment setups, not ...

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John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Half a century after his passing, the music of John Coltrane continues to be studied, analyzed and enjoyed for its historical and musical exceptionality. Every few years it seems that another undiscovered collection surfaces and is met with enviable enthusiasm, much of it centered around speculating where Coltrane's music was going at a point in time, and the unanswerable question of where it may have ended up. Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album captures the saxophonist on the brink ...

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John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

The day before John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison convened at the Van Gelder studios in Englewood Cliffs, John, Paul, George and Ringo recorded “From Me To You" at Abbey Road in seven takes. That night the Coltrane quartet tore apart Birdland and the next day recorded an album with John Hartman. Music was changing everywhere and, thus, the world. Bob Thiele's voice is the first we hear, cutting through the political panic of fifty ...

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Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is A Reptile

Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

There is nothing quite like the Sons of Kemet. In a genre that struggles with the perception that it too often becomes mired in sameness and safety, this is a group that embraces the African roots of jazz while skirting the very essence of the genre. Eye-opening deviations come from unexpected places and in the case of Your Queen Is a Reptile, that source is London's “New School," or so-called “New British Invasion" in jazz. Including the likes of Kendrick ...

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Lee Konitz: Frescalalto

Read "Frescalalto" reviewed by Ian Patterson

For over seven decades, since his participation in Miles Davis's 1949-1950 Birth of the Cool sessions, Lee Konitz has carved out a tireless path as one of jazz's most illuminating improvisers. Recorded at the tail end of 2015, when he was already 87 years old, Frescalalto sees Konitz in a straight-ahead session effectively marshalled by the trio of Kenny Barron, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, who provide bags of rhythmic momentum. Standards and Konitz originals make for familiar fare, with ...

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Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Read "Space Is The Place" reviewed by James Fleming

He was a solar flare, a surge of energy that rocketed across great distances and divides, bestowing all he encountered with unforgettable memories and disrupting radio transmissions. Science-fiction, transcendentalism, and jazz coalesced in the being called Sun Ra. A radical concoction, sky-bound and heaven-sent. Ra's music was always stratospheric, always reaching above and beyond. His constant striving resulted in an abundance of stellar records. But as a sonic statement and philosophical manifesto, 1973's Space Is The Place stands ...

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Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is A Reptile

Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" reviewed by Chris May

It is appropriate that this, British-based Sons of Kemet's third album, should be released under the Impulse banner. During its heyday, Impulse was the home of John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders and as such was the chief platform for the cosmic/spiritual jazz movement of the 1960s and 1970s and that movement's demand for white-majority society's recognition of black culture and respect for black people. In 2018, the multi-racial Sons of Kemet, led by tenor saxophonist and composer Shabaka ...

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Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra: Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings

Read "Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Formed by bassist Charlie Haden in 1969 to protest America's war in Vietnam/Indochina, the Liberation Music Orchestra has reconvened roughly every ten years to record musical protest in the face of major injustices. Time/Life: Song for the Whales and Other Beings was inspired by concern at global ecological destruction, and to that end the music has a pervasive melancholy colored by the LMO's signature lyricism, and broken up by stirring collective and individual passages. The LMO's personnel has ...

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Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band

Read "Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

A film director once said that you can't make a great film with a weak script. The same goes for bands of any kind be it jazz or rock or any kind. You can't have a great band without a great drummer. A band can get by with an average bassist or guitarist, but not with an average drummer. It's the heartbeat of any band. One of the things that has made the band Rolling Stones what they are is ...

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John Scofield: Country for Old Men

Read "John Scofield: Country for Old Men" reviewed by John Kelman

When guitarist Bill Frisell first began a more decided focus on roots music, bluegrass and country & western music with the release of 1996's Nashville (Nonesuch), despite being largely very well-received, jazz purists rankled when the largely bluegrass/folk-informed album began to garner awards like Downbeat Magazine's Best Jazz Album of the Year. While Frisell's oftentimes Americana-tinged work has, in the ensuing years, become more fully accepted for the wonderful music that it is, fellow six-stringer John Scofield is unlikely to ...

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Madeleine Peyroux: Secular Hymns

Read "Secular Hymns" reviewed by John Eyles

Remarkably, Madeleine Peyroux's Secular Hymns comes twenty years after her debut release, Dreamland (Atlantic, 1996), which catapulted her into the public eye and garnered heaps of praise. Since then her voice has often been compared to mid-career Billie Holiday, and that comparison remains valid on Secular Hymns. Some singers would find that a millstone around their neck, but Peyroux continues to wear it well. It is surprising that, two decades since Dreamland, this is only her seventh solo album release. ...


Summertime Magic

Statik Link captures the sound of Soul and Jazz that was popular in the 1970s with a modern twist. The trumpet, saxophones, and drums were recorded with vintage microphones for a tone like no other.

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