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Duke Ellington: Uppsala 1971

Read "Uppsala 1971" reviewed by Chris Mosey

From his first visit in 1939 to a concert a few months before his death in 1973, Duke Ellington took special pleasure in visiting Sweden. He composed a “Serenade to Sweden" and wrote a new arrangement for a very Swedish pop song, “I en rod liten stuga (In a Red Little Cottage)." He also entered into a fruitful collaboration with Swedish vocalist Alice Babs. This album, recorded at a concert in the great hall of Uppsala University on ...

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New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: Songs - The Music of Allen Toussaint

Read "Songs - The Music of Allen Toussaint" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

After a harrowing experience of administrative scandal, followed by near extinction, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of drummer Adonis Rose, rises phoenix-like from the ashes to release the first large orchestra consideration of New Orleans son Allen Toussaint. Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint is a celebration of the late composer, featuring nine selections either penned by or associated with him. Toussaint is NOLA royalty, whose name exists in the same breath as Cosimo Matassa, the Neville ...

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New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint

Read "Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Allen Toussaint (1938-2015), a composer / producer who made his mark in the broad spheres of R&B, rock and roll, funk, country and pop music, may seem at first glance an unusual choice for a big-band jazz tribute. On the other hand, the New Orleans native never strayed far from the pivotal music of his home city, embracing and supporting jazz even as he found other musical worlds to conquer. So when vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater remarked to Adonis Rose, ...

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Ben Webster: Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark

Read "Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark" reviewed by Chris Mosey

This is a small piece of jazz history. In January 1965, Ben Webster, newly arrived in Europe from America, was working out where to settle down. This concert shows why he decided on Copenhagen. The album starts with Webster making a point about the playing of his former boss Duke Ellington's “In A Mellotone." Webster argues his case on piano, an instrument he played well, while brusquely growling instructions to producer Børge Roger Henrichsen. There is a ...

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Thomas Fonnesbæk: Sharing

Read "Sharing" reviewed by Chris Mosey

The title is apt and perhaps a trifle ironic. Danish bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek and the blind young American pianist Justin Kauflin share a condition known as synaesthesia, in which their senses overlap and they experience music as color. For this, their second album together and recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden, they are joined on by Kauflin's childhood friend, drummer Billy Williams, who has worked with a number of first-class jazz musicians including Benny Golson, Ellis Marsalis and Christian ...

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Lars Jansson: Just This

Read "Just This" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Swedish pianist/composer Lars Jansson is a Zen Buddhist, concerned primarily with being in the moment. There can be difficulties--"To experience and accept all that happens in our lives is no easy matter," says Jansson. “It takes practice and an open mind (beginner's mind) to ignore expectations and preconceived attitudes and completely immerse oneself in the present as it unfolds." There are two songs on Just This that deal with this problem: the title track and “No Purpose." ...

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Morten Haxholm: Vestigium

Read "Vestigium" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The world of bass players in modern and post-bop jazz can be divided into two currents. On the one hand, you'll find the dominant character who leads the compositions with a decisive hand and frequent moments of striking ostinatos. On the other, one finds a personality who seems to walk through the composition and, like camouflage, conceal moments of pure bliss within the harmonic context and overall texture. While the former at times seems to have the song serving his ...


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