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Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club: Adventures

Read "Adventures" reviewed by Virginia A. Schaefer

Adventures is the high-energy first release of Explorer's Club, led by accomplished saxophonist and composer Charlie Kohlhase. The septet includes a guitarist, bassist, two drummers, two saxophonists, and trombonist. Kohlhase puts together their expertise to produce an impressive range of instrumental combinations, timbres, and textures in the outside-but-accessible style for which he's known.

Kohlhase's compositions (all but three tracks) describe the escapades of alternative superheroes and other unique characters. While Kohlhase's liner notes evoke comic-strip character Caspar Milquetoast, the main ...

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Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble: Proverbs of Sam

Read "Proverbs of Sam" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Master of semi-exotic Eastern double-reed instruments, Bill Cole has spent most of his professional life as an academic. Criminally under-recorded, when Seasoning the Greens, a 2001 concert of his Untempered Ensemble was released in 2002, fans of freely improvised worldbeat jazz only had to wait one year. So the question raised by Proverbs of Sam is: what took so long? Featuring the three long improvisations that comprised the Ensemble's set at the Vision Festival in June of 2001 and a ...

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Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club: Adventures

Read "Adventures" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Charlie Kohlhase is an entertaining adventurer. In his role as a composer, he draws on several influences. His eye is on the final dimension and in pursuing that, he uses a wide range of styles. Taken individually the styles seem to be odd bedfellows, but when the course of their journey has been charted, they have comingled seamlessly. His sense of humor gives room to his comic book heroes who find root in his compositions and rise with a devilish ...

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Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club: Adventures

Read "Adventures" reviewed by Troy Collins

A longstanding veteran of the Boston jazz scene, multi-instrumentalist Charlie Kohlhase's skills as a bandleader were honed as a member of the esteemed Either/Orchestra and through collaborations with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai. The Explorer's Club is his newest venture, a powerhouse line-up featuring two drummers. Encompassing a range of dynamics, from AACM styled impressionism and Mingus-inspired collective interplay to riotous New Thing-era free expression, the septet exudes a mercurial sensibility redolent of Kohlhase's former teacher, trombonist Roswell Rudd. ...

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Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble: Proverbs for Sam

Read "Proverbs for Sam" reviewed by Troy Collins

Proverbs for Sam is dedicated to the late saxophonist Sam Furnace, a charter member of double reed master Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble. The majority of the album is culled from the 2001 Vision Festival in New York, while the majestic finale is drawn from the same 2001 Burlington, Vermont concert documented on Seasoning of the Greens (Boxholder Records, 2002). These live recordings feature some of Furnace's last performances with the Ensemble, who passed away in 2004.

Since the ...

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Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble: Proverbs for Sam

Read "Proverbs for Sam" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Bill Cole has such a typical American name that those unfamiliar with his music could be forgiven for expecting to hear quintessential American jazz on his recorded offerings. Cole, a rare breed of jazz artist who has focused his efforts on uniting Eastern sounds with the American art form, is a musical seeker who has, over the better part of four decades, mastered an array of non-traditional, non-Western instruments: the Chinese Sona, Australian Digeridoo, Indian Shenai, Ghanaian flute, and Indian ...

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Bobby Few: Lights and Shadows

Read "Lights and Shadows" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Bobby Few has had an impressive career as a pianist. Though he studied classical music, he weaned himself from that when he first heard jazz. His playing now rides several styles that open in a swell of harmonic inventions and rich chord structures. His ability has seen him in the comfort zone with Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp, Alan Silva, Noah Howard and, more recently, Avram Fefer.

Few goes solo here with six of his own compositions and one ...

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The Jack & Jim Show: Hearing is Believing

Read "Hearing is Believing" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

One never knows with Eugene Chadbourne. The multi-faceted entertainer is a mine full of surprises. He plays the banjo, the guitar and the electric rake, besides singing and composing. He has worked with musicians whose styles are diverse, yet he makes a compact fit. How many could lay claim to being one in spirit and song with John Zorn, Jello Biafra, Han Bennink, Bela Fleck and the Sun City Girls, to name just a few?

Among his many innovative collaborations ...

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Bobby Few: Lights and Shadows

Read "Lights and Shadows" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Count pianist Bobby Few as one of those jazz artists deserving more recognition. Chalk his low profile up to expatriation--he's lived in Paris since 1969. Unless you've followed the career of Albert Ayler--Few played on Ayler's Music is the Healing Force of the Universe (Impulse!, 1969)--or soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (Few was the pianist in Lacy's sextet from 1982-92), chances are that this distinctive stylist hasn't cascaded, with his lush and tumultuous approach, onto your listening radar.Though appearing ...

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Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology

Read "Duology" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Duology is an extremely interesting album that shows how much musical communication depends upon the players and not the instrumentation. Michael Marcus, who plays all manner of reed instruments, sticks to Bb clarinet here, while Ted Daniel plays four members of the trumpet family, including something called a Moroccan bugle. The lack of a rhythm section and chordal instrument actually expands the possibilities of interaction between Marcus and Daniel. Once the starkness of the musical setting is ...

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Michael Marcus & Ted Daniel: Duology

Read "Duology" reviewed by Troy Collins

Duology pairs multi-instrumentalist Michael Marcus and trumpeter Ted Daniel in a series of unique, vibrant duets. Eschewing his usual arsenal of horns, Marcus limits himself to B-flat clarinet, while Daniel alternates between a few members of the trumpet family for subtle variety. With a selection of brief skeletal miniatures, Marcus and Daniel deliver a snapshot of jazz history, from its syncopated Dixieland roots to AACM-influenced abstraction.

Both seasoned veterans, Marcus and Daniel use these fundamental tools of the ...

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John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

Read "Good Night Songs" reviewed by Bill Bennett

Justly renowned since the 1960s as one of the most lyrical and imaginative players in the avant-garde, Afro-Danish reedman John Tchicai shows no signs of diminishing creativity, although he recently celebrated his 70th birthday. He has collaborated with Boston-area musicians Charlie Kohlhase and Garrison Fewell in several contexts, but this tour was the first time the three had worked as a trio.

Tchicai plays tenor sax and bass clarinet; Kohlhase tenor, alto and baritone saxophones; Fewell guitar, chopsticks (!) and ...


40 Years Of The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal

The Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th edition this year with some outstanding presentations scheduled at various venues around the city. Running from June 27 to July 6, this year's festival includes both indoor and outdoor events, free and ticketed events, with a program that includes Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Scott, Richard Galliano, Stacy Kent, Joshua Redman, John Pizzarelli, Keyon Harrold, Gilad Hekselman, Roberto Fonseca, Donny McCaslin and more.

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