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Sonic Liberation 8 with Classical Revolution Trio & Oliver Lake: Bombogenic

Read "Bombogenic" reviewed by Dave Wayne

There are a few artists out there who are successfully merging authentic traditional Afro-Cuban and Caribbean rhythms with 21st Century jazz in a way that refers to, but doesn't sound like, typical Latin jazz: Adam Rudolph's Go Organic Orchestra and Kip Hanrahan's various groups immediately come to mind. Taking their cues equally from the early 70s recordings of Miles Davis and Weather Report, from Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra, and from contemporary composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Morton Feldman, ...

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Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts: Hang Time

Read "Hang Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Hang Time consists of music written and performed by two student ensembles at the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts: Group Giz, an octet directed by trumpeter Greg Gisbert, and Group Gunn, a septet presided over by pianist Eric Gunnison. The CCJA is a non-profit organization “dedicated to empowering youth to creatively express themselves through the language of jazz." Drummer Paul Romaine serves as the Conservatory's artistic director. Aside from its reassurance that the future of jazz ...

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Sonic Liberation Front: Meets Sunny Murray

Read "Meets Sunny Murray" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Sonic Liberation Front--the inheritors of both Sun Ra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago's traditions--teams up with jazz legend, drummer Sunny Murray, to create both a studio and live recording. The music continues SLF's dedicated effort to mine the percussive traditions of Afro-Cuban, Yoruba/West Africa, and American-fostered free jazz. The percussion-heavy band's previous release, Change Over Time (High Two, 2006), included some electronic flavors. Here, the sound is all acoustic, with free jazz drummer Murray providing the inspiration ...

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Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square

Read "Let Nature Square" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The cooperative quartet ShotXShot has most assuredly earned all of the acclaim for its first release, Shot x Shot (High Two Recordings, 2006), which seemingly came out nowhere, as well as this second remarkable recording, Let Nature Square. The former album was recorded live in a church and the music was designed to take advantage of the acoustics. While this album was recorded in a studio, it is closer to what the band really sounds like, since ...

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ShotXShot: Let Nature Square

Read "Let Nature Square" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

The ShotXShot formula is a simple one. It follows the Ornette Coleman model of group improvisation on set themes, although its music doesn't sound like Coleman's harmolodics. It has a rolling, mellifluous sound, without Coleman's sharp angles. And rather than the sax/trumpet front line of Coleman's classic quartet, it has the twin saxophones of Bryan Rogers and Dan Scofield. But group improvisation is important to the ShotXShot sound in a crucial way: simultaneous soloing gives it a full but casual ...

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Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square

Read "Let Nature Square" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The band Shot x Shot excels in the art of group improvisation. A term tossed about too often without consideration for the words, 'group' and 'improvisation.'

This, their second recording, follows the self titled 2006 live date from St. Mary's church at the University of Pennsylvania. It had a ghostlike sound, a sort of archeological remnant, with echoey vibrations bouncing throughout the church. The quartet, formed at Philadelphia's University of The Arts, is comprised of saxophonist Dan Scofield ...

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Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square

Read "Let Nature Square" reviewed by Troy Collins

Shot x Shot is an acoustic quartet comprised of twenty-something graduates of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Their sophomore effort, Let Nature Square, is their first studio recording, following their highly acclaimed 2006 live, self-titled debut on High Two.

Saxophonists Dan Scofield (alto) and Bryan Rogers (tenor) make up the effusive front line, with Matt Engle (bass) and Dan Capecchi (drums) forming a pliant rhythm section. All scene regulars, Scofield and Engle are members of ...

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Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square

Read "Let Nature Square" reviewed by Lyn Horton

A group of voices does not have to sound like a choir. In fact, a contemporary take on choral work might be one where each voice takes its own liberties, possibly in improvisation. Inherent in that process is joint collaboration and framing of an idea, in a perhaps unspoken agreement that permits a reasonable flow. Voices can also be instrumental. And it is the quality of their regulation within parameters of a straight-ahead freedom that delivers good music.

Let Nature ...

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His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute To Marion Brown

Read "Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute To Marion Brown" reviewed by Chris May

Starting with a bold and beautiful idea--to perform a concert tribute to an iconic musician from an earlier age while that musician is still with us--His Name Is Alive have gone on to record an album of such oh-my-god beauty and vitality that the listener may at first be reduced to silent, slack-jawed wonder. And while we'll never know whether trumpeter Miles Davis would have approved bassist/producer Bill Laswell's reconstruction of his music on Panthalassa (Columbia, 1997), we do know ...

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Normal Love: Normal Love

Read "Normal Love" reviewed by James Taylor

Normal Love is a beautiful mess--I'm sure we can all attest to that. But seriously, Normal Love, the band, is a five-piece ensemble from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that straddles the seemingly distant divide between thrash-metal noisecore and 20th Century composition. Their self-titled debut, on boundary busting record label High Two, is a nerve-tingling exposition, as dissonant chords and meandering anti-melodies tug, tear and torture the soul of the listener. It's important to note that the ...

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His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown

Read "Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Everything old is new again, even “the new thing is, well, “the new thing again.

In the 1960s, as the moldy conservatives and even the hard bop practitioners were trying to define jazz as one specific thing. Suddenly, the music exploded into multiple directions. Aided by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, adventurism jazz musicians like Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, Sun Ra, Joseph Jarman, and Marion Brown incorporated freedom and Afro-centric themes into the mix.

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His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown

Read "Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown" reviewed by Troy Collins

Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown is His Name Is Alive's meditative ode to the work of the under-sung free jazz saxophonist. Veterans of the American rock underground, His Name Is Alive has been exploring various musical tangents since the early 1990s, slowly moving closer and closer to a more improvisational, jazz-oriented base.

The brainchild of Michigan-based, multi-instrumentalist/producer Warren Defever, His Name Is Alive was initially signed to the illustrious British label 4AD, a ...