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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Three Sounds: Groovin' Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968

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The old tapes hide in the archives, deep in the dark corners of record company closets, and even the occasional back yard tool shed--Hal Schaefer's How Do You Like this Piano Playing (Summit Records, 2009). Finding and bringing these lost treasures to the listening public seems to have turned into an industry of its own. And praise be the effort. The year 2016 alone saw the releases of newly discovered gems by pianists Bill Evans, with Some Other Time, (Resonance ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorenzo de Finti Quartet: We Live Here

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After some time immersed in the world of electric jazz, Lorenzo de Finti decided it was time to return to the piano and base his next endeavor in warm acoustic tones, and the result is a beautifully cozy experience. The title looks like an obvious Pat Metheny homage which might suggest a feel of Americana, but the pianist's first Losen Records outing mostly shows a meditative chamber vibe instead and the phrase simply refers to being fully present in the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo: Peace

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The profusion of settings in which multi-instrumentalist/composer Satoko Fujii works is something of a phenomenon. The extent to which she brings something unique to each of those situations is even more astounding. In her husband Natsuki Tamura's Gato Libre quartet, Fujii typically plays the accordion to interpret the trumpeter's more lyrical and folkloric compositions. The pair has also recorded frequently as a piano/trumpet duo, often pushing the boundaries of modern improvisation. But it is in Fujii's orchestras--New York, Berlin and, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jay Thomas / Gary Smulyan: Lowdown Hoedown

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Sometimes the most joyous and satisfying things in life occur in the light of pure happenstance. Such was the case when New York based baritone saxophone master Gary Smulyan ventured west in the 90's to perform and teach at the Jazz Port Townsend Festival in Washington state, in those days directed by veteran saxman, Bud Shank. There he met an unusually remarkable and versatile musician, Jay Thomas, a jny: Seattle native and resident, and a friendship was forged that at ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and their inevitable aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend, Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a good deal of live material there. In 1979, Pepper was approached by a small Japanese niche label, Yupiteru, later to become Atlas ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957

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1957 was a banner year for hard bop and Blue Note. In one year, the label released 40 albums, including classics from John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin and eight by Jimmy Smith alone. In the midst of all that hard bop, Blue Note released two percussion-based albums that were way off the beaten path. Art Blakey's Orgy in Rhythm was a drum-fest of epic proportions. Sabu Martinez's Palo Congo was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ari Hoenig: The Pauper And The Magician

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Concept albums have largely been the domain of progressive rock bands, whilst jazzers tend to prefer the term 'suite' to describe thematically linked pieces of music. Ari Hoenig's The Pauper and the Magician is arguably more the former than the latter, as these six compositions are inspired by a fable-like tale of Hoenig's design, without overt musical continuity. But for the liner notes describing the narrative as it unfolds-an evil magician entices a panhandling pauper to enter his wicked realm--it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

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The Boston-based collective Club d'Elf seems to attract genre labels like nobody's business. Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz, trance, psychedelia, free jazz, electronica, hip hop, avant-garde, jam band, rock...what other styles have you got? At one point or another any of these labels could apply, but the distinctions are blurred in the joyous sonic stew. The band has hosted a dizzying array of players: their website includes long lists of “Special Guests," “Rotating Cast," and “Occasional Conspirators." But the core group of bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Soldier: The Eighth Hour Of Amduat

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The idea of crafting a classical/jazz opera from an ancient Egyptian funerary papyrus would probably be too much for most ordinary mortals to contemplate. But this kind of thing isn't at all unexpected for Dave Soldier, whose dedication to unusual and surprising projects has defined his long avocation in music. (His primary calling is as a professor of neurology at Columbia, where he is known as Dave Sulzer.) He first studied composition with Roscoe Mitchell as an undergraduate, and eventually ...


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