Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note

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Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker Blue Note New York, NY August 16, 2017 As part of a week-long residency at the Blue Note, legendary keyboardist-composer Bob James broke sonic bread with up-and-coming bassist Michael Palazzolo and faithful drummer Billy Kilson. The result of this communion was a head-nodding dive into one of jazz's most hallowed oeuvres. As was clear throughout this performance, central to the bandleader's commercial success--not counting the many times his ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book

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Most everything in Fred Hersch's oeuvre has always miraculously existed as slow read and page-turner all at once. The many phrases, songs, and albums spun from the mind and fingers of this highly expressive pianist-composer have been something to really take time with, to be savored and appreciated for their beauty and depth of creative thought. But his performances simultaneously invite curiosity about what sits around the next bend. That seemingly paradoxical duality is just one of the many gifts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Freeman: 90 Going On Amazing

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George Freeman has long been a homebody. Early on he made his mark on stage and/or in the studio with the best of the best--saxophone lodestars Lester Young and Charlie Parker, to mention just two--as they came through his hometown, Chicago. Touring did eventually figure into his career--he hit the road with soulful heavies Gene Ammons and Shirley Scott in the '50s--but he essentially gave up the travelling life about six decades ago. Since that time he's become a fixture ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Ineke: Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter

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Eric Ineke is a long time drummer, residing in the Netherlands, who is one of a coterie of sidemen favored by American expatriate jazz musicians for their European gigs. This fine compilation of his work with nine of the great tenor saxophonists gives the listener a golden opportunity to listen to some of their best workouts and compare their styles and approaches. The recording dates cover almost a half century from 1968 (Lucky Thompson) to 2014 (Dave Liebman ...

IN PICTURES
CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Konstrukt: L.O.T.U.S.

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With each new Konstrukt release I get anxious, wondering just where these Istanbul musicians, and current bearers of the free jazz banner, are headed next? To our Western ears, they seemingly arrived from nowhere. Turkish free jazz, really? But it didn't take long before we became familiar with names like guitarist Umut Çağlar, saxophonist Korhan Futacı, and bassist Barlas Tan Özemek. Together with a cast of other Turkish musicians that swelled, the ensemble attracted giants of free jazz, including Peter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Portico Quartet: Art in the Age of Automation

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It's an inevitable rule that pretty much any piece of automated technology, especially digital technology, gets criticized for replacing something natural. The synthesizer invited a backlash when it was used (and yes, often misused) as a substitute for 'real' instruments--ditto the computerized tones and robotic timekeeping of MIDI and digital programming. Nonetheless, it's just as inevitable that after each seemingly soulless invention comes along, someone figures out how to use it in ways artistic and meaningful. Joe Zawinul made early ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Five Women VII – Zoe Schwarz; Mercedes Figueras; Vivian Buczek; Carol Albert; Douyé

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Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion This Is the Life I Choose 33 Jazz Records 2017 Zoe Schwarz and her band, the Blue Commotion, have been making a name for themselves in their native England for the better part of this decade. With five albums to their credit, the band and singer have firmly established themselves as a progressive and provocative 21st Century blues band. Blue Commotion is nominally a guitar-organ trio, a tight funky one. Schwarz' ...

IN PICTURES

The Marquis Hill Project at MoMA

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Marquis Hill, a native of Chicago, is a highly skilled musician with a bent toward soulful post-bop. He holds degrees in music from Northern Illinois University and DePaul University. In 2014 he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition. He has performed with a wide array of artists, including Marcus Miller, Benny Golson, and Rodney Whitaker. His recent concert at MoMA included included Joel Ross (vibraphone), Chris Smith (bass), and Jonathan Barber (drums). Sunday, July 16 ...


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