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CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia: Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987

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It's truly a shame that, all too often, artists with diverse careers become pigeon-holed, defined by the primary genre in which they first achieved notoriety. Take guitarist John McLaughlin, for instance. Ask most jazz fans about him and what will first come out of most of their mouths will include either the words “fusion," “jazz-rock" and/or Miles Davis, in any permutation/combination (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those a little further in the know might also be aware of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Seamus Blake / Chris Cheek: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

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Friends and musical collaborators for more than two decades, New York tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek have been leaders, sidemen and big band soloist throughout their distinguished careers and seem to cherish their roles as co-leaders on joint projects such as their critically-acclaimed Reeds Ramble (Criss Cross Jazz, 2014). Let's Call the Whole Thing Off is their follow up album bringing together the same quintet they call Reeds Ramble which include pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Matt Penman and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford/Hafez Modirzadeh/Mark Dresser/Alex Cline: Live At The Open Gate

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Veteran cornetist Bobby Bradford's penchant for conversational give and take in tandem with another horn is much in evidence on this 2013 live date from The Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. And in alto saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, a Professor of Creative/World Music at San Francisco State University, he has found a foil who at times recalls his erstwhile employer Ornette Coleman in his insouciant garrulousness and even evokes his elemental country blues wail. Vastly experienced bassist Mark Dresser ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Flying Machines: Flying Machines

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Flying Machines is the eponymous debut album by a group led by British guitarist Alex Munk whose late father Roger Munk was the inspiration for the project. Munk Senior was a leading figure in the design and construction of modern airships, otherwise known as Hybrid Air Vehicles. Munk Junior graduated in 2009 from Leeds College of Music with first class honours where he was awarded the prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship. He then progressed his academic prowess at London's Royal Academy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Black Art Jazz Collective: Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club

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The Black Art Jazz Collective was founded in 2013 by saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and drummer Johnathan Blake, with bassist Dwayne Burno added shortly thereafter, and further expanded by trombonist James Burton (III) and pianist Xavier Davis. The group's first performance was Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in April, 2013. Sadly, Burno died in December of that year, and was eventually replaced by Vicente Archer. The avowed purpose of the group is to celebrate Black culture, particularly jazz, but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Musillami/Rich Syracuse: Of The Night

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It would be hard to name an artist who has written more jazz standards than saxophonist Wayne Shorter, someone who has been penning memorable tunes since his days with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the very early sixties. After his stint with Blakey, he contributed his singular song crafting acumen to Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet in the same decade, as well as recording numerous albums under his own name on Blue Note Records during that time. Now, the year ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harry Allen's All Star New York Saxophone Band: The Candy Men

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The legendary Four Brothers reed section of Woody Herman's famous “Second Herd" big band of 1947, (Herbie Steward, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and Serge Chaloff) is reimagined and reinvigorated by jazz icons Harry Allen, Eric Alexander, Grant Stewart and Gary Smulyan on the exciting, swinging and audacious recording of The Candy Men by Harry Allen's All Star New York Saxophone Band. Offering a sensational set of twelve bop-infused tunes containing some hard-driving, mid-tempo swing pieces to breathy and bossa-styled ballads, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Eight Track II

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Sequels are a tricky business, often playing to expectations and hewing close to the formula(s) that helped spawn them in the first place. For many, for those very reasons, they're automatically viewed as a slam dunk, aiding in the creation and extension of a franchise entertainment experience for general audiences that went in hard for the original; for critics, however, they're usually a losing bet. Few who wield the pen or keyboard with a critical gaze look kindly upon these ...


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