From Far and Wide

An umbrella column, these articles oftentimes defy categorization.

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Back to Brazil: Part Three

Read "Back to Brazil: Part Three" reviewed by Mark Holston

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 A singer who needs no introduction, Eliane Elias sculpts a predictably sensual soundscape on Love Stories (Concord). The nine-track project features a string orchestra and lush arrangements by Rob Mathes, unobtrusive rhythm section chores by a cadre of Brazilian percussionists, and the steady hand of bassist Marc Johnson. The slinky French film opening track, “A Man and a Woman," establishes a mood of 1960s-era relaxed romanticism that prevails throughout most ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Back to Brazil: Part Two

Read "Back to Brazil: Part Two" reviewed by Mark Holston

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Part Two of this series on recent Brazilian-influenced releases continues with further discussion of the Samba Jazz genre. The style's heyday, from the early to mid-1960s, produced what Brazilian music critics consider to be landmark recordings. The early champions of the instrumental and more jazz-oriented version of Bossa Nova included such pioneers as pianist Sérgio Mendes and his Bossa Rio Septet; baritone saxophonist Moacir Santos; drummers Dom Um Romão, Milton ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Back to Brazil: Part One

Read "Back to Brazil: Part One" reviewed by Mark Holston

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The recent passing of Brazilian music icon João Gilberto at the age of 88 invites us to reflect on the music revolution he was influential in sparking over six decades ago. The singer and guitarist, partnering with composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, announced the arrival of a distinctly new style with his 1958 recording of Jobim's “Chega de Saudade," and the new Brazilian sound, dubbed Bossa Nova (the “New Thing," among ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Polish Jazz: Under The Surface

Read "Polish Jazz: Under The Surface" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The article was originally published in a special English edition of Jazz Forum magazine prepared for Jazzahead! 2018. It was the summer of 2002. A friend had just passed me a copy of Tomasz Stańko's latest CD on ECM—Soul Of Things, and was raving about the young trio backing the legendary trumpeter. In no time, I too was bowled over by the musicianship of Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michał Miśkiewicz—all then in their twenties. The ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Ryles Jazz Club Closes

Read "Ryles Jazz Club Closes" reviewed by Paul Combs

I wrote the following article for the February issue of my monthly newsletter. As of the end of June this year, Ryles Jazz Club will cease to exist, unless someone comes along to buy it and reopen it, which seems unlikely at this point. The latest news from a newspaper was this article in the Boston Globe. Even though I no longer live in Cambridge, I have my own history with this club, mentioned in the article. I plan to ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Improvising Where No Man Has Gone Before: Encountering William Shatner, Star Trek, And “The Wrath Of Khan”

Read "Improvising Where No Man Has Gone Before: Encountering William Shatner, Star Trek, And “The Wrath Of Khan”" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

I am a Trekkie. No apologies for that. There are millions of us floating around in the universe. So when I saw that Captain James Tiberius Kirk, aka William Shatner, was going to appear in person and give a talk after a showing of the classic film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, I decided to go. I played a weird hunch that All About Jazz publisher Michael Ricci is also a Trekkie, and he confirmed my worst suspicion. ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

The World's First International Online Contest by 7 Virtual Jazz Club

Read "The World's First International Online Contest by 7 Virtual Jazz Club" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

On December 19th 2016, the first international online jazz contest ended with the announcement of the three winners. Organized by Valerio Pappi the artistic director of “7 Virtual Jazz Club" the inaugural edition of this innovative competition was dedicated to cornetist Nick La Rocca. Born of Sicilian parents in jny: New Orleans, La Rocca, despite the controversies surrounding him, is of immense historical importance as leading the first ever jazz recording. The disc, of course, is the 78 RPM Dixieland ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Jazz In Buenos Aires: Fresh Breezes From The South

Read "Jazz In Buenos Aires: Fresh Breezes From The South" reviewed by Mark Holston

Galería Apolo is one of many 1950s-style shopping arcades that flank Avenida Corrientes, the gaudy, pedestrian-packed “Broadway" of Argentina's cosmopolitan and bustling capital city. A dimly lit galería, it's the kind of one-stop-shopping destination where tiny specialty shops sell everything from comic books to costume jewelry and a visitor can get a watch repaired or satisfy a caffeine craving. It is a miniscule retail space called Minton's, however, that commands the most fervent customer loyalty. jny: Buenos Aires boasts many ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Colombian Festivals: Exotic Jazz Cocktails

Read "Colombian Festivals: Exotic Jazz Cocktails" reviewed by Mark Holston

As the season of summer jazz festivals in the U.S. winds down to a precious few, including California's iconic, mid-September Monterey Jazz Festival, the eyes and ears of seasoned aficionados may be focused on options in other lands. Don't be surprised if an increasing number of North American fans will find much to their liking in the South American nation of Colombia, a mere three or four hour flight south from many major U.S. cities. Late September and October finds ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

The Word is Beat: Jazz, Poetry & the Beat Generation

Read "The Word is Beat: Jazz, Poetry & the Beat Generation" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

It is the aspiration of much literature that it wants to change the way we look at the world, but few authors and poets have been as influential as the group of writers labeled the Beat Generation. They saw a lot that they did not like about American society in the fifties when they came of age, and they did their best to change it through their literature and a new practice of living. They grew up in the climate ...

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A Jazz Holiday In Rio

Read "A Jazz Holiday In Rio" reviewed by Mark Holston

For most, mention a trip to Brazil and what comes automatically to mind is that vast tropical country's annual Carnaval celebration and the lure of its endless beaches. The high season, from December to early March, is when this nation of 200 million receives the most visitors by far. During Brazil's winter season, from roughly from mid-June into early September, when temperatures retreat from summer highs by as much as 30 degrees, foreign visitation becomes just a trickle compared to ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Unseen Recordings: Copenhagen Jazzhouse Launches New Web Channel for Experimental Music

Read "Unseen Recordings: Copenhagen Jazzhouse Launches New Web Channel for Experimental Music" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

There was a time when MTV was the place to discover new music, especially in the world of pop, but since the heyday of MTV a lot of things have happened. Nowadays, web channels like YouTube and Vimeo are the places to discover new music and both listeners and artists upload their own videos. In many ways this is the ideal situation, but there is a problem. The quality of the videos is often poor and they are ...