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CATCHING UP WITH

Lauren Lee: On Being Uncool

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Lauren Lee is one of a new breed of singer-songwriter. She has all the bona fides of a traditional jazz singer and pianist, but she needs to do things her own way. As a singer and composer, she gives her imprimatur to cross-cultural experimentation and off-the-beaten-track forms of vocal expression, never straying far from the post-bop mother ship. All About Jazz: Since you released your first album of jazz originals, The Consciousness Test, in 2016, your profile as ...

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Michael Weiss: Building an Identity

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Michael Weiss is a jazz pianist and composer. His mastery of the hard bop style (he cites Horace Silver as one of his greatest influences), as well as his breadth of experience accompanying some of jazz's most acclaimed soloists, have made him a key figure in the New York jazz scene. His long-standing association with saxophonist Johnny Griffin has shaped him as an artist today. Here he discusses how playing with so many great players over the years has allowed ...

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Taz Modi: Submotion Orchestra is a unique blend

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Submotion Orchestra is a band from Leeds, UK, with a kaleidoscopic approach to making music. Since 2009, it has made music influenced by different strands of music, be it electronica, jazz, soul, pop or dub music. It's an interesting cocktail of sounds and influences that has yielded five albums to date with Kites (SMO Recordings, 2018) being the latest. Consisting of producer/DJ Ruckspin, drummer Tommy Evans, jazz trumpeter Simon Beddoe, keyboardist Taz Modi, percussionist Danny Templeman, bassist Chris ...

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Adam Nussbaum: Back To Basics

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For his first album as a leader, The Leadbelly Project (Sunnyside Records), Adam Nussbaum has decided to focus on one of his first musical heroes, Huddie William Ledbetter, best known as Leadbelly. With an original line-up featuring two guitar players (Steve Cardenas and Nate Radley) and one saxophonist (Ohad Talmor) Adam Nussbaum has chosen to go on a path less travelled, putting aside for a moment his power drumming and going back to basics with a project that prioritizes communication ...

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Helen Sung: Celebrating Monk

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The first weekend in April will see the opening of a monthlong, three-venue celebration of Thelonious Monk at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the third installment of their annual Monk festival. It all starts Thursday evening (April 5) with Chick Corea sitting in for three nights with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in the Rose Theater. And Monday evenings throughout April are dedicated to a class on Monk, “Monk's Mood: The Life Of ...

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Ben Allison: Between Groove and Melody

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Bassist, bandleader, educator and composer, Ben Allison is one of the leading players of the world stage. During the past twenty years he has released twelve records and led various bands, performed on more than thirty albums, co-founded The Jazz Composers Collective, and served as its Artistic Director until its dissolution in 2005. In this conversation, Allison speaks about his album (Layers of The City, Sonic Camera Records 2017), his personal style, the birth of his own label, his long ...

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Charles McPherson: The Man and His Muse

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Acclaimed alto saxophone wizard Charles McPherson has a new muse: his 25-year-old daughter Camille, a premier dancer with the San Diego Ballet, where he also serves as composer-in-residence these days. McPherson was a young father in his twenties, with three children from a first marriage. Thirty years up the road, after marrying the lovely Lynn, a classical piano teacher in jny: San Diego, he became the father of a daughter once again. “Thirty years, that's a big difference," he says, ...

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Gilad Hekselman: New music on the Horizon

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Native Israeli and New York-based Gilad Hekselman has established himself amongst today's leading pioneers of jazz-guitar and is constantly in high demand -here, there and just about everywhere. This time around it was Hungarian saxophonist Kristof Bacso, who invited Hekselman to enhance his trio, taking on the role Lionel Loueke had played on Bacso's latest album Pannon Blue, for two concerts in Budapest as well as the Porgy & Bess in jny: Vienna. Two days prior to the ...

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Ellen Doty: Goosebumps All Over

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Calgary's Ellen Doty drops her second LP March 2. Come Fall is a stripped-down collection of gorgeous jazz pop that features Doty on vocals, Davide Di Renzo on drums and Mark Lalama on piano. The absence of bass, horns and all the rest was an inspired choice. Doty, whose crystal-clear voice must be heard to be believed, talked with me about how he album became a trio project, opening for Gregory Porter and working with songwriting partners Justin ...

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Michael Blicher: Groove is in the Heart

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Trading under the bold, equal-bill banner Blicher Hemmer Gadd, saxophonist Michael Blicher, organist Dan Hemmer and veteran session drummer Steve Gadd have been making music together now for over five years. During this time this extraordinary trio have just about managed to co-ordinate enough space in their individual work schedules to tour extensively, work up fresh material, and record two live albums together, all of which is no easy mission given both Blicher and Hemmer still reside in their native ...