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Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEWS

Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest

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Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers Le Poisson Rouge NYC Winter Jazzfest New York, NY January 1, 2018 By the time José James took to the stage for his headlining slot on a quadruple-bill event that served as the second stand-alone concert in the 2018 NYC Winter Jazzfest schedule, three hours of music had already come and gone. Knower's electro-pop, complete with an expletive-laced introduction, ushered in the evening; the No ...

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Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano

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Carl Bartlett, Jr. Jazz At Kitano New York, NY December 14, 2017 Sad to say, in jazz and certainly all music, often hidden from public view are good musicians, who, for any reason have not yet been given their due. Some exist slightly outside the frame, but produce substantial art. The saxophonist Carl Bartlett Jr. comes from this distinguished group. Blessed with a warm, engaging tone and a writer of melodious, inviting ...

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Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet featuring Peter Bernstein Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA December 30, 2017 As the New Year approached in frigid weather, venturing out in the cold to Chris' Jazz Café to hear two of the finest jazz guitarists close up proved to be a great way to warm up and look towards jazz in 2018. Since Pat Martino had performed on the same stage a month prior, the experience also afforded a glimpse ...

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Live From Birmingham: Alan Wilkinson, Ari Eisinger, Manos Pa’Aribba & Paul Dunmall

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Alan Wilkinson & Andrew Cheetham The Lamp Tavern September 26, 2017 The fortnightly (apart from during the low seasons) Fizzle improvised music session takes place on Tuesdays in the rear room of The Lamp Tavern, a back street public house in the old industrial hinterland of Digbeth. Much of this Birmingham quarter has steadily been artistically colonised during the last two decades, but this Lamp joint is even on the edge such creative ...

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Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook

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Terence Blanchard Quintet Christ Church Cranbrook Bloomfield Hills, Michigan December 23, 2017 The idea of inviting a jazz combo to help ring in the Christmas season isn't new to the folks at Christ Church Cranbrook. The Episcopal congregation in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has sponsored a Christmas Eve jazz mass for three years running, with bassist Rodney Whitaker's hand-picked band becoming an essential holiday staple for many church members and guests. But this is ...

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Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club

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Gary Peacock Trio Regattabar Jazz Club Cambridge, MA November 10, 2017 Veterans' Day was an appropriate date for this show, which was indeed a concert of veterans. Gary Peacock served in the army in the 1950s, and the three musicians on stage that evening could count over 150 years combined on the bandstand, side by side with luminaries like Miles Davis, Michael Brecker, John Zorn, and so many more. Peacock has been leading the group since 2014, when ...

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Ellington's Nutcracker at The Jazz Corner

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Justin Varnes The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SC December 15, 2017Every Christmas is the Nutcracker Season for ballet aficionados. The legendary composing and arranging skills of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn also make it Nutcracker Season for jazz aficionados. In 1960, Ellington and Strayhorn wrote their version of the famous Tchaikovsky ballet. A big part of the Duke Ellington sound came from extending the instruments in his big band, wood blocks ...

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Robinson Morse's Sound of Mind Featuring Peter Apfelbaum at FlynnSpace

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Robinson Morse's Sound of Mind Featuring Peter Apfelbaum FlynnSpace Burlington, Vermont December 16, 2017 In a focused performance comparable to that which his Green Mountain jazz peer, saxophonist/composer Brian McCarthy, offered just two weeks prior, bassist/composer Robinson Morse authoritatively led his Sound of Mind ensemble through a vigorous seventy-five minute set that wholly satisfied the near overflow audience in FlynnSpace this mid-December evening. And the crowed didn't respond as heartily as it ...

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Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn at The Stone

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Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn The Stone New York, NY December 19, 2017 How do you fit a camel through the eye of a needle? On December 19, the music summoned by Bill Laswell, Milford Graves, and John Zorn answered that very question: By starting with a larger needle, of course. Indeed, what began on poster as a mere assembly of bass, drums, and alto saxophone ended up expanding the parameters of its ...