Profiles

PROFILES

Seventeen Ways Of Looking At Mark Turner

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This article first appeared in issue no 8 of Music & Literature Magazine. I remember being at Berklee and listening to Mark in the practice room. A lot of people used to gather outside his practice room at various times and just listen to him. He would be in there ten hours a day, usually. And then I heard him in a cafeteria concert--I think he was with Paul LaDuca and Jorge Rossy--and he was playing a lot ...

PROFILES

Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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Courtney Pine didn't pick up his beloved tenor saxophone for more than a decade, until an album exploring the black British experience demanded it. The multi-instrumentalist eschewed the horn on the likes of Europa, House of Legends and Song (The Ballad Book), his two-hander with pianist Zoe Rahman. “I spoke to Sonny Rollins about five years ago at a concert, and I asked him, 'Why don't you play loads of instruments, like John Coltrane?' What he said was, ...

PROFILES

Denys Baptiste: Making the Late Trane Accessible

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Even the most avowed John Coltrane disciples among us would admit to grappling with some of the albums he released in the couple of years before his death--the likes of Ascension, Sun Ship and Om. And we weren't alone. His long-time drummer, Elvin Jones, told Downbeat magazine, “At times I couldn't hear what I was doing--matter of fact, I couldn't hear what anybody was doing. All I could hear was a lot of noise." Evidently British saxophonist Denys ...

PROFILES

Mônica Vasconcelos: Brazil Songs of Resistance

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A tanned, beautiful young woman in a skimpy bikini walks through the lapping sea waters on the edge of a sun-soaked beach. Soft music plays, its shifting beat following her footsteps. It's a cliché, of course, but a powerful one when it comes to thoughts (male, mainly) of Brazil and its music. UK-based Brazilian singer Mônica Vasconcelos' new record, The São Paulo Tapes-- Brazilian Resistance Songs tells a different tale. It may not shatter the fantasy but those ...

PROFILES

Mike Stern: What A Trip

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"I never trip. I just don't. But then, it just happened." This is how Mike Stern began his story as he explained to my wife and I how it happened. If you somehow missed it, “it" refers to the tumble Stern took in July of 2016. This accidental fall resulting in both shoulders being shattered. In addition to the broken humerus bones and broken arms, he suffered serious nerve damage in his right arm and right hand.

PROFILES

BassDrumBone and the New Haven Jazz Renaissance

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When they first began playing together in jny: New Haven, Connecticut in 1977, the trio BassDrumBone--bassist Mark Helias, percussionist Gerry Hemingway and trombonist Ray Anderson--were called OAHSPE. The name, which Anderson recalls having heard in Seattle from a source he understood to be Native American, is supposed to mean “sky earth and spirit." It is coincidentally also the title of a “new bible" purporting to be the words of “Jehovih and his angel ambassadors" [sic] which had been channeled by ...

PROFILES

Glen Campbell: 1936-2017

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“Well, that moment has come that we have known was an inevitable certainty and yet stings like a sudden catastrophe. Let the world note that a great American influence on pop music, the American Beatle, the secret link between so many artists and records that we can only marvel, has passed and cannot be replaced -my friend and brother in music, Glen Campbell." Composer Jimmy Webb, Facebook, August 8, 2017 Jimmy Webb and Glenn Campbell had ...

PROFILES

Soweto Kinch: A Singular Jazz Odyssey

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Soweto Kinch was a curious teenager when an encounter with Wynton Marsalis impelled him on his own jazz odyssey. An odyssey characterised by the creation of dynamic new soundscapes in the spirit of the music's great innovators, on landmark albums such as A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block, The Legend of Mike Smith and Nonogram. “There is a point at which you can hear the music and not really be switched onto ...

PROFILES

Voices of the People: Philadelphia Jazz Project to Celebrate America’s Cherished Values

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The famed Philadelphia Jazz Project (PJP) has a tradition of organizing and presenting concerts in fresh, imaginative, and creative ways. It is a stimulus program whose mission is to generate interest in and responsiveness to the music and to locally-based musicians. The upcoming series, “Voices of the People," four concerts featuring Philadelphia vocalists, is designed for just such purposes. As PJP founder and director, Homer Jackson, told All About Jazz, “To stimulate musical interest, you must engage vocalists. ...


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