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Camila Meza: Following what the music has to say

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Since the success of her 2016 effort Traces, Chilean-raised and New York-based guitarist Camila Meza has been incresingly gaining more recognition in today's jazz-guitar demographics. In addition to the all-star cast comprised of the likes of Shai Maestro, Matt Penman and Kendrick Scott, it is also the sense of sophistication and singularity in composition that defined her last record and made it her most balanced outing to date. In light of the ongoing Pannonica-project, brought to life and led by ...

INTERVIEWS

John McLaughlin on the Mystery of Creativity, Inspiration, & Music

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Improvised music within a sophisticated framework is one if the primary hallmarks of jazz. World class improvisation requires split second reactions, mental agility, dexterity, and the emotive soul of an artist. As a testament to his age defying vitality, on January 29, 2018 at the age of 76, John McLaughlin won a Grammy® Award for the Best Improvised Jazz Solo at the 60th Annual Grammy® Awards. This was his pitch perfect acceptance: “Winning a Grammy is a wonderful ...

INTERVIEWS

Paula Shocron: Paths to a New Sound

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When Werner X. Uehlinger, the founder of Hat Hut Records, was asked about a statement on why he liked Argentinian pianist Paula Shocron's music, the answer was clear, short and succinct: “The quality of surprise." Uehlinger discovered Shocron's music through her work with the SLD Trio and he liked their debut Anfitrión so much that the group's second album, Tensegridad, was released on his label, entering the prominent company of pianists like Cecil Taylor, Marc Copland, Matthew Shipp, Myra Melford ...

INTERVIEWS

Dan Monaghan: The Man Behind The Swing

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Dan Monaghan is a working drummer who makes an indispensable contribution to the music by being the one who provides the swing and support that allows the other musicians to achieve their diverse objectives. He performs so often in the Philadelphia area that if you go to a jazz show, there's a fair chance he'll be the drummer. He's a sensitive musician, responsive to everything the players are striving for. He leads from behind. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “I am ...

INTERVIEWS

William Parker: Embracing The Unknown

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His is one of the most distinctive and respected voices on double bass today. William Parker, the tireless composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and poet, is still today omnipresent on the contemporary free jazz scene. What's more, he has been consistently for the last four decades. The William Parker Sessionography: A Work in Progress by Rick Lopez clocks in at just below 500 pages, and, as the title suggests, it hasn't finished growing. In it are of course referenced his many acclaimed ...

INTERVIEWS

Helle Henning: Nordic Sounds

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If you're watching the latest Disney film in jny: Copenhagen, you're most likely listening to singer Helle Henning. Helle not only sings the character overdubs for big animated film imports in her native Denmark, but she conducts the ensemble singers on these sessions. She also teaches jazz at one of Denmark's foremost music conservatories and recently released a pedagogical big band recording in Danish to teach American jazz to primary school children. In addition to her studio singing and teaching, ...

INTERVIEWS

Mark Morganelli: Adds Club Owner To His Resume

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Mark Morganelli has long been known as a fine trumpet player and a promoter with years of experience in the jny: New York City area dating back to a jazz loft 39 years ago, through booking at the Village Gate, Birdland, morphing into his nonprofit Jazz Forum Arts organization known for the summer concert series he has produced for many years. He's produced at Avery Fisher, the Beacon, Town Hall and many other theaters around the New York metro area. ...

INTERVIEWS

GoGo Penguin: Just Another Band From The Small Blue Planet

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"Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star in a lost galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people." This somewhat gloomy prognosis might sound like a line straight from Douglas Adam's surrealistic comic novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Pan Books, 1979). In actual fact, it's a quotation by American astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Curiously, it provided the ...

INTERVIEWS

Thomas Strønen: Sense of Time

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Time Is a Blind Guide, the ensemble led by Norwegian drummer and composer Thomas Stronen, has just released its sophomore record Lucus (ECM), three years after its eponymous debut album. With Ayumi Tanaka on piano, Håkon Aase on violin, Lucy Railton on cello and Ole Morten Vågan on double bass, Strønen has built a chamber-like ensemble that enables him to explore the details of his soundscape while keeping the music as open as possible. The mood is quiet ...