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Multiple Reviews

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Forward Into The Past

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It's in the nature of most jazz musicians to reach out for the new but a few find their inspiration in the music of the pre-bebop era. Here are three examples. Ernie Krivda and Swing City A Bright And Shining Moment Capri Records 2018 Saxophonist Ernie Krivda is a longtime mainstay of the Cleveland jazz scene, one of those tenor players whose hard-blown notes come out in a seemingly effortless flow. He's ...

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Debut Recordings On The Elsewhere Label

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After initial publicity about it in the preceding February, July 2018 saw the release of the first two recordings on the Elsewhere label. Each of the albums is available on CD in a limited edition of 500, as well as on unlimited edition digital files. The discs are attractively clad in sleeves with artwork (which digital customers get on JPEG) by David Sylvian, who is also credited as co-producer of the first release alongside the founder of Elsewhere, Yuko Zama. ...

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Cross Purposes

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He hasn't had quite such a visible solo profile as some of his past and future King Crimson colleagues, but that probably suits David Cross just fine. He's used to not being a noticeably out-front presence (normal for a violinist in the rock world, after all), but his electrified playing still has no shortage of juice and inspiration. His ever-restless and increasingly prolific explorations have largely flown under the radar--all the better to search out the more exotic hidden corners ...

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Two Contrasting Releases From Bertrand Denzler

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Although the Swiss-born saxophonist, improviser and composer Bertrand Denzler has a modestly-sized discography compared to some saxophonists, the recordings within it reveal a diverse range of collaborations and activities with a consistently-high quality level. For many years he has participated in ensembles such as Hubbub, The Seen and Trio Sowari, his distinctive saxophone sound being one of the key ingredients of the groups' sounds and successes. But such long-term projects have never prevented Denzler from pursuing a range of short-term ...

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Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg

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Any musiclover worth his or her salt will testify to the fact that some of the best instrumentalists are the greatest unsung heroes. Playing during any given era of rock and roll, blues, jazz or funk, in any cross-fertilization thereof, session players, sidemen and collaborators of comparatively low profiles can be part and parcel of the most durable recordings and memorable stage performances. To that end, the names of such figures as Barry Goldberg and Dennis Coffey invariably turn up ...

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Gene Clark sings For You and A Trip Through The Rose Garden

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The legacy of the Byrds looms large in the annals of contemporary rock, ever increasingly so as it pertains to the late Gene Clark. One of its main vocalists, he is usually seen stage center in the alignment of the original band in performance, a position that stands as an apt metaphor for his contributions to the hallowed group: Clark was the chief composer of original material, so songs like “Set You Free This Time" and “It Won't Be Wrong" ...

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Steve Wynn: Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display

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A key member of L.A.'s Paisley Underground scene as founder/member of the Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn didn't just follow his muse when he embarked on a solo career in the Nineties, he willfully pursued it. These expanded editions of Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display, reaffirm the durability of his songs, the idiosyncratic likes of which have been have been covered by R.E.M., The Black Crowes, Luna, and Concrete Blonde, among others. Fortunately for Wynn's followers, all his various projects have ...

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Boyer & Talton and Cowboy

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It's difficult, if not impossible, to understate the distinction Cowboy brought to Capricorn Records. At the height of the Southern rock movement launched by and spurred on through the success of the Allman Brothers Band, Phil Walden's artist roster, including the Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie, was also populated with bands like Grinderswitch that borrowed heavily and without reservation from ABB's style (perhaps not so surprisingly, that group was co-founded by Joe Dan Petty, one of the Allmans' roadies). ...

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The Song Poetry of William Parker

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The voice is close to the essence of what it means to be human. Through the voice, we express ourselves and sing our sorrow. It goes back a long way to hymns, blues, arias and standards. Through the tunes we tune in to ourselves and forget our daily strife. When songs are best, they become poetry. A succinct way of putting into words what can't be easily said. There is also relief in words. They can expand ...

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A Six-String Travelogue

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Leni Stern 3 Leni Stern Recordings 2018 If it's an exaggeration to say that Leni Stern's gone native after her life-shaping time in Senegal, it's probably not by much. 3 isn't the result of merely studying and and learning a few new forms, but an unrestrained immersion in the life and traditions of a region that's grown close to her heart. The short-ish running time still makes room for a touch of flamenco, some cross-pollination ...