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CTI on BGO

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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The echo of Charles Dickens' famous novel A Tale of Two Cities is suitable to describe the climate of jazz when Creed Taylor launched CTI. It was 1970 and acoustic jazz was in crisis. Following the invasion of rock, it had survived by becoming electric, but the question was if jazz didn't get lost in translation? To Taylor the mission was simple. He wanted to bring jazz into ...

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Another Timbre completes its Canadian Composers Series

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In the spring of 2017, Another Timbre released the first five recordings of a ten-disc series dedicated to Canadian composers. The discs were accompanied by a booklet that contained interviews with each of the eight composers (eight not ten, because two of the composers have two discs each in the series). It demonstrated that the eight were a disparate group in terms of their country of birth, country of residence, age, musical style and experience. Despite that, those first five ...

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Stefon Harris & Joe Locke: Vibes Away!

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Within the realm of modern jazz, the vibraphone has long enticed unusually imaginative musicians to explore the possibilities of the instrument. Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton have essentially reinvented the vibes for successive generations, while Warren Wolf and Yuhan Su, among others, continue to reconfigure its appeal to entice contemporary audiences. Respective studio works of Stefon Harris and Joe Locke demonstrate how each may also be rightfully numbered among the modern visionaries of the vibes, the records also ...

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Where Fusion and Tradition Meet

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In the realm of contemporary jazz, drummer Denny Seiwell is a relatively new returnee after an extended stint as member of Paul McCartney's Wings, while keyboardist Robert Walter is long-time occupant of a self-created niche where he acts as bandleader when not in his charter member role in the Greyboy Allstars or collaborating with the likes of Phish's Mike Gordon on his latest solo project. Both these principals share an appetite for invention with the musicians who work with them ...

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Kevin Kastning’s Extended Guitars

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American fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Kevin Kastning has increasingly dedicated himself to two musical areas: improvisation and extending the range of the acoustic guitar. He has created a number of new instruments in this quest, including the 36-string Double Contraguitar, 30-string Contra-Alto guitar and 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar he has used on recent recordings. In addition to performing solo, he has found common cause with several other musicians with whom he regularly collaborates, notably Hungarian guitarist Sándor Szabó, British guitarist ...

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Piano Trios: 3x3

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Immortal Onion Ocelot of Salvation Requiem Records 2017 This Polish trio seems out to confuse from the start. If you're pinning your metaphysical hopes on a jungle cat, your spiritual leanings probably lean toward ideas of oneness and harmony more than salvation from evil. Vegetables aren't exactly things we think of in terms of lifespans. And aren't onions poisonous to most animals anyway? Well, if the surface wackiness is appealing, the music offers ...

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Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers

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Australian drummer Michael Caratti and Spanish-born New York-based guitarist Álvaro Domene founded the record label Iluso in 2013 to release their quartet recording Gran Masa. The pair found they shared similar interests while in school at Middlesex University in London. And why not put out their own music? That way they could control the content and retain all the rights. Additionally, with the decline of brick-and-mortar record shops and the increase in internet digital downloads, there are very few reasons ...

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Iglooghost Takes Brave Step Forward With Electronic EPs

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Iglooghost's companion EPs, Steel Mogu and Clear Tamei, both released on August 8, simultaneously overload the senses with chaos and seamlessly coalesce into one challenging, fulfilling step forward for electronica. Irish-born Seamus Malliagh has earned his reputation as an untameable creative under the Iglooghost name, pumping out densely produced electronic beats ever since the limited release of his debut mixtape Treetunnels in 2014. Although his music is unashamedly weird, the way Iglooghost's discography comes together into ...

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Nouveau Fusion: Superette And Visitors

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Bereft of forced funk and over-complicated compositions, jazz-rock fusion can be as liberating as the best rock and roll. That is, if the technical expertise brought to bear is restrained and sublimated to the unity of the ensemble and the musicians involved play with the unity of a true band. Then the emotional expression usually contained in song lyrics permeates the musicianship. Witness the work of Chris Lightcap and company as well as Jonathan Goldberger, JP Schlegelmilch, Jim Black: maintaining ...

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Two on Umlaut Records with bassist Sébastien Beliah

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The Paris-based double-bassist and composer Sébastien Beliah has quite a history, being in smaller ensembles such as Wark (alongside alto saxophonist Marc Baron, tenor saxophonist Antoine Daures and percussionist Guillaume Dommartin), R.Mutt (with alto saxophonist Pierre-Antoine Badaroux and percussionist Antonin Gerbal) and Un Poco Loco (with tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Geoffroy Grombone and trombonist Fidel Fourneyron), and also in much larger bands like ONCEIM, Umlaut Big Band--see him in the YouTube clip below--and Ensemble Hodos, which he directs. Two 2018 releases on ...