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A New Jazz Typology

Read "A New Jazz Typology" reviewed by Steve Provizer

A letter from an admirer of the Institute reads as follows: ..."why is the Tristano school always shown as a branch of cool jazz? Those guys were hardcore bebop heads. Is it just that they were white and some of them wore glasses so people confuse them with Brubeck?" A seemingly offhand, almost rhetorical question, which we here at the Institute took seriously and which led us to discover an enormous new field of research. Our chief researcher ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Call Me the Breeze: Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin Play Lynyrd Skynyrd

Read "Call Me the Breeze: Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin Play Lynyrd Skynyrd" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

"Play some Skynyrd." Anyone who has ever performed anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line has heard these words, usually yelled towards the stage by someone whose blood alcohol content is approaching whole numbers, no matter what kind of music they play or where they may be performing. When the inevitable happened recently to Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin, who were playing a gig in Tallahassee, Florida, they both thought, “Yeah, why not?" Call Me the Breeze ...

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The Ballpeen Monks: Incident in Oniontown

Read "Incident in Oniontown" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Incident in Oniontown finds The Ballpeen Monks re-emerging as the most musically wide-ranging collective of their generation. Despite the quintet undergoing massive changes--only one member remains from the original quintet--the group displays a consistency that has been their hallmark since their debut album A Meeting in Daisyfuentesville (Self-produced, 1994). The infighting that resulted from that moderately obscure release led to a ten-year hiatus, but when founder and bassist Angus Drummond reconvened the original band for Live in Formica (Das Kapital ...

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The London Ontological Orchestra: Hello Cleveland!: The London Ontological Orchestra Plays the Music of Spinal Tap

Read "Hello Cleveland!: The London Ontological Orchestra Plays the Music of Spinal Tap" reviewed by Geno Thackara

The band may have been fictional, but the music is all real--and turns out to have an impressive staying power, even today. If you associate the name Spinal Tap with cheesy 1980s rock and roll, it's time to think again. The members of the London Ontological Orchestra (assembled and named in honor of the group's mystical interests) are stars well-known in the jazz world, though working pseudonymously here in the interest of highlighting the music foremost. The resulting Hello Cleveland! ...

JUST FOR FUN

Columbia Releases Miles Davis: The Rest

Read "Columbia Releases Miles Davis: The Rest" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The can't-miss box set of the year Miles Davis: The Rest completes Columbia Records' thorough excavation of the great trumpeter's session work. As the press release notes, “Columbia was proud to offer eight steel-spine box sets of Davis' sessions, followed by our 70-disc Complete Studio Albums Collection, followed by our The Genius Of Miles Davis set that collected the steel-spine boxes in a trumpet case, followed by our six-volume Bootleg series, followed by our mono issues on vinyl. Now, with ...

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Mickey Katz: Live at Katz's Deli

Read "Live at Katz's Deli" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The recent discovery of “lost tapes" by legendary figures such as John Coltrane and Pee Wee Marquette has led to record companies scouring their vaults for unreleased recordings. One such is the discovery and release of Live at Katz's Deli on Gonif Records. The find is resonating on both 52nd and 47th Streets and in the old Borscht Belt. Recently unearthed in an abandoned public storage facility in Queens, the album features a baker's dozen of Katz's ...

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Kenny G: Playin' It Straight

Read "Playin' It Straight" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Kenny G has been categorized as a jazz musician by record companies simply because he plays saxophone. The reality is that his style is actually banal pop consisting of repetitious melodies with short passages of bland improvisation and, occasionally, long-held notes to show off his grasp of circular breathing—a technique Clark Terry and Rahsaan Roland Kirk employed in the construction of genuinely interesting solos. The good news is that G has changed direction in several ways with this ...

JUST FOR FUN

ECM Records Announces Change in Name, Direction

Read "ECM Records Announces Change in Name, Direction" reviewed by Geno Thackara

European label turns its eye toward the future as EDM. ECM Records will mark its golden anniversary with a defining change in direction, according to an announcement released today. After operating as Edition of Contemporary Music since its small-scale beginning in 1969, the eclectic European label has confirmed plans to adopt the new title Exciting Dynamic Music to signify a wholly revamped outlook. Though the new abbreviation EDM began as a simple typo in a promo poster mock-up, ...

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RARE!! Florence Foster Jenkins Find

Read "RARE!! Florence Foster Jenkins Find" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Dyspepsia Records Announces the April 15 release of “The Greatest Arias and Duets of Florence Foster Jenkins." Dyspepsia CEO, John Featherwhistle announced today that the long-awaited album of the great operatic Diva's hits will be released April 15. Fully re-mastered, re-mixed and enhanced with the latest in digitized auto-tune technology, the recording sheds new light on the legendary Soprano who was memorialized recently cinematically by Meryl Streep. “We here at Dyspepsia are pleased to ...

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Tragedy Strikes at CES

Read "Tragedy Strikes at CES" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

In a little-reported story from this year's CES, an audience of over a hundred late-middle-aged men was inadvertently vaporized by a malfunctioning demonstration. Attendees arrived eagerly anticipating the public debut of the latest collaboration between Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation and Sony Music Group, the Chanteuse 3000, Mark IV. This Chanteuse 3000 is a fully programmable “jazz"-singing android capable of performing any song whatsoever -as long as it is from the Great American Songbook. The designers have been close-lipped about the most ...

PROFILES

Jazz Musicians with Eccentricities

Read "Jazz Musicians with Eccentricities" reviewed by Chris May

Some of the 20th century's greatest eccentrics were jazz musicians. That is no surprise, given the link which psychologists long ago suggested exists between creative thinking and “abnormal" behavior, and which has been confirmed by recent neurological research locating both activities within the same area of the brain. Trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong's lifelong evangelizing of patent medicine laxatives is well known--the trumpeter famously had greetings cards made which showed him photographed sitting on the toilet, his pants ...

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Larry Fine: Larry Fine Meets Stuff Smith: Fine Stuff

Read "Larry Fine Meets Stuff Smith: Fine Stuff" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Larry Fine was often shown playing the violin in various The Three Stooges shorts, but what many fans don't realize is that he really played the instrument. Fortunately, he was also interested in jazz and an admirer of Stuff Smith. This long forgotten radio broadcast likely originated from a Hollywood club during one of the recording bans put in place by James J. Petrillo in the 1940s. It was so obscure that even Anthony Barnett, Stuff Smith discographer and owner ...


40 Years Of The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal

The Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th edition this year with some outstanding presentations scheduled at various venues around the city. Running from June 27 to July 6, this year's festival includes both indoor and outdoor events, free and ticketed events, with a program that includes Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Scott, Richard Galliano, Stacy Kent, Joshua Redman, John Pizzarelli, Keyon Harrold, Gilad Hekselman, Roberto Fonseca, Donny McCaslin and more.

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