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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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...


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