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Featured Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Linley Hamilton: Strings Attached

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Nearly all recordings are labours of love. Passion and a huge amount of work are the essential ingredients. Some recordings in particular, however, mark the realization of a life-long dream. For Northern Irish trumpeter, BBC jazz broadcaster and university lecturer Linley Hamilton, Making Other Arrangements (Teddy D Records, 2018) is just such a recording. Backed by a cracking, small jazz ensemble--some of the finest musicians in Ireland--Hamilton has fulfilled a burning, career-long ambition by adding strings to songs ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Big Ears Festival 2018

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Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN March 22-25, 2018 Knoxville's Big Ears Festival has traditionally kicked things off with a big piece by a high-visibility headliner. This year was to have featured a live performance of guitarist Nels Cline's Lovers project, an ambitious re-imagination of romantic “mood music" which was to be performed with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and guest soloists. But the Spring snowstorms across the Northeast had other ideas, making travel too difficult to allow ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

A Day at AAJ

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One of the main benefits of being the Dean of American Jazz Humorists©, besides a free Orange Julius whenever I want one (at participating locations) and 2-for-1 Redbox rentals, is my unfettered access to the inner workings of the entire Jazz universe. As a member of AAJ's Inner Sanctum, I am no more than three degrees of separation from anyone involved in Jazz. Anyone. From legendary artists to the bartender at the Village Vanguard. Of course, I could ...

MUSICIAN 2 MUSICIAN

The Cry of Jay Rodriguez

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On an unseasonably warm February evening I set out from Brooklyn to catch the multi-instrumentalist Jay Rodriguez's band at Le Poisson Rouge. While walking from the West 4th Street subway station to the venue on Bleecker Street I recalled taking this exact route over 30 years ago to play a jam session in the same space, back when it was called The Village Gate. A remaining sign of The Gate is the original corner marquee out front above ...

INTERVIEWS

Camille Bertault: Unity in Diversity

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On her striking new album, Pas de gĂ©ant ["Giant Steps" in French -Ed.], Camille Bertault confirms all the qualities that her debut release, En Vie, had showcased three years ago. For her sophomore release, the French singer doubles down with an eclectic repertoire, a stellar line-up and the production and arrangements written by Michael Leonhart with the sophistication of a haute couture tailor. For her debut on the Okeh/Sony label, the winner of the “best new talent" 2017 French jazz ...

INTERVIEWS

Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education

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Few drummers know how to use rhythms like Chad Taylor. He makes the drum set sing melodies and paints different hues and shades on the cymbals and skins. He can play inside and outside and has performed with musicians like saxophonists Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders and James Brandon Lewis, pianists Cooper-Moore and Angelica Sanchez, guitarists Jeff Parker and Marc Ribot, bassist Joshua Abrams and trumpeter Rob Mazurek, just to name a few. Back in 2009, Taylor released Circle ...

PROFILES

Cecil Taylor: 1929-2018

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As he approached the age of ninety, Cecil Taylor could be excused for some of his indulgences. Still highly opinionated on a range of subjects; still chain smoking, still harboring old resentments, and so on. For a man from whom new ideas sprang constantly and effortlessly, Taylor could get stuck in real-world dramas. He had a patriarchal legacy that held him above the everyday judgments of other mortals; he was a founding father of free jazz, a co-founder of the ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz House Kids: The House that Jazz Built

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When we think of jazz education, we might first think about what's developed at the college level and at music conservatories over the last fifty years or so, and then maybe consider how jazz instruction and jazz bands have flourished at the high school and middle school levels a little more recently. But beyond these settings, jazz education has advanced thanks to a select number of other, smaller, independent organizations that have had a strong impact on their local communities. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Brilliant Corners 2018

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Brilliant Corners 2018 Black Box jny: Belfast, N. Ireland March 3-10, 2018 Compared to Dublin or cities in the UK, Belfast is usually overlooked when jazz groups tour. When the likes of Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau come to Ireland it's usually a one-stop visit to Dublin and then away. Pat Metheny's November 2017 Dublin/Belfast gigs was the exception that proves the rule. In recent times ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Helen Sung: Celebrating Monk

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The first weekend in April will see the opening of a monthlong, three-venue celebration of Thelonious Monk at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the third installment of their annual Monk festival. It all starts Thursday evening (April 5) with Chick Corea sitting in for three nights with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in the Rose Theater. And Monday evenings throughout April are dedicated to a class on Monk, “Monk's Mood: The Life Of ...