Featured Jazz Articles

INTERVIEW

Bobby Zankel: The Soul of Jazz - Past, Present, and Future Tense

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[This is the first of an All About Jazz series of interviews and articles on “The Many Faces of Jazz Today: Critical Dialogues," in which we will explore the current state of jazz around the world. Jazz has expanded in many directions. The business, educational, geographical, recording, and entertainment aspects have undergone major transformations. Today, there are myriad ways of playing and understanding the music. So what is jazz all about today, towards the end of the second decade of ...

INTERVIEW

SFJAZZ Collective: Remembering Miles

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The SFJAZZ Collective has been operating since 2004. In the beginning, it may have seemed to some as just another all-star collection of musicians who strut their stuff for a while, then go about their own business. It has shown over time it is much different. The format--eight outstanding musicians banding together to play the music of jazz icons, works hard at what the band was designed for: a leaderless, democratic group where musicians write arrangements that re-imagine ...

INTERVIEW

Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans

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In his own unassuming way, Bill Evans changed the face of jazz piano trio forever. He made the piano a lyrical, expressive voice for the most subtle and deep emotions, and he transformed the rhythm section from a time-beating, swing-maintaining outfit into an intimate, conversational musical unit. He loved tradition. It was just his grasp of the music and the special way that he composed, arranged, and played that influenced his contemporaries and the generations that came after him. He ...

INTERVIEW

Ralph Towner: The Accidental Guitarist

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Ralph Towner is a rather atypical figure in the vast world of jazz guitar. His instruments of choice are the classical guitar, which when he started, in the '60s, was played almost exclusively by guitarists related to Brazilian music like Charlie Byrd, Laurindo Almeida and Bola Sete, and the 12-string guitar, very common in the folk world but virtually unknown to jazz. These choices led Towner to develop his signature instrumental technique without reference to any other guitarist. In doing ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith At Firehouse 12

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Wadada Leo Smith Firehouse 12 Create Festival New Haven, Connecticut April 8-9, 2017 It is rare to experience the arc of a prolific artist's work while they are still active, and in the case of Wadada Leo Smith, to witness it at the simultaneous height of creative power and reflective composure. That privilege was offered by a two-day series presented at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut. The event combined seminars and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bray Jazz Festival 2017

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Bray Jazz Festival Various venues Bray, Ireland May 28-30, 2017 There are just so many cultural events going on in Ireland over the May Bank Holiday weekend that it can be a bit of a head-spin deciding what to opt for. Roots music gatherings, literature festivals, classical recitals, a chamber music festival, traditional Irish folk festivals, lighthouse visits, theatre festivals and gigs galore, all vie for the punters' hard-earned coin. Happily, The Irish Times ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Trumpet From On High

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I recently celebrated my sixteenth anniversary at AAJ with a quiet ceremony held in the mahogany-paneled Writer's Lounge at AAJ Headquarters in jny: Philadelphia. I'm not much of a cake person, but there were cheesesteaks from Sonny's and enough alcohol to get an entire fraternity through a regulation 30-day month. Commodore Ricci and my fellow member of the Southern contingent C. Michael Bailey were there. A good time was had by all, and most of the charges will eventually either ...

Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone

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Dear Mr. P.C.: What are you supposed to do with loud drunks? The kind that love to scream at each other when you're in the middle of a tender ballad. --Songus Interruptus Dear Songus: Here's my question for you: Which is a more authentic expression of human emotions in the moment--your practiced licks, or the cries of those anguished patrons drinking away their sorrows? I'm not surprised their emotional outpouring ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya at The Town Hall

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The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya The Town Hall New York, NY April 27, 2017 There are rare instances when a musical message for the times manages to transcend its place, evolving into a message for all time. Such is the case with The Jazz Epistles, the first black South African band to embrace and advance the sounds of modern jazz. Back in 1959, a collection of that country's ...


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