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Featured Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

INTERVIEWS

Erik Friedlander: A Little Cello?

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Normally lumped into the 'miscellaneous instruments' category of jazz awards, the cello has been something of a bit player in the colorful history of jazz. That said, today there are arguably more cellists in jazz and contemporary improvised music--and some extraordinary ones at that--than ever before. One of the best known cellists is undoubtedly Erik Friedlander, whose discography as a leader straddles acoustic jazz, film soundtracks, Americana roots, literature-inspired improvisations, extended suites, avant-garde/contemporary classical music, and compositions inspired by ancient ...

OPINION/EDITORIAL

A giant of jazz journalism silenced

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Nat Hentoff was an old-school intellectual whose favorite topic--whose very touchstone--was, throughout his life, jazz. At one point in the 1990s, Hentoff--who passed of natural causes on Jan. 7--announced that he was giving up writing about jazz to focus on topics that seemed more critical--free speech and civil liberties, which he felt were under constant attack from all ends of the political spectrum. And while he continued to advocate for free speech and civil liberties for the rest ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

What We Liked: 2016

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We took our top lists, found the common recordings, added a dozen of my personal faves, and presented them here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy, and feel free to post your 2016 favorites in the comments section below. Wadada Leo SmithAmerica's National ParksCuneiform Records Michael Formanek The DistanceECM Records Frank KimbroughSolsticePirouet Records Andreas Loven District SixLosen Records Keith Jarrett ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

As Dizzy's World Turns

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Master raconteur, award winning jazz broadcaster and Downbeat contributor, Michael Bourne recounts a series of remarkable stories about Dizzy Gillespie based on experiences that stretch over a couple of decades. Embodying Bobop I happened to be at home in jny: St. Louis when Dizzy Gillespie was playing at this new jazz joint near the baseball park, called The Gourmet Rendezvous, owned by jazz DJ Spider Burks, so I went. I was still relatively new at Downbeat ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

2016: The Year in Jazz

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The year 2016 bubbled with events and initiatives to strengthen jazz's place in American and world culture, as well as a variety of venue openings, closings and cancellations. Jazz hit the silver screen in many ways throughout the year, and International Jazz Day continued to thrive--complete with a major all-star concert at the White House. Pop star David Bowie put his farewell musical ride in a jazz context. There were a few more twists and turns to the New Orleans ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz Stories: 2016

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All About Jazz--a longstanding internet destination for all things jazz--is a community bound by its love of the music. Since March, we've solicited jazz stories from our members asking them to answer any of a handful of questions and we wanted to recognize some of our submissions from 2016. New stories arrive daily and we've gathered over 3,000 to date--that's over EIGHT years of jazz stories! Inspired, touching, funny, helpful (to newbies) or simply providing snapshots ...

UNDER THE RADAR

Jazz Education: The Next Generation, Part 1

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A Protracted Beginning Ken Prouty, an assistant professor of Musicology and Jazz Studies at Michigan State University and author of Knowing Jazz: Community, Pedagogy, and Canon in the Information Age (University Press of Mississippi, 2013) has written at length about the early history of jazz education in the US. In his writings, he has pointed to the period from the advent of U.S. jazz and into the 1940s, as one where written records regarding formal jazz training ...


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