Featured Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Jamil Sheriff: Helping shape a brave new jazz world

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Jamil Sheriff is a jazz pianist, composer, and educator. About 20 years after finishing studies in Leeds College of Music, the pianist became the head of the jazz department in the same institution; today he is regarded as one of the top jazz educators in the UK. Among many things Sheriff teaches composition, aural awareness, and ensemble. Known for his composition skills, he worked with large ensembles and recorded with them in the past: Daydreams (2003) and Backchat (2008) with ...

INTERVIEWS

Laura Jurd: Big Footprints

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Every few years a band appears that injects a welcome shot of adrenaline into the jazz mainstream, exciting media, promoters and fans alike--the Neil Cowley Trio, Phronesis, GoGo Penguin and Snarky Puppy all spring to mind. Dinosaur, an English quartet led by trumpeter Laura Jurd, is being widely tipped to create such waves on the strength of Its debut album, Together, As One (Editions, 2016). It's received glowing reviews, catapulting the group to the front cover of Jazzwise--the UK's leading ...

UNDER THE RADAR

Jazz Education: The Next Generation, Part 2

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Part 1 of Jazz Education: The Next Generation explored how the early days of music and--specifically--jazz music was approached through various channels of formal education. The long, arduous process of creating an accepting environment for jazz education necessitated moving the art form from a vaudevillian status through a firewall of academic elitism and prejudice to a proper mainstream reception. The irony is that whether one ascribes the “Golden Age" of jazz to the eras of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington or ...

INTERVIEWS

Rick Mandyck: The Return From Now

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It was a cold Tuesday evening the last week of December. 2016 was mercifully coming to a close, this evening, a final chorus of a long blues blown soulfully, and mournfully into the night. I sat at the bar at Seattle's storied jazz spot, Tula's, in eager anticipation of the evening's performance of a quartet led by veteran bassist, Paul Gabrielson. Gabrielson had gathered a quartet of top tier, Seattle based musicians that evening, featuring pianist Bill Anschell, and drummer ...

ANATOMY OF A STANDARD

"Desafinado" by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Newton Mendonça and Jon Hendricks

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There has been a healthy dose of Latin songs that have made their way into the Great American Songbook--after all--Central America and South America are every bit as “American" as the United States. Among the composers of Latin jazz standards, the inimitable guitarist/composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994), stands tall. Jobim composed a great many enduring songs that jazz musicians have latched onto as essential Great American Songbook gems. Newton Mendonça wrote the original Portuguese lyrics, after which the vocalese master, ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Listening to Jazz Knowingly and Authentically: The Epistemology and Ontology of Jazz

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"What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call 'thought.'" --David Hume I deliberately used the words “epistemological" and “ontological" in the title in order to attract your attention. If you don't know what they mean, you're going feel put off or curious. If you do know, you're going to wonder what they have to do with jazz. Either way you're going to think consciously about what you just read, and if you ...

INTERVIEWS

The Wee Trio: Full of Surprises

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Don't be fooled by the name. The members of the Wee Trio are normal-looking and normal-sized guys, their ambition if anything is deluxe, and their compositional scope virtually limitless. While such a moniker can only keep them humble--not that they'd seem to need the help--they've always kept an outsized willingness to follow fascinating ideas and embrace the unexpected. Picture Al Pacino's sneaky lawyer in The Devil's Advocate explaining his unassuming appearance: “I'm the little guy. They don't see me comin.'" ...

LIVE REVIEWS

William Parker: 65th Birthday Celebration Concert at the Painted Bride

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William Parker and Friends Painted Bride Arts Center William Parker 65th Birthday Celebration Philadelphia, PA January 21, 2017 To celebrate the 65th birthday of legendary bassist William Parker, the Painted Bride Arts Center, Ars Nova Workshop, and Bobby Zankel's Warriors of the Wonderful Sound joined forces to sponsor a top of the line sextet including Parker in the catbird seat and Zankel at the helm. For those who don't know about Parker, he ...

LIVE REVIEWS

ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017

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ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017 Tishman Auditorium, The New School New York City January 7, 2017 Music has been a comfort in troubling times ever since there were humans to bring about troubles to begin with. Rare, however, is that music which seeks not only to placate but also demonstrate. The world of ECM Records, insofar as it has come to be defined through nearly five decades of mapping, demonstrates in every sense ...


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