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Featured Stories


Euopean Jazz Conference 2016: Polish Jazz Showcases

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European Jazz Conference: Polish Jazz Showcases National Forum Of Music jny:Wroclaw, Poland September 22-24, 2016 One of the great things about returning to Poland each time is the exposure to new jazz talent, because beyond the internationally renowned marquee names--the historic Polish greats--are a great number of outstanding artists. How could it be otherwise in a country that boasts over a hundred jazz festivals? Wroclaw is home to Jazztopad, one of Poland's ...


John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light

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Visual art is a play of shadow and light, and contrast makes the forms visible. In the best jazz music, there is a kind of inner light that emanates from the musicians, the light of creative impulse, the light of spontaneous artistic expression. Some jazz musicians--too many--cast their own shadows of addiction and self-destructiveness. But often--too often--new directions and developments in jazz are shadowed not by the musicians themselves, but by their detractors. A series of Impulse albums ...


European Jazz Conference 2016

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European Jazz Conference 2016 National Forum of Music jny: Wroclaw, Poland September 22-25, 2016 We have two ears and only one mouth so perhaps we should listen more than we speak. This old maxim is often credited to Hellenistic philosopher Zeno of Citrium, though who's to say he didn't pinch it after being admonished by a fellow Stoic for not listening enough himself? We'll never know. What we do know, ...


In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of Delfeayo Marsalis and Ted Nash

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The current state of American politics--a veritable cesspool that makes reality television seem sane by comparison--leaves little to feel good about. Moral compasses are skewed, elected officials bicker like fractious toddlers, and candidates ranging from the lunatic sybarite variety to the bumptiously insincere seek the highest office in the land with strong approval from the loud and entrenched in opposing corners. It's enough to make you cry, sigh, and check out completely. But before you withdraw from any discussion of ...


Prelude to a Kiss by Duke Ellington

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Last month's initial installment of this column opened with an introduction to the concept of analyzing jazz standards for the purpose of adding to our understanding about the structure and elements of great songs having enduring qualities. I did not feel it required mentioning that a song's final structure and the process of songwriting were completely different viewpoints. One purview implies looking back at a final product of art and the other requires looking ahead at a blank page of ...


Monterey Jazz Festival 2016

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Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey, CA September 16-18, 2016 In its 59th annual edition, the Monterey Jazz Festival once again delivered on its promise to bring a stylistic plethora and pageantry--with nods to more abstract or daring fare--to the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Among the marquee bragging rights: an impressive new commissioned chamber jazz piece, “The Unfolding," by Wayne Shorter; a good clean fun-making big band tribute to Quincy Jones' influential soul and jazz-bridging A&M albums, ...


Live Trane: Never Before, Never After

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NEA Jazz Master and much celebrated saxophonist, composer, bandleader, educator and author Dave Liebman recounts the life-changing experiences of witnessing live performances by John Coltrane as told to Dave Kaufman. I always say my epiphany was the first time I saw Coltrane in February of 1962 at Birdland. The fact that I even knew about Birdland at 15 years old was because I was invited to go there a few months earlier by some of the older guys ...


Thomas Marriott: Balance in Life and Music

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If one should by chance be curious of what is happening with jazz in the city of Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest, one would do well to check out what trumpeter Thomas Marriott is up to. Thomas has established himself as one the most exciting artists to emerge on the national jazz scene in the past decade, in part by releasing eleven albums as a leader on the Origin Records label, and with his riveting live performances on stage with ...

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