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ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017

Read "John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by John Kelman

For those who may have noticed, there have been no best of lists coming from yours truly since 2014; sadly, the chronic health problem that has reduced my previous writing pace to a crawl continues without much respite. My best of the year lists have always been predicated upon having reviewed the releases chosen, and with ...

Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording

Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

Il 1982 doveva essere un anno speciale per Jaco Pastorius. Dopo essere stato riconosciuto come il più grande bassista del mondo (così come amava presentarsi a tutti quando era ancora un perfetto sconosciuto) nel corso dei suoi cinque anni di militanza appena conclusa con i Weather Report, era tempo di dimostrare che era molto più che ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording

Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording" reviewed by John Kelman

These days, there's a plethora of recordings, originally made for radio or television broadcast, being released by labels ranging from thoroughly legit to highly suspect. In some instances, these are real archival finds; true gold, mined from hours of hours of recordings, lovingly restored and packaged. In other cases they're clearly nothing but money grabs. Capitalizing ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jaco Pastorius: Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording

Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC The Complete 1982 Jazz Alive! Recording" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bassist Jaco Pastorius could be considered the American music Van Gogh, a romantic figure so much bigger than the broken body that died from a severe beaten received outside of Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida, September 11, 1987. That image simply does not jibe even remotely with the music presented on Truth, Liberty & ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Leon Foster Thomas: Metamorphosis

Read "Metamorphosis" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Throughout the history of jazz, what once seemed to be oddball instruments have inexorably become part of accepted sonic landscape, while others have fallen into disuse. It's hard to believe that the vibraphone, flute, and violin were once seen as un-swinging, non-jazz instruments, while the banjo and tuba were considered essential linchpins of the jazz sound. ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Randy Bernsen Heats Up With "Grace Notes"

Randy Bernsen Heats Up With "Grace Notes"

Grace Notes marks Randy Bernsen’s return to working on a bigger canvas with another all-star cast, including Yellowjackets co-founders Jimmy Haslip and Russell Ferrante, drummers Peter Erskine, Gary Novak and Virgil Donati, keyboardist Scott Kinsey Mac Chew and Colin James, saxophonist Steve Tavaglione, percussionists Luis Conte, Archie Pena and blues harmonica ace Rockin’ Jake. Florida homeboys ...

Jaco Pastorius: Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions

Read "Jaco Pastorius: Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions" reviewed by John Kelman

1976 was, for electric bassists, the year where everything changed. Jaco Pastorius hadn't quite emerged from nowhere, and the few prior recordings on which he could be found may have provided some hint of what was to come, but it was the quadruple punch of fellow legend-in-the-making Pat Metheny's leader debut Bright Size Life (ECM, 1976), ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Monty Alexander

Read "Monty Alexander" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Monty Alexander has some great things to celebrate in 2012. For one, he's entered his fiftieth year as a professional musician--a remarkable career where he's made an indelible mark in the world of jazz and in the music of his native Jamaica. For another, he had two hugely successful records in the past year that ranked ...