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The Creative Music Improvisers Forum: New Haven's AACM

Read "The Creative Music Improvisers Forum: New Haven's AACM" reviewed by Daniel Barbiero

The late 1960s through the 1970s and '80s were difficult years for jazz and jazz-derived improvised music, but they were also years that saw musicians--by necessity--respond to these difficulties with creative solutions. With first the rise and then the commercial dominance during those years of rock music and the corresponding eclipse of jazz, creative musicians in ...

Live From New York: Terry Riley, Gyan Riley, Oliver Lake, Amir ElSaffar & Tommy Castro

Read "Live From New York: Terry Riley, Gyan Riley, Oliver Lake, Amir ElSaffar & Tommy Castro" reviewed by Martin Longley

Terry Riley & Gyan Riley
(le) Poisson Rouge
April 3, 2019

Terry Riley and his son Gyan Riley enjoy an ongoing duo performance situation, in a forum where the elder composer places the emphasis on spontaneous improvisation, impromptu sonic texturing and intimate musical dialogue. Catching him in this setting, it's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Pierson: Last Works

Read "Last Works" reviewed by Doug Hall

As musicians make choices and pursue a passion for music which also directs their musical orbit, looking at jazz composer, arranger and pianist Tom Pierson's resume, it is clear that a creative search for originality and exploration was paramount, from the very beginning. Gifted at the start, Pierson was a piano prodigy and a soloist with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Wadada Leo Smith has been on a roll in the 2010s, recording and composing in several formats, including ambitious, long-form works such as the Pulitzer-nominated Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform, 2012,) which dealt mostly with the history of race relations in America. His latest work concentrates on one specific figure mentioned in that suite, Rosa Parks, the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Gregory Jackson Clarity Quartet: WHENUFINDITUWILLKNOW

Read "WHENUFINDITUWILLKNOW" reviewed by Troy Dostert

A guitarist with a prodigious recorded legacy and an omnivorous stylistic range, Michael Gregory Jackson's return to his avant-jazz roots during the past couple of decades has been a welcome, if under-recognized, development. While he cut his teeth in the '70s loft scene in the company of luminaries such as Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Julius ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs" reviewed by John Sharpe

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's prolonged late career flowering shows no sign of abating with the creation of yet another epic work, following on the heels of his monumental Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform, 2012), Great Lakes Suite (TUM, 2014) and America's National Parks (Cuneiform, 2016). For his inspiration he takes the story of Rosa Parks, one of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs" reviewed by Doug Hall

Acclaimed trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Wadada Leo Smith has released an oratorio of seven songs inspired by the iconic civil rights leader Rosa Parks. In his own words, Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs is “concerned with ideas of freedom, liberty and justice, a meditation centered around the civil rights movement." Looking ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tomasz Dabrowski: Ninjazz

Read "Ninjazz" reviewed by Don Phipps

Dark and foreboding, with a slight touch of heat, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski's album Ninjazz offers up a selection of work that reminds one of his mentor, the late great Tomasz Stanko, with a bit of Enrico Rava, Kenny Wheeler, and Mark Isham thrown in for good measure.

Dabrowski is joined on this effort ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously

Read "Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the first two parts of this series we looked at the origins of jazz in Japan and its adherence to the American style of composing, arranging and playing. Though jazz has been popular in Japan from the earliest days, it was--as in the United States--hardly met with unanimous approval in a country that prized classical ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Read "Najwa" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith is one of the few musicians remaining from the original, founding generation of Chicago's legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. But he has hardly rested since; Smith's Ten Freedom Summers (2012, Cuneiform) was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music; in 2017, Smith swept the Downbeat Critics' ...