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ARTICLE: JUST FOR FUN

Hot Rod Jazz God, Part 2: An Open Letter to Rod Stewart

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Um, Mr. Stewart, if you're reading this, first I want to apologize. In the past I wrote some things that you may have found slightly offensive.

Like those bits about harmless Uncle Rod who shows up on holidays with a bottle-shaped microphone and comparing your interpretation of standard jazz melodies to a bull in downtown ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

What is Jazz? Good Question...

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What is jazz? According to Wynton Marsalis jazz is music that swings. According to Pat Metheny jazz is not the music of Kenny G. According to Webster's jazz is characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, and often deliberate distortions of pitch and timbre. Personally, I prefer the definition found in ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Restore Your Soul: George Duke in Concert, Boston

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George Duke
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, Massachusetts
January 31, 2008


When George Duke walked out on stage this evening, he was greeted with a show of love befitting one of soul music's favorite sons. Showered with supportive shouts from Berklee students with whom he had spent a week-long residency, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Lucian Ban: Transylvania's Rhapsody in Blue

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One of the most creative new musicians on the New York City scene, Lucian Ban is a Transylvanian pianist and composer whose collaborations with fellow NYC jazzers continue to produce a burgeoning collection of original music. Recordings with Bob Stewart, Alex Harding, and Jorge Sylvester highlight Lucian's prodigious recent output, a body of work that includes ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Maria Schneider Flies into Boston: "Look, Up in the Sky! It's an Orchestra!"

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Maria Schneider Orchestra
Berklee Performance Hall
Boston, Massachusetts
November 17, 2007
The power of Maria Schneider's musical imagery calls to mind a variation on a superhero movie tagline: “You will believe a band can fly." And fly they did on what was their Boston debut, with the orchestra's diminutive blonde bandleader, ...

ARTICLE: JUST FOR FUN

Motel 5: As For You

Read "Motel 5: As For You" reviewed by Jason West

The phone in my office rang twice. I let the machine get it. The voice on the other end sounded desperate.

“Hey, West, I need a band to play Bill Gates' house.

Rough life, I mused, planning private parties for billionaires. Imagine all the stress involved in picking out the ...

Tad Britton: Black Hills

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Tad Britton
Black Hills
Origin Records
2007

It's unanimous. Of the 8 cuts on Black Hills - the debut release from a Seattle jazz trio featuring pianist Marc Seales, acoustic bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer/bandleader Tad Britton - the overwhelming favorite is “Fire and Rain. This according to ...

Hal Galper: Furious Rubato

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Hal Galper
Furious Rubato
Origin Records
2007

The new recording from pianist Hal Galper, with double-bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, initially conjures to mind the free improvisations of Cecil Taylor, Don Pullen with Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner with John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, whose “Milestones and ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Paul de Barros: Critically Speaking

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Admittedly, Paul de Barros could use a good ass-kicking. As the only on-staff jazz critic in a city with four major newspapers and a local scene overflowing with clubs and exceptional musicians, de Barros is in need of some healthy competition. Make that any competition. Criticism is the big missing ingredient in our juicy jazz scene, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Essential Michael Brecker

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This article was originally published at All About Jazz in November 1999.

Michael Brecker's contributions to music are generous and, like the pregnant ideas that flow from his tenor horn, they continue to grow. At 50, the saxophonist has found acceptance in a wide variety of musical settings, having performed with pop stars like ...