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ARTICLE: RADIO

Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die, Part 2

Read "Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we continue the retrospective dedicated to Frank Zappa's complex relationship with jazz, through a mix of the jazzier compositions performed by Zappa himself and countless tributes to his music paid by jazz musicians.

As Frank Zappa loved to say, quoting Edgard Varèse, “the present day composer refuses to die" and the ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die

Read "Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy Refuses to Die" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Frank Zappa may have said “jazz is not dead, it just smells funny" but looking at his life and music one does not get the impression that he really believed that jazz was decomposing or dying a slow death.

On Freak Out, one of the most impressive debut albums of all times, he ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Naima/Live in Berlin

Read "Naima/Live in Berlin" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Saxophonist Alan Skidmore has worked in many, many different settings during a career that stretches back to the early sixties with Alexis Korner--one of the three 'Fathers of British Blues" (paternity disputed!). That career has included recordings with John Mayall and Eric Clapton, Georgie Fame, Sonny Boy Williamson, Stan Tracey, Mike Westbrook, Mike Gibbs, the Walker ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Film Noir, a Jazz Investigation

Read "Film Noir, a Jazz Investigation" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

In search of clues about the key components that make it possible to build the mood, the suspense, the intrigue, the build-up of tension, the adrenaline rush and the release in a good film noir with a jazz soundtrack, or in the jazz soundtrack of an imaginary film noir.

Plus an interview with German-born, ...

ARTICLE: THE BIG QUESTION

Presenting Problem

Read "Presenting Problem" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Jazz often appears to exist within its own cultural and artistic paradigm, isolated from other arts and in its own discreet musical corner. Worse still from the perspective of those who would hope to make a living from it, it often seems that more people want to play the music than listen to it or, more ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alan Skidmore: After The Rain

Read "After The Rain" reviewed by Duncan Heining

In 1998, with After The Rain British saxophonist Alan Skidmore got to achieve a lifetime ambition to record this beautiful 'jazz with strings' album. Out of print for some time, its reissue is well overdue. It was once a cliché in the jazz world amongst critics that records such as this represented a descent into the ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

ELBJAZZ 2017

Read "ELBJAZZ 2017" reviewed by Ian Patterson

ELBJAZZ 2017
Blohm and Voss/various venues
Hamburg, Germany
June 2-3, 2017

Although Gregory Porter was the marquee name at the sixth edition of Elbjazz, with a strong supporting cast including Joshua Redman, Jan Garbarek, Hildegard Lernt Fliegen and Youn Sun Nah, the real star of the show was the spectacular festival ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz Found Alive! Man In Blue Suede Shoes Wanted For Questioning.

Read "Jazz Found Alive! Man In Blue Suede Shoes Wanted For Questioning." reviewed by Duncan Heining

Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra
LSO St. Lukes
London
October 17, 2015

The gap between the music that Colin Towns makes and much that currently passes for jazz grew even wider last weekend. Performing compositions from his new double CD Drama with his stellar Mask Orchestra, the composer-bandleader revealed the music's potential ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Blue Touch Paper: Drawing Breath

Read "Blue Touch Paper: Drawing Breath" reviewed by John Kelman

It's difficult enough for an artist or group to deliver their sophomore effort, but it's even more of a challenge when their debut is as strong as Blue Touch Paper's surprising Stand Well Back (Provocateur, 2011). Blue Touch Paper is the brainchild of British keyboardist/composer Colin Towns, who has already garnered plenty of acclaim for his ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Frisell: Live Download Series #1-13

Read "Bill Frisell: Live Download Series #1-13" reviewed by John Kelman

DS#001-013 | DS#014-017

One of the biggest problems facing contemporary jazz musicians is that they often have far more projects on the go than could ever be recorded and released commercially by conventional record labels--even small and relatively responsive indie labels. Special projects abound, or personnel changes for a tour are forced when members of ...