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ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Medeski, Martin & Wood: Sound Sculpting

Read "Medeski, Martin & Wood: Sound Sculpting" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

Progressive keyboard trio Medeski, Martin & Wood has helped redefine the boarder where musical genres meet since the group's inception over 20 years ago. MMW has experimented with everything from song structure to acoustic-electric instrumental blends, all while appealing to both jazz-specific and mainstream audiences. Free Magic (Indirecto, 2012) is a fine example of MMW's exploratory ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Zorn: Nosferatu

Read "Nosferatu" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

The idea of saxophonist/composer John Zorn writing music to accompany a production about vampires has exciting implications. After all, it would seem logical that a man who has, over the past 40 years, helped expand the scope of sounds that can be considered music should be able to craft something truly mind-bending when dealing with such ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Madsen: Pop Art

Read "Pop Art" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

Freedom of musical form is one of the many beauties of jazz. Jazz musicians express themselves through improvisation over musical structures that they can alter at any moment, shifting through different meters, timbres and harmonic landscapes. However, musicians run the risk of becoming too self-invested when they engage in long-form improvisation. In those unfortunate instances when ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Arturo Sandoval Live in Evanston with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra

Read "Arturo Sandoval Live in Evanston with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

Arturo Sandoval with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
Northwestern University Soundings Spring Festival
Evanston, IL

April 7, 2012

Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval says he's happy some people still listen to music made by musicians playing instruments. In an age when people can download songs for 99 cents without knowing who arranged the songs ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Hugh Masekela: Jabulani

Read "Jabulani" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

At the age of 72, South African vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Hugh Masekela is still making music with as much energy and passion as he did in the days of “Grazin' in the Grass" at the height of his international fame in the 1960s and 1970s. Historically, Masekela has used his music as a form of social ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Roy Eldridge: In Paris

Read "Roy Eldridge: In Paris" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

Roy Eldridge

In Paris

Vogue

1951

Trumpeter Roy Eldridge left the United States for Paris in 1950 fearing that the emergence of bebop, which he had strongly influenced, would make his more traditional style of playing obsolete and lose him his formerly adoring audiences. Eldridge did not stay in Paris for as ...

Badbadnotgood: BBNGLIVE 2

Read "Badbadnotgood: BBNGLIVE 2" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

Hip-hop grooves and electronics are not new to the jazz world. In the 1970s, forward-thinking jazz giants such as trumpeter Miles Davis and keyboardists Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea popularized the sound of electrified keyboards and horns supported by rhythm sections of slapping bass players, superhuman fusion drummers and funky electric guitarists. Since at least 2003, ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Ella and Basie!

Read "Ella and Basie!" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

In July 1963, singer Ella Fitzgerald and pianist Count Basie's orchestra entered the studio for their first full-length recording session as a collective. They produced a gem for both veteran jazz fans and novices. The album features both artists in top swinging form and it is concise enough to serve as an introduction to those just ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Bad Plus: Never Stop

Read "Never Stop" reviewed by Thomas Carroll

For the past decade, The Bad Plus has received both praise and criticism for its idiosyncratic approach to jazz-rock. Liberal jazz fans and those who are inclined towards the mainstream but want to dabble in jazz have enthusiastically received the band's modern piano trio reworking of rock standards such as Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit" and ...