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Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble: From Maxville to Vanport

Read "From Maxville to Vanport" reviewed by Jack Bowers

From Maxville to Vanport is music with a purpose, saluting the courage and resilience of black Americans who helped build those cities in the '20s and '40s in the face of unrelenting prejudice and hostility and in so doing helped make the state of Oregon what it is today. The music is by Ezra Weiss, the ...


Kerry Politzer: Below the Surface

Read "Below the Surface" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Kerry Politzer's relocation to Portland, Oregon seems to have given her music a boost. Always a fine mainstream artist, whether working the trio or quartet modes on Blue in Blue (Piloo Records, 2010) or Labyrinth (Palisonic Records, 2005), now her first “Portland disc," Below the Surface, finds her in a common quintet setting--trumpet/saxophone and rhythm ...


The Ocular Concern: Sister Cities

Read "Sister Cities" reviewed by Claudio Bonomi

Gli Ocular Concern, band di Portland (Oregon), hanno iniziato a farsi ascoltare come trio dedicandosi a cover di brani di musica folk dell'Europa Orientale, di jazz contemporaneo e dei Kinks. Davvero, non male come repertorio e per chi volesse c'è ancora in circolazione il loro primo extended play, uscito nel 2011, che testimonia questa fase.


The Ocular Concern: Sister Cities

Read "Sister Cities" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Sister Cities is entrancingly concocted by this Portland, OR. band led by keyboardist Andrew Oliver and guitarist Dan Duval. The primary focal point is the five-part “Sister Cities Suite," abetted by a three-piece strings section, where the musicians frame the inspiring factors of a globalized 21st century, somehow affiliated with, or corresponding to the names of ...


Kin Trio: Breathe

Read "Breathe" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

The Kin Trio--saxophonist Sunjae Lee, bassist Andre St. James, drummer Tim DuRoche--call what they do “minimalist bebop." An apparent oxymoron, given that bebop has such maximalist tendencies (exhibit A is trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's dizzying “Bebop").

They don't mean to be taken so literally, of course. The Kin-men have ably absorbed the sparer offshoots ...