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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' ...

From Choro to Chaos

Read "From Choro to Chaos" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Berkeley Choro Ensemble
The View from Here
Self-Produced
2017

Like its organic natural wonders, the music of Brazil seems to flourish in different forms and styles of beauty. But much of its music has grown from the root of choro: Born in the mid-to late-1800s from the joining ...

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Read "Najwa" reviewed by Maurizio Comandini

Il trombettista Wadada Leo Smith chiama a raccolta i suoi fedelissimi per una nuova scorribanda nei territori dell'emozione, con la sua tromba spiritata che guida il cammino con saggezza e ferma determinazione, tracciando le linee guida attraverso le quali poi tutti i musicisti saranno chiamati a dare il proprio ampio contributo nella tessitura narrativa dei cinque ...

Goldbug: Naacal

Read "Naacal" reviewed by Geno Thackara

When thinking of ancient civilizations, it's natural to start with, say, Sumerians or Egyptians. The Naacal aren't exactly first to leap to mind--not least because nobody knows if they actually existed. There was a certain amount of creative license in the earliest writings about pre-Mayan people in Central America and the lost continent of Mu. Barry ...

Holger Czukay: Cinema

Read "Cinema" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Cinema is an irresistible five cd/dvd box set of music that enables the discovery of the creative mind of Holger Czukay (1938-2017). It may afford a re-discovery for a select few. Probably best known as a member of the famous Krautrock band CAN, which he co-founded in 1968, this collection surveys his post-CAN creations which were ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World Of Captain Beefheart

Read "The World Of Captain Beefheart" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Gary Lucas has been a long time fan of the one-of-a-kind mutant rock-jazz-blues of Captain Beefheart. This led to his being part of Beefheart's Magic Band in the '80s and to his revisiting the music after Beefheart's 1985 retirement in various formats including a raucous jazz tribute band, Fast 'n' Bulbous. This time he goes back ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon

Read "NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

NYC Winter Jazzfest
The Friday Marathon
New York, NY
January 12, 2018

As the setting sun ushered in the first of two NYC Winter Jazzfest marathon nights on Friday, January 12, the only thing that seemed to be missing was winter itself. After coping with a deep freeze for weeks, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest

Read "Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Ornette Coleman once said that sound has no parents. But that doesn't mean we can't be its children. On that point, jazz has always been something of a parental force, connecting progenies of representation across geographic and cultural borders. Its relationship to struggle has, however, at times been overshadowed by debate. On the one hand, jazz ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn at The Stone

Read "Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn at The Stone" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn
The Stone
New York, NY
December 19, 2017

How do you fit a camel through the eye of a needle? On December 19, the music summoned by Bill Laswell, Milford Graves, and John Zorn answered that very question: By starting with a larger needle, ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa

Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa" reviewed by Doug Collette

Wadada Leo Smith's most recently recorded albums reaffirm this trumpeter/composer/bandleader's deep, abiding loyalty to his muse. Equally so on stage or in the studio, Smith's devotion to the creative impulse is absolutely unwavering, and, as a result, his works are pure, direct expressions of his concepts, undiluted by compromise. Such is the uniformity of his execution ...