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ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

New Music in an Anxious Time: Teis Semey, Peggy Lee and Philipp Gropper

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Historians of jazz identify the African-American civil rights struggle circa 1945-1965 as the locus for the most active involvement of jazz music in expressions of social and political protest. One of the earliest recorded instances of explicit political protest in jazz, “Strange Fruit," was refused by Decca, singer Billie Holiday's record label, for fear of reprisals ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Werlin's Notable Hi-Res Releases in 2018

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2018 has been a good year for jazz music in hi-res audio formats. ECM, Songlines, Intakt, ACT Music, Firehouse 12, Foné, Mack Avenue, TRPTK, and other independent labels released newly-recorded and recent catalog albums in high resolution through download vendors, Bandcamp, and the labels' own websites. One US music vendor lists more than 300 jazz titles ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

TRPTK: Breaking Genre Walls

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TRPTK, an independent new music label based in the Netherlands, produces hi-res recordings with astonishingly realistic sound quality. TRPTK's catalogue of jazz and new music erases the boundaries of musical genres, and pursues a commonality of purpose that overrides differences in cultural and national backgrounds.

Æon Trio: Elegy Elegy, performed by the jazz ensemble ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

Eric Dolphy: Gone In The Air

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Newly-remastered SACD reissues of Eric Dolphy's albums for the Prestige label mark the 90th anniversary of his birth.

The recording sessions that Eric Dolphy led in the last four years of his life advanced the evolution of jazz. It was a tragedy that Eric Dolphy gave himself so completely and unselfishly to art ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

Dálava, Gordon Grdina and Mikkel Ploug: Songs Old, and Sounds New

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Strangeness--a word that connotes foreignness, otherness, and a sense of unease when confronted by the unfamiliar. The sound of recognizable musical forms may attract us, in the same way we are drawn to familiar faces or voices. The sound of a foreign language may set us on the alert; syllables we do not recognize, meanings we ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

Charles Mingus and Miles Davis: Changing Moods

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The recordings of Charles Mingus in the mid-1950s document a musical voice so distinctive that they are immediately recognizable today. But Mingus' obsessive commitment to the primacy of the composition was not always shared by his peers, nor understood by his critics.

A public feud between Mingus, who was struggling unsuccessfully to win critical ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David James's GPS: Billionaire Blues

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A community of independent-minded creative musicians persists in Northern California in spite of skyrocketing rents, the collapse of the Fillmore Jazz District, and the flight of fellow artists to points south (L.A.), and East (New York, Europe). Most of the new jazz music written and performed in the Bay Area is not commercially recorded or marketed ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

The Westerlies: New Music For Brass In Hi Res

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The Westerlies, a self-titled album performed by an “accidental brass quartet" of two trumpet players and two trombonists, is a stunning accomplishment: a reference-quality recording of trans-genre new instrumental music that managed to beat the odds and reach a wide audience. The album's unexpected success points to the importance of curation in an overcrowded online music ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light

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Visual art is a play of shadow and light, and contrast makes the forms visible. In the best jazz music, there is a kind of inner light that emanates from the musicians, the light of creative impulse, the light of spontaneous artistic expression. Some jazz musicians--too many--cast their own shadows of addiction and self-destructiveness. But often--too ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

Miles Davis: In Time, All Changes

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Considered the most influential small jazz group of the middle 1960s, the Miles Davis “Second Great Quintet" has often been imitated but never equaled. Critical consensus holds that the revival of jazz in the 1980s was inspired by the six albums the Quintet recorded from 1965-1968. But a set of particular cultural and personal dynamics shaped ...