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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Simon Jazz Project: Light It Up

Read "Light It Up" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

The Randy Simon Jazz Project is a collection of some of Upstate New York's best and brightest jazz luminaries, all brought together to play the music of the titular Simon. Simon's compositions and arrangements are extraordinary. Complex yet completely accessible, he paints dazzling portraits in sound, creating perfect launching points for his soloists. Light It Up, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jeff Campbell Trio: A Declaration of Optimism

Read "A Declaration of Optimism" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Bassist Jeff Campbell's A Declaration of Optimism is a beautiful album with a lot to say, and manages to say it all in a very quiet way.

Beginning with the title track, Campbell's piano-less trio, also featuring tenor saxophonist John Wojciechowski = 15550}}, and drummer John Hollenbeck, establishes an intimate connection between the three instrumental voices. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Keith Pray's Big Soul Ensemble: Live at the Lark Tavern

Read "Live at the Lark Tavern" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Live recording can be a mixed blessing. On a live album, an artist has an opportunity to capture the raw energy created in performance before an audience. When the band is cooking and the audience is whooping it up, it is clear that while music is made in rehearsal halls and recording studios, it lives onstage. ...

NEWS: RADIO

"Where Dead Voices Gather" Launches Inaugural Podcast

"Where Dead Voices Gather" announces its inaugural podcast. The podcast, hosted by Alexander M. Stern, will focus on music recorded on 78 RPM records during the 1920s through the 1950s. Styles of music to be featured include jazz, blues, country, folk, western swing, gospel, and various international musics. New episodes will be posted weekly. Also visit the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Simon Jazz Project: Awakening

Read "Awakening" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

In describing his project on his website, composer Randy Simon characterizes his entry into the world of jazz composition as the result of a “midlife crisis." A lifelong jazz fan, Simon began taking piano lessons as an adult. Finding improvisation to be a challenge, he found that he could write down the melodies in his head, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Brian Patneaude at the Massry Center for the Arts in Albany, NY

Read "Brian Patneaude at the Massry Center for the Arts in Albany, NY" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Brian Patneaude
Massry Center for the Arts
Albany, NY
February 7, 2009


After a brief delay, Brian Patneaude and company took the stage at the Massry Center for the Arts to enthusiastic applause from the near-capacity crowd. Without a moment's hesitation, the group launched into the title track from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Adrian Cohen: Delphic

Read "Delphic" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Five years have passed since pianist Adrian Cohen released his debut CD, Standardized (Independent, 2003), an exhilarating exploration of the jazz repertoire in a trio setting. In that time, both Cohen's abilities and his reputation have grown. With Delphic, Cohen meets and exceeds the promise of his first disc.

The album takes its title from the ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Gene Perla: Bill's Waltz

Read "Gene Perla: Bill's Waltz" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Gene Perla

Bill's Waltz

PM Records

2008



Bill's Waltz, bassist Gene Perla's well-executed tribute to his former boss, drummer Elvin Jones, is one of those albums that could only exist in this modern world of digital recording techniques and studio trickery--and therein lies the rub. Many jazz listeners are conservative in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Quartsemble: Tango

Read "Tango" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Tango, as a musical form, originated during the late 19th century in Argentina and Uruguay among European immigrant populations. It derived its unique rhythms and sound from several different kinds of European dance music, including polkas, mazurkas, and flamenco, as well as Latin American musical styles like milonga and habanera. It is traditionally played by groups ...

Gimme That Old Time Shellac: Two Treasure Troves Of Vintage Americana

Read "Gimme That Old Time Shellac:  Two Treasure Troves Of Vintage Americana" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

There is a powerful irony in the modern consumption of old music. When record companies first sent representatives into the Appalachians and the Mississippi Delta, the intention was to record music that the inhabitants of those regions themselves would buy. The idea that people in cities like New York or Boston would be interested in the ...