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Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines

Read "Big Bands, Orchestras and Soft Machines" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Randy Brecker & NDR Bigband
Rocks
Piloo Records & Productions LLC
2019

The easiest answer isn't always the best answer, but sometimes it is. So it's both easy and proper to point out that trumpet and flugelhorn master, composer, and bandleader Randy Brecker was kind enough ...

Take Five with Christian de Mesones

Read "Take Five with Christian de Mesones" reviewed by Christian de Mesones

About Christian de Mesones

Christian “Big New York" de Mesones has been playing bass guitar for decades. At 18, he graduated from the world-famous Bass Institute of Technology (now the Musician's Institute) in Hollywood, California where he studied with such greats as Abraham Laboriel, Pat Martino, and the late Tommy Tedesco.

He ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bruford-Borstlap: Sheer Reckless Abandon

Read "Sheer Reckless Abandon" reviewed by John Kelman

One of the great joys of music can be that of distance: coming back to a piece of music, a musician/group or a discography, even, years later to rediscover it anew. While returning to music after a break of months, years...even decades...is not always a revelation, it's likely true that, if the music was appealing the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Aaron Rimbui: Nairobi to New York City

Read "Aaron Rimbui: Nairobi to New York City" reviewed by Seton Hawkins



Kenya is noted for an extraordinary array of musical offerings yet its jazz scene has historically been quite slim. However, Nairobi-born pianist Aaron Rimbui may change that dynamic. Drawing on the musical traditions of Kenya and East Africa, Rimbui has established a singular and absolutely arresting approach to jazz piano.

With several ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Brent Birckhead: Birckhead

Read "Birckhead" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

As an alumnus of Lauryn Hill, Nas, George Duke, and Larry Graham as well as a Downbeat Award winner for outstanding instrumentalist, alto saxophonist Brent Birckhead has certainly absorbed his influences well. So it's anyone's conjecture why he would possibly want to undermine his musical intentions by intro-ing his eponymous release with a brief but utterly ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bobby Sparks II: Schizophrenia: The Yang Project

Read "Schizophrenia: The Yang Project" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Listening to this incredible double CD it's hard to believe that this is Bobby Sparks II's first album under his own name. Granted he has contributed to many records in his quarter-century career, notably with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Miller, Fred Hammond and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent). However, this prodigious double-album ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Dianne Reeves at The Rose Theater

Read "Dianne Reeves at The Rose Theater" reviewed by Akinfe Fatou

Dianne Reeves
Frederick P. Rose Hall
New York, NY
February 16, 2019

Dianne Reeves delivered a gracefully enchanting and heartfelt Valentine's Day weekend performance at The Rose Theater in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. In its eighth year, JALC is still the most romantic venue for elite Jazz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: MPS: 50 Years

Read "MPS: 50 Years" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In 2018, MPS--Musik Produktion Schwarzwald--Records, Germany's first jazz label, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Pianist Oscar Peterson recorded the first release for MPS after his contract with Verve expired. Its catalog expanded to feature George Duke, Red Garland, Wolfgang Dauner, Horst Jankowski, George Shearing, Monty Alexander and many other pianists. Violin became the label's second most featured ...

One Day in Brazil, 50 Years in Germany

Read "One Day in Brazil, 50 Years in Germany" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Tony Adamo
Was Out Jazz Zone Mad
Ropeadope
2018

Some African cultures preserved their history not by the written but by the spoken word, kept by oral cultural historians known as griots. On Was Out Jazz Zone Mad, vocalist Tony Adamo aspires to serve in this same role, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

The Yellow Shark di Frank Zappa al Romaeuropa Festival

Read "The Yellow Shark di Frank Zappa al Romaeuropa Festival" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

The Yellow Shark di Frank Zappa
Romaeuropa Festival
Parco della Musica
Roma
10.10.2018

The Yellow Shark è l'ultima opera orchestrale realizzata da Frank Zappa nel corso della sua vita, e rappresenta la summa (e probabilmente anche l'apice) della sua attività di compositore e musicista “serio," come ha sempre voluto ...