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ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Branford Marsalis at The Ohio Theatre

Read "Branford Marsalis at The Ohio Theatre" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Branford Marsalis Quartet
Ohio Theatre
Cleveland, Ohio
October 10, 2019

Branford Marsalis is a jazz chameleon. Few saxophonists could go from playing his brother Wynton's straight-ahead outfit to pursing cross over opportunities with pop-star Sting and hip-hop legend Guru to now making music with Gabriel Prokofiev, the great-grandson of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

l'Oumigmag: Habitant

Read "Habitant" reviewed by Matt Hooke

L'Oumigmag's Habitant is an ambitious reimagining of traditional Quebecois folk, based on the environment and natural beauty of the area around the St. Lawrence River. It has a feeling of comfort that is often reminiscent of a friendly bluegrass jam.

Habitant is a reference to the first French settlers of the St. Lawrence River. ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Stick Men at the Beachland Ballroom

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Stick Men, CuDa Sheif & CuDa
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland Ohio
August 4, 2019

The audience at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on August 4 witnessed the Stick Men develop a new canon for a new breed of instruments.

Markus Reuter and Tony Levin both play instruments that are less ...

ARTICLE: JAZZMATAZZ

Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival

Read "Jazz, Zen, and Hip-Hop: The 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Exploring the grounds of the Montreal Jazz Festival is like going to all you can eat Las Vegas buffet.

“Look over there at table four; there's Dixieland. Wait at table six, there's Latin jazz, supposedly the main table as a new head chef, let's go there."

You can stuff yourself by going ...

ARTICLE: JAZZMATAZZ

Remembering Dr. John

Read "Remembering Dr. John" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Dr. John, Ph'd in jny: New Orleans piano with a minor in voodoo, died at the age 77 on June 6. Dr. John honored his roots, learned from masters like Professor Longhair, and added his own special herbs to create a gumbo that can never be recreated, even if someone manages to find a recipe. Dr. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Wilkes: Wilkes

Read "Wilkes" reviewed by Matt Hooke

A debut album by a bassist sometimes features displays of tremendous virtuosity, an attempt to expand the boundaries of an instrument often relegated to the background. Think of Jaco Pastorius's self-titled debut album. On Wilkes, LA session musician Sam Wilkes, best known for backing electronic duo Knowner, goes in the opposite direction, and that's what makes ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin At The Bop Stop

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Nik Bartsch's Ronin
Bop Stop
Cleveland, Ohio
October 28, 2018

The way Nik Bärtsch dresses reveals a lot about his music. He steps up to the piano wearing a Samue, the traditional dress of Zen Buddhist monks, and sneakers. One represents a spiritual tradition thousands of years old, requiring the utmost ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Soft Machine at the Beachland Ballroom

Read "Soft Machine at the Beachland Ballroom" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Soft Machine
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, OH
October 18, 2018

A disco ball may have been spinning at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland Ohio, but this was no dance party. Instead, Soft Machine brought their brand of progressive jazz-rock to the venue with the energy of a band a fraction of its age. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares: Aguas

Read "Aguas" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Omar Sosa is an artist whose music is always in flux. With each new album, Sosa presents new aspects of himself and brings in new collaborators to expand his Afro-Cuban-rooted music. Aguas is no exception to this, as it sees Sosa moving in an opposite direction from his explorations in 2017's fantastic Transparent Water, which, at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Gondwana Orchestra: Colors

Read "Colors" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders is often imitated but, never matched. His spiritual free-floating style, marked by his distinctive tenor saxophone tone makes him instantly recognizable. On Colors, the Gondwana Orchestra does not attempt to mimic the master, as the album does not include a single saxophonist. Instead of saxophone, the focus is on pianist Taz ...