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Alexander Hawkins

Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure. His writing has been said to represent ‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’ (Point of Departure), and his voice one of the ‘most vividly distinctive...in modern jazz’ (The Jazzmann). As a pianist, he has been described as ‘remarkable...possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.’ Concerning his organ playing, critic Brian Morton recently commented that ‘[t]he most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more, [Hawkins] has already extended what can be done on the instrument.’ He is a frequent solo performer, and also appears in groupings ranging from duo (with the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Han Bennink and Sofia Jernberg), via his co-led quartet with the vocalist Elaine Mitchener ('probably a new standard for improvised music with song', Jazzism), through to large ensembles ('Unit[e]...is a free-jazz masterpiece', Free Jazz). An in-demand sideman, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Matana Roberts, and Shabaka Hutchings, amongst many others

Apura!

Label: Astral Spirits
Released: 2020
Track listing: CD1: Apura!; Heto Buhay Pa; State Of Emergency; Utang Na Loob; Totoo Yan; Siyanga Pala; I Eat Death Threats For Breakfast; Resist; CD2: FDT; Harana; Refugee; Warriors; Player Piano; Balikbayan; Consummatum Est.

Shards and Constellations

Label: Intakt Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: If Becomes Is; Shards and Constellations; Danced Together; Sung Together; Peace on You; Strange Familiar; A Guess That Deepens; Serene and Playful; Albert Ayler (His Life Was Too Short); Is Becomes If.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Karl Evangelista: Apura!

Read "Apura!" reviewed by John Sharpe

One sure-fire way for up-and-coming musicians to get attention is to convene an all star combo. Though Bay Area-based Filipino-American guitarist (and sometime AAJ scribe) Karl Evangelista follows that route on his fourth album Apura! he makes surprising but astute choices of bandmates by enlisting the services of legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo and the ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Ambrose Akinmusire, Omri Zeigele, Adam Caine & More

Read "Ambrose Akinmusire, Omri Zeigele, Adam Caine & More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

When a highly respected saxophonist like David Binney recommends a young up-and-coming musician, I tend to pay attention. Los Angeles trombonist Logan Kane and his Nonet live up to the tip on his new Nope, Science, one of the featured new releases hitting this week. Also of great interest are albums from the much-admired trumpeter Ambrose ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

New albums from new 9Donkeys label

Read "New albums from new 9Donkeys label" reviewed by Bob Osborne

On this show I am featuring three new albums from the new off shoot label of Screwgun Records called 9Donkeys. The music is from Tim Berne's Broken Shadows and Adobe Probe groups plus some duo work with Matt Mitchell. All three albums feature live recordings from the vaults. There are also examples of some ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Chad Taylor Trio, Rob Burke & Jeff Albert

Read "Chad Taylor Trio, Rob Burke & Jeff Albert" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

A look at some of the early music and the lives of two recently departed free jazz greats, Giuseppi Logan and Henry Grimes is this episode's feature. From New Orleans, new tunes from trombonist Jeff Albert, Aussie saxophonist Rob Burke and trumpeter Paul Williamson, Chicago guitarist Tim Stine and drummer Chad Taylor and his trio are ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor, Samuel Blaser & Marc Ducret and more

Read "James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor,  Samuel Blaser & Marc Ducret and more" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Mark this one down on your “must-get" list: Live in Willisau by saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and drummer Chad Taylor. It's on Intakt Records, captured live at the annual Willisau Festival in Switzerland. Excellent recording, one that zooms to my favourites of 2020 list. This episode is filled with music from new releases from pianist Alexander ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 6

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 6" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

The Jazz Immuno-Booster mixtape series continues. This sixth installment features musical therapy selections by Thana Alexa, Francesco Bigoni, Terri Lyne Carrington, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Kris Davis, Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura, Alexander Hawkins, Will Holshouser, Ha-Yang Kim, Michael Mwenso, Jessica Pavone, Mark Turner, Happy listening! Stay safe and sane with the help of great ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alexander Hawkins and Tomeka Reid: Shards and Constellations

Read "Shards and Constellations" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although they have not recorded together previously, pianist Alexander Hawkins and cellist Tomeka Reid are both improvisers with omnivorous musical tastes and soaring ambition. Hawkins has fronted his own ensembles over the years—perhaps the most notable example being Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel, 2014)—but he's been active in freely-improvised contexts as well, working with everyone from ...


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