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Billy Bang


The violin is hardly the first instrument that comes to mind when you think about jazz, but that's never daunted Billy Bang, one of the instrument's most adventurous exponents. Over the past 26 years Bang's hard-edged tone, soulful sense of traditional swing and evocatively expressive style has enhanced over two dozen albums by top names in a variety of genres, from the blistering funk of Bootsy Collins and the harmolodic groove of Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society to the intergalactic uproar of Sun Ra. With more than 15 albums under his own leadership, nearly a dozen more in co-led endeavors, and five more with the String Trio of New York (which he co-founded in 1977 with guitarist James Emery and bassist John Lindberg), Billy Bang is one of the more prolific and original members of the progressive scene


Article: Album Review

WeFreeStrings: Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage

Read "Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage" reviewed by Mark Corroto

History does repeat itself, violist Melanie Dyer draws from the same well of inspiration as Max Roach's We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (Candid, 1961). Maybe better put, history reveals Martin Luther King's arc of the moral universe has only bent a few degrees in the past sixty years. With Love In The Form Of Sacred ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Charles Mingus, Rosa Brunello, Billy Mohler, Brian Jackson & More New Releases

Read "Charles Mingus, Rosa Brunello, Billy Mohler, Brian Jackson & More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

The Mingus centennial, of course. But first and foremost a celebration of living musicians while they're alive and kicking and engaged in their latest projects.Happy listening!PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Rémi Panossian Trio “BBQ" Happy Birthdé (Regarts) 0:16 Host talks 4:34 Various Artists—Billy Bang “The ...


Article: Album Review

OGJB Quartet: Ode To O

Read "Ode To O" reviewed by John Sharpe

An assemblage of stars doesn't always result in a constellation. But astronomers will need to take note in the case of the OGJB Quartet, called after the forename initials of the four members: reedman Oliver Lake, cornetist Graham Haynes, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Barry Altschul. On the venerable collective's second album Ode To O following ...


Article: Album Review

The OGJB Quartet: Ode To O

Read "Ode To O" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The OGJB Quartet, a formidable all-star grouping of saxophonist Oliver Lake, cornetist Graham Haynes, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Barry Altschul, are back with their second album, one even more wide-ranging and soulful than their first, Bamako, (TUM, 2019). The album combines tracks based on gutbucket rhythms with others full of exploratory abstractions. The ...


Lucky Man

Label: BBE Records
Released: 2021
Track listing: Introduction; Billy playing with the Banhar Gong Group of Kuntum (traditional and improvised); Flashback Tunnel Reflections; Mystery of the Mekong; The Sun Rising – Introduction to Song for Don Cherry; Song for Don Cherry; Flashback Memories; New Saigon Phunk; Traditional Vietnamese Catru Music; Billy Reflecting on Memories and Feelings; Jungle Lullaby; Quynh Anh Pham's Memories About Her Father; Dan Da; Billy Speaking About Music and Art; Flashlight and a 45 Tunnel Memories; Lucky Man Title Music: Vietnam 1967 Battle Composition; Teach Me Banhar; Traditional Quan Ho; Billy Reflecting on America, Music and Being Left Alone; Moments for the KIAMIA; Quynh Anh Pham Lullaby; New Saigon Phunk.


Article: Year in Review

Karl Ackermann's Best Creative Music of 2021

Read "Karl Ackermann's Best Creative Music of 2021" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

2020 was a disaster and 2021 was less than a beacon of hope. COVID-19 is in the rear-view mirror but closer than it appears. The political clown cars are over capacity, still running on fossil fuel and spilling occupants into the drinking water. That said, jazz and creative music flourished in ways that could make us ...


Article: In Pictures

The Compelling Urgency of Now: Celebrating Peace, Justice and Improvised Music

Read "The Compelling Urgency of Now: Celebrating Peace, Justice and Improvised Music" reviewed by Dave Kaufman

Arts for Arts, the organization responsible for the Vision Festival, has put together a series of “Peace and Justice Celebration" concerts at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center situated on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan in jny: New York City. I was fortunate to attend a performance on October 15, 2021 which was the ...


Article: Album Review

Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor: Long Tall Sunshine

Read "Long Tall Sunshine" reviewed by John Sharpe

Even deep into a career which began with the Jazz Composers Orchestra and pianist Paul Bley in the 1960s, drummer Barry Altschul's music remains vital and compelling. Since 2010 his primary leadership outlet has been The 3Dom Factor, a freewheeling threesome completed by bassist Joe Fonda and reedman Jon Irabagon. Long Tall Sunshine, a live date ...


Article: Album Review

Tomeka Reid - Joe Morris: Combinations

Read "Combinations" reviewed by John Sharpe

One of the fascinations of a duet is how the alternating tension and balance between the two poles can create an overall mood which differs from either of the constituent parts. Abstraction particularly promotes that sort of ambiguity, and it is especially prevalent in the pairing of cellist Tomeka Reid and guitarist Joe Morris on Combinations, ...


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