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Musician

Billy Bang

Born:

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

Album

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.

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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, ...

18

Article: Album Review

Billy Bang: Lucky Man

Read "Lucky Man" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


When he performed in Germany, they called him the “black devil violinist," his frenetic playing wrapped in a gyrating, trance-like state. For Billy Bang, who believed he had schizophrenia, the epithet bore a resemblance to his inner turmoil. He was born William Walker in Mobile, Alabama but grew up in the South Bronx. He studied violin ...

4

Article: Album Review

Steve Swell: Astonishments

Read "Astonishments" reviewed by John Pietaro


Among the trombonists of New York's downtown scene, or uptown for that matter, no one even comes close to Steve Swell. His level of artistry, ability to create within any sonic cloud, compositional strengths and sheer fortitude set a new standard decades ago. Deemed a veteran of the new music that tore up the 1970s and ...

6

Article: Album Review

Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor feat. Jon Irabagon & Joe Fonda: Long Tall Sunshine

Read "Long Tall Sunshine" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The fourth release by Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, Long Tall Sunshine, evokes (in a weird way) the lyrics to “Helter Skelter" by The Beatles: “When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride Till ...

1

Article: Book Review

Universal Tonality - The Life and Music of William Parker

Read "Universal Tonality - The Life and Music of William Parker" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala


Universal Tonality -The Life and Music of William Parker Cisco Bradley 408 pagine Duke University Press 2021 Ricordiamo bene l'esibizione della Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, il 31 maggio 1998, al Teatro Nuovo di Verona, menzionata nelle prime righe dell'introduzione di Universal Tonality--The Life and Music of William Parker, ...

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Article: Book Review

Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker

Read "Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Universal Tonality: The Life And Music Of William Parker Cisco Bradley 384 Pages ISBN: # 978147801014 Duke University Press 2021 Who is William Parker? He is a jazz bassist, yes. But he is also a band leader, composer, writer & poet, community organizer, peace activist, and cultural anthropologist. Cisco ...

11

Article: Album Review

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May


The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

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Article: Interview

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...


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