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Billy Martin

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Above all else, Billy Martin believes in the power of unguarded expression to capture glimpses of the truth – sometimes only fleetingly, sometimes for extended, intoxicating stretches. He pursues the ecstatic and the insightful from a variety of vantage points: as a drummer and percussionist, as a composer, as a filmmaker, sculptor, visual artist, and even as a carpenter. To varying degrees, each endeavor is marked by Martin’s dearly held belief that unfettered improvisation and an honest commitment to the moment at hand can bring about new levels of understanding, new perspectives, new sonic textures, and a more profound emotional impact

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Billy Martin (aka Illy B) On The Nature Of Art And The Art Of Nature

Read "Billy Martin (aka Illy B) On The Nature Of Art And The Art Of Nature" reviewed by Leo Sidran


Billy Martin (also known as Illy B) is many things. He's a visual artist, a filmmaker, a teacher, a builder, a composer, a record producer... But if you know his name, chances are it's from his band Medeski, Martin and Wood, a project he's had for 30 years now along with bassist Chris Wood and keyboardist ...

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Article: Year in Review

Doug Collette's Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Doug Collette's Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Doug Collette


Given the challenging year that was 2020, “Best of..." lists may turn out to be the high points of the last twelve months. Certainly there were times in the spring when it seemed as though a drought of new music might be inescapable, but as summer turned to fall, the titles kept rolling out, with the ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Ennio Morricone + Betty LaVette, Gordon Grdina, Billy Martin & New Releases

Read "Ennio Morricone + Betty LaVette, Gordon Grdina, Billy Martin & New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This week we pay tribute to the late Ennio Morricone the way we often do, through renditions of his memorable soundtracks performed by contemporary creative jazz artists like John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Marco Cappelli, Guano Padano, and Oddjob. We then check out some great new releases that cross borders, stylistic definitions and generations. Happy ...

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Article: Interview

Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium

Read "Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium" reviewed by Mike Brannon


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in April 1999. No, they're not a law firm, and though they're not yet a household word either, MMW is a trio of formidable sonic integrity and groove. 'Fronted' by Hammond B-3 organist John Medeski, the trio has been described as everything ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New albums from Eric St-Laurent, Logan Strosahl and Taylor Ho Bynum

Read "New albums from Eric St-Laurent, Logan Strosahl and Taylor Ho Bynum" reviewed by Bob Osborne


This week we feature albums from Eric St-Laurent, Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette and Logan Strosahl. The philosopher Joseph Campbell wrote extensively about “following one's bliss." These influential writings form the conceptual basis for Bliss Station, the 13th album of original music by Toronto-based guitarist and composer Eric St-Laurent. Taylor Ho Bynum's latest ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Junius Paul, Alexandra Grimal & Fay Victor

Read "Junius Paul, Alexandra Grimal & Fay Victor" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


The concert tapes for the recent release of Sun Ra & The Arkestra recorded live in Poland in 1986 were sitting in a dusty basement in Kalisz, Poland all this time. Now recovered and mastered to today's standards, there's a worthy addition to Sun Ra's voluminous discography. On this week's show you'll hear a pair of ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Gordon Grdina, Karl Berger & Jason Kao Hwang, Byron Asher & Colin Hinton

Read "Gordon Grdina, Karl Berger & Jason Kao Hwang, Byron Asher & Colin Hinton" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


Vancouver's Gordon Grdina is masterfully adept at guitar and oud, so that flexibility leads to many possibilities for playing opportunities, from jazz and improv settings to his world music group, Haram. This episode finds Grdina opening things up with music from two very recent recordings: Skin and Bones (with Matthew Shipp and Mark Helias) and Cooper's ...

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Article: In Pictures

Sound the Alarms: Medeski Martin & Wood at the 2019 NYC Winter Jazz Festival

Read "Sound the Alarms: Medeski Martin & Wood at the 2019 NYC Winter Jazz Festival" reviewed by Dave Kaufman


The 2019 jazz fest season is upon us and I'm taking to this opportunity to look back at some of my best festival experiences over the course of the last year. The JNY: New York City Winter Jazzfest celebrated its 15th anniversary this past year (2019). I have been very fortunate to have attended 12 of ...

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Article: Musician 2 Musician

The Cry of Jay Rodriguez

Read "The Cry of Jay Rodriguez" reviewed by Michael Blake


On an unseasonably warm February evening I set out from Brooklyn to catch the multi-instrumentalist Jay Rodriguez's band at Le Poisson Rouge. While walking from the West 4th Street subway station to the venue on Bleecker Street I recalled taking this exact route over 30 years ago to play a jam session in the ...


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