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Dean Christesen


Dean Christesen is a jazz drummer residing in Richmond, VA.


Article: Album Review

Fight the Big Bull: Dying Will Be Easy

Read "Dying Will Be Easy" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Fight the Big Bull's debut record begins darkly, with a fear brooding in the growl of a distorted trombone, unsettling bass and haunting shakers. It ends in a similar, yet tweaked tone, with an epic chorus making way for one last statement of defeat (or is it victory?). Amidst the rest of the work emerges a ...


Article: Album Review

Angles: Every Woman is a Tree

Read "Every Woman is a Tree" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Every Woman is a Tree is dedicated to the women of Iraq, whose children cling to their branches for protection during this time of war. It asks the brutal question of what happens to the children when the branches are cut and the tree is killed, as well as questions of leadership and societal upbringing. The ...


Article: Album Review

Glows in the Dark: Music to Listen to Glows in the Dark By

Read "Music to Listen to Glows in the Dark By" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Guitarist Scott Burton's compositions are as natural and uncontrived as his guitar playing: they work seamlessly with meaning and breadth. The debut record from his quintet, Glows in the Dark, features eight originals by the guitarist. Often shifting from dire marches to vicious free jazz to driving punk beats, the music never freezes. It would be ...


Article: Live Review

Brad Mehldau Trio at Wolf Trap

Read "Brad Mehldau Trio at Wolf Trap" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Brad Mehldau TrioWolf Trap, The BarnsVienna, VirginiaApril 30, 2008 A well-developed solo is a beautiful construction that takes time. Using time to their advantage, the Brad Mehldau Trio played an intoxicating set at the Barns at Wolftrap. The trio's latest album, Live (Nonesuch, 2008), came to life as the sense of blossoming solos ...


Article: Album Review

Clusone Trio: Love Henry

Read "Love Henry" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Introduced on the first track as “der Free Jazz Veteran," Han Bennink lives up to his reputation on this live German festival concert recording. The Clusone Trio of drummer Bennink, wind player Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger constantly feed off of each other's energy and contribute to form a unique group sound that explores the ...


Article: Album Review

Andre Ceccarelli Trio: Avenue des Diables Blues

Read "Avenue des Diables Blues" reviewed by Dean Christesen

The French can swing hard. Let Andre Ceccarelli's 2005 release Avenue des Diables Blues be evidence of this. Frenchmen drummer Ceccarelli and guitarist Bireli Lagrene along with Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond organ display fine technique and wisely executed playing all throughout this Parisian release. “Nardis" leads off with a bang and wandering time before ...


Article: Live Review

Branford Marsalis Demonstrates Leadership in Richmond

Read "Branford Marsalis Demonstrates Leadership in Richmond" reviewed by Dean Christesen

Branford Marsalis Quartet Building Leaders Symposium at St. Christopher's School Richmond, VA April 12, 1008 With legendary musicians right in front of their eyes, a field house filled with people of all ages and all musical backgrounds watched as Branford Marsalis and his quartet donned the stage. For some, this ...


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