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Earth, Wind & Fire

During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born – one that was steeped in African and African-American styles – particularly jazz and R&B but appealed to a broader cross-section of the listening public. As founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White not only embraced but also helped bring about this evolution of pop, which bridged the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America. It certainly was successful, as EWF combined high-caliber musicianship, wide-ranging musical genre eclecticism, and ’70s multicultural spiritualism. “I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before,” Maurice explains

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Article: Profile

Beyond Afrobeat: Kokoroko's World of Black Music

Read "Beyond Afrobeat: Kokoroko's World of Black Music" reviewed by Peter Jones


London-based octet Kokoroko has been led by trumpeter-vocalist Sheila Maurice-Grey since she formed it in 2014 with percussionist Onome Edgeworth. The band's original idea was to update Afrobeat for a 21st century audience, inspired by the likes of Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen, and Fela Kuti. It was the extraordinary public reaction to their first release--a single ...

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Article: Out and About: The Super Fans

Meet Kenneth Cobb

Read "Meet Kenneth Cobb" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper


We suppose it makes sense that our latest Super Fan, a high-level mathematician—a contractor for NASA, no less—would keep meticulous records about, well, everything, from his massive CD and LP collection, to his personal road trip “mix tapes," to every concert he's attended. But applying his mathematical genius to fitting an entire week's worth of music ...

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Article: Profile

Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times

Read "Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times" reviewed by Chuck Koton


Tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence has been one of the most dynamic and spiritually-charged reed players of the post-John Coltrane generation. Lawrence forged his sound in the fires of the Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner bands in the 1970s and, for nearly five decades, he has performed and recorded with the best musicians in the ...

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Article: Interview

Alexa Tarantino: Passion For Playing And Teaching

Read "Alexa Tarantino: Passion For Playing And Teaching" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Alexa Tarantino was bitten by the jazz bug at a young age. She was fortunate to grow up in a community where jazz is an important part of the musical fabric—rare these days. She swiftly grabbed hold of the music and has developed into an in-demand alto saxophonist, earning a series of high-profile gigs that slowed ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph

Read "Free Association - Vol. 3 with John Murph" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Free Association is a series of collaborative mix-tapes curated by Mondo Jazz in association with musicians and selectors of various origins. Free Association mix-tapes develop as a conversation. The first selector sends a tune cherry-picked to suit, and ideally surprise, the second selector who then, in turn, returns the favor. An hour or ...

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Article: Album Review

Lettuce: Elevate

Read "Elevate" reviewed by Doug Collette


In what is perhaps an act of self-fulfilling purpose, Lettuce lives up to the title of this album, despite the fact it is not the same band that recorded Rage (Velour Recordings, 2008) or Fly (Velour Recordings, 2012). The current lineup is missing the two main instrumentalists from that pinnacle of progression: guitarist Eric Krasno and ...

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Article: Talking 2 Musicians

Oteil Burbridge: Long Live the Dead

Read "Oteil Burbridge: Long Live the Dead" reviewed by Alan Bryson


In 2015 rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, founding members of the Grateful Dead, formed the band Dead & Company, along with longtime Grateful Dead keyboardist Jeff Chimention and drummer / percussionist Mickey Hart. They enlisted some fresh blood into the band with the addition of singer/guitarist John Mayer, and bassist Oteil Burbridge. A ...

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Article: Live Review

Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2

Read "Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2" reviewed by James Fleming


Days 1-2 | Days 3-4Sligo Jazz Project Various Venues Sligo, Ireland July 24-29, 2018 July 24, 2018 The Garavogue River flows slow and lazy through the centre of town to Sligo Harbour. Mountains stand in the distance out in Yeats country, green and rocky, overlooking the fields on the ...

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Article: Album Review

Braxton Brothers: Higher

Read "Higher" reviewed by Jim Trageser


It's interesting how certain musical styles become punching bags for the critics. Disco grew out of R&B and funk in the mid-1970s--yet by 1979 it was so despised in many quarters that the Chicago White Sox had a near-riot on their hands when they opened Comiskey Park for “Disco Demolition Night" during a double-header against the ...


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