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MUSICIAN Born:

John Ellis

The gifted, versatile saxophonist/clarinetist/composer John Ellis occupies an imaginary (and extremely imaginative) space directly between the celebratory, welcoming spirit of New Orleans and the edgy, frantic streets of New York City. Both as the leader of his own eclectic projects and as an in-demand sideman for a mind-boggling number and variety of artists, Ellis expresses a keen intellect and easy virtuosity while maintaining a mischievous gleam in his eye and never letting tongue stray far from cheek. That combination is best showcased in Ellis’ eccentric combo Double-Wide, which recently released its third album, Charm, on Ellis’ own Parade Light Records

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

Racing a Butterfly

Label: Bjurecords
Released: 2020
Track listing: Triangular Waves; Racing a Butterfly; Parallel Flying Part 1; Parallel Flying Part 2; Butterfly Interlude; Dancing Butterflies; Cluster; Reworking of a Butterfly; Butterflies Too.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn

Read "Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn" reviewed by Chris May

After five years without the release of any newly recorded material, the British trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has returned in winter 2020 with a fresh new band and a sparkling new album, Salute To The Sun, on his Gondwana Records label. It is more than good to have him and his music back.

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Roundup Time

Read "Roundup Time" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Although the coronavirus has brought live music to a virtual standstill, recorded jazz has continued to pour out over the last few months. Here is a roundup of several recent releases that deserve some attention. Troy Roberts Stuff I Heard Toy Robot Music 2020 Troy Roberts goes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Anne Mette Iversen Quartet + 1: Racing a Butterfly

Read "Racing a Butterfly" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

A working collective since 2002, Anne Mette Iversen's quartet—saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Danny Grissett, drummer Otis Brown III and Iversen herself on bass—has developed a unique musical language, which transcends typical stigmas of the genre and demonstrates a special sense of light-footedness in navigating through the different bars and meters, all the while evading the self-indulgent. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Anne Mette Iversen: Racing a Butterfly

Read "Racing a Butterfly" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Many can surely recall the sunny, childlike fervor and bounce chasing a butterfly. Whether it was the park behind the projects or a rolling, rural vista, a feeling of wonder and wander settled into our core memory, only to be summoned in up from the subconscious to displace the current. Even if but for a moment. ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Ellis

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Ellis

All About Jazz is celebrating John Ellis' birthday today! The gifted, versatile saxophonist/clarinetist/composer John Ellis occupies an imaginary (and extremely imaginative) space directly between the celebratory, welcoming spirit of New Orleans and the edgy, frantic streets of New York City. Both as the leader of his own eclectic projects and as an in-demand sideman for a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The COVID Chronicles, Vol. 1

Read "The COVID Chronicles, Vol. 1" reviewed by Leo Sidran

How is Coronavirus impacting the creative class? What happens when musicians lose their primary income overnight? What opportunities are there for creativity in this moment of social distancing? What is the conversation for performing musicians, online creators, and artists? How is it different in countries with a social safety net? Victoria Canal, Jack Conte, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Slavov: Little Stories

Read "Little Stories" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While these ten tracks recorded by bassist Peter Slavov's variable-sized outfit were all fleshed out in the studio between 2017 and 2019, this debut album actually covers a wider span of time. Collecting music penned over the past 20 years, and attaching attendant stories for background and bridging purposes, Slavov essentially looks back over his entire ...


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Publisher's Desk

Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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