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MUSICIAN Born:

Kamasi Washington

At the age of 13 Kamasi Washington decided to begin a life long quest of the many wonders to be found in music. He made this decision one night when after a rehearsal at his home his father left his soprano saxophone lying on the piano and left Kamasi with an uncontrollable curiosity of all the beauty he’d just heard come from it. So he took father’s horn, and even though he didn’t know anything about the saxophone, in fact he’d never even touched a saxophone, and played Wayne Shorter’s “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On”, his favorite song at the time. Kamasi was shocked he had been playing drums, piano, and clarinet for years but he’d never played the saxophone

Emergency Exit

Label: Wide Hide Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Sublime in the Base; Third Reflection; Jagged Reform; Another Moth Drawn to City Light; Second Breather; Innerspatial Search; Rattle Thicket; Art of the Warrior; Surrender at Station Three; Marching Instructions.

It Is What It Is

Label: Brainfeeder
Released: 2020
Track listing: Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26; Interstellar Love; I Love Louis Cole; Black Qualls; Miguel’s Happy Dance; How Sway; Funny Thing; Overseas; Dragonball Durag; How I Feel; King Of The Hill; Unrequited Love; Fair Chance; Existential Dread; It Is What It Is.

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Chris May

Not the best year for live gigs in London, but Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra just made it under the wire, lighting up the Jazz Cafe in late January. Rather like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sosimi's band has form as an incubator of young talent. A recent star in the making was trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, who has ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

West Coast Get Down: Kamasi Washington, Cameron Graves, Throttle Elevator Music

Read "West Coast Get Down: Kamasi Washington, Cameron Graves, Throttle Elevator Music" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the past several years, a suite of players have emerged from Los Angeles, many of whom grew up together, loosely connected by the name West Coast Get Down. The most visible player in this scene is Kamasi Washington from a jazz perspective, but Stephen “Thundercat" Bruner and Miles Mosley have made significant records in a ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic

Read "Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic" reviewed by Chris May

Like his near contemporaries Shabaka Hutchings, Kamasi Washington, Nubya Garcia and Robert Glasper, the Chicago-based drummer, bandleader, producer and self-declared beat scientist Makaya McCraven is routinely described by the more breathless commentators writing about modern music as a “saviour" of jazz. Certainly, McCraven and his peers are enriching jazz by their embrace of other ...

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Highlights of the Final Decade of the First 100 Years of Recorded Jazz (2011 - 2018)

Read "Highlights of the Final Decade of the First 100 Years of Recorded Jazz (2011 - 2018)" reviewed by Russell Perry

This is the last of a series of five programs featuring jazz since 1990, presented as a single selection for each year to reflect trends, career highlights and new artists, at least as the narrative appears from the temporally-challenged context of the last 25 years. The idea to attempt such an abbreviated one-track--per-year survey comes from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Joshua Crumbly: Rise

Read "Rise" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Joshua Crumbly and his bass have logged a good few miles learning from a respectable number of fellow players (Victor Bailey, Terence Blanchard, Kamasi Washington and more) in his fairly young career, and it shows—his debut may not be as wildly eclectic as it could have been with such a colorful history to build on, but ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Throttle Elevator Music: Emergency Exit

Read "Emergency Exit" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The sub-genre of “punk jazz" has existed—on paper— since the 1970s when Patti Smith proposed a collaboration with Ornette Coleman. That partnership did not materialize. When all the moving pieces are pulled together there is little substance to suggest that the category ever shared specific practices or conventions. Then, in 2012, Throttle Elevator Music emerged with ...


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Publisher's Desk

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

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