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Article: Album Review

John Lindberg / Karl Berger: Duets 1

Read "Duets 1" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

There are many kinds of duo albums, but the more successful ones treat the burden of cooperation as a psychological, and not merely aesthetic, endeavor--conscious that a sense of human sensitivity is necessary to register great conversation (much rarer, it would seem, than intelligent art). None of this goes to say that pathos and fury can ...


Article: Album Review

Steve Lacy: New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002

Read "New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Steve Lacy wore as many hats as any musician of his generation: instrumentalist par excellence, free music innovator, master composer, solo saxophone trailblazer, poetry buff, Monkian doyen, salvager of the soprano, world traveler, inspirational offbeatnik. The evolution of Lacy's aesthetic catholicism is a wonder to trace, dissect, and absorb, and it's fascinating to hear, even now, ...


Article: Album Review

J.C. Jones: Hosting Myself

Read "Hosting Myself" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Outline and mien peg J.C. Jones as the prototypal improvising bassist--long and lanky, slumped into his instrument with a sort of focal intensity, like a surgeon--or a butcher--teasing at thick guts. The cover photo of Hosting Myself has all the bearings of an ancient iconology, and there are surely mystical undertones to that title--as if Jones's ...


Article: Album Review

Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara: True Events

Read "True Events" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

The duet is an idea idiom: the scaffolding of improvisation laid bare, like wires gutted from a conduit. Here, musical dialogue becomes something about communicating, or miscommunicating, through paper cups. It's far less obvious that an improviser is making no sense, or has no sense, and/or no ideas, than when musicians are speaking ear to ear. ...


Article: Album Review

Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Read "A Hundred Jumping Devils" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Rob Reddy's music conveys motion--a rare thing in an era when jazz often seems like the stuff of historians, when even the most astute artist might fail to create anything genuinely new. Doubtless, though, Reddy is a capable creative voice, and A Hundred Jumping Devils is far more than mere repertory work or pastiche. Following the ...


Article: Album Review

JD Parran & Mark Deutsch: Omegathorp: Living City

Read "Omegathorp: Living City" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

The spirit of the exotic weighs strongly on Omegathorp: Living City, the most recent collaboration between reedman J.D. Parran and stringman Mark Deutsch. It's no surprise: Parran was a crucial member of the Black Artists' Group--the seminal St. Louis artists collective and one of the first formal musicians' organizations to champion freely improvised black music--and Deutsch ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Satoko Fujii: Kobe Yee!! & Undulation

Read "Satoko Fujii: Kobe Yee!! & Undulation" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

The Japanese-American axis of improvisation has a long and eventful history, further complicated in an age of confused identities. Satoko Fujii, one of Japan's brightest and most forward thinking musicians, wears this story on her sleeve, emerging from the bedrock of cultural confusion with, at last, the hope of progress. Born in 1958, Fujii has cultivated ...


Article: Album Review

World Saxophone Quartet: Political Blues

Read "Political Blues" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Political conscience occupies a special place in the quintessence of modern jazz, fueling, in its most heated moments, the stuff of blunt insurrection. It remains to be seen whether Political Blues, the most recent offering by the World Saxophone Quartet, occupies the same territory as those few moments of musical activism that have not only informed ...


Article: Album Review

Geoff Farina / Luther Gray / Nate McBride: Out Trios, Volume 4: Almanac

Read "Out Trios, Volume 4: Almanac" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

There's a tremendous amount of ambivalence about the Atavistic label--all at once a paragon of progressivism, championing a rich legacy of forward-thinking free music, and among the foremost agents in the historicizing of free jazz. The atavism here suggests much more than an earlier, more primal passion; there is, more crucially, the sting of old processes ...


Article: Album Review

Boxhead Ensemble: Nocturnes

Read "Nocturnes" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Derek Bailey, the doyen of free improvisation, took note of the surprising survival tactics of the younger generation of improvisers--"the kind of manoeuvers sometimes found necessary to safely negotiate the mire thrown up in culturally inclement times, sometimes compromise, sometimes regression. Much has changed since Bailey wrote Improvisation (Da Capo, 1980), from which the foregoing quote ...


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