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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Baker's Circle

Read "Baker's Circle" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On Baker's Circle, guitarist Dave Stryker revisits a format in which he is quite comfortable: an organ-driven rhythm ensemble whose emphasis is on hard-nosed contemporary swing. There is, however, a refreshing exclamation mark this time around in the person of able-bodied tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, and one more fringe benefit (on three tracks): percussionist Mayra ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2

Read "Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2" reviewed by Chris May

As Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting and performing partner during the 1970s, keyboardist, composer and arranger Brian Jackson was co-author of some of the most galvanising liberation music of the era. Inhabiting the intersection of jazz, soul and spoken word, Jackson and Scott-Heron, who met while they were both students at Lincoln University, were a team from Pieces ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Nicola Conte: Good Juju From Italy’s Spiritual Jazz Shaman

Read "Nicola Conte: Good Juju From Italy’s Spiritual Jazz Shaman" reviewed by Chris May

Ever since his debut album, the acid-jazz masterpiece Jet Sounds (Schema), in 2000, the producer, composer, DJ and guitarist Nicola Conte has kept the jazz world guessing by constantly moving the goal posts. The trumpeter Miles Davis famously said, “I always gotta change. It's like a curse." But with Conte, it feels more like a blessing, ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Malis: Dualisms

Read "Dualisms" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Detroit-based pianist Michael Malis has long been a part of his troubled city's fabled resurgence, and that legacy puts him in an ideal position to address the emotional polarities intrinsic to 2020. That unique mixture of despair and hope, anger and resilience, grief and joy, that so many have experienced in whipsaw fashion, seems ideally suited ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Blue Soul

Read "Blue Soul" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Germany's WDR Big Band has welcomed a great variety of musicians such as Fred Hersch, Michel Camilo, Ambrose Akinmusire and Jimmy Heath as guest soloists over the years. On this occasion they provide an invigorating backdrop for the springy and soulful guitar of Dave Stryker. The set list on this CD finds Stryker and ...

ARTICLE: OPINION

A response to yet another senseless public murder of a Black Citizen by officers of the law

Read "A response to yet another senseless public murder of a Black Citizen by officers of the law" reviewed by Wynton Marsalis

With the crescendo of public outcry and proliferation of opinions and justifiable expressions of outrage by so many experts, officials and popular celebrities, I fear there's little room or need for yet another person voicing a commonly held opinion. I also believe that the everyday tragedies that are commonplace and routine to our everyday ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Idris Ackamoor: An Afro-Futurist Odyssey

Read "Idris Ackamoor: An Afro-Futurist Odyssey" reviewed by Chris May

In summer 2020, Idris Ackamoor will release Shaman! on Britain's Strut label. It is his third album with the post-2015 incarnation of his 1970s band, The Pyramids. It reunites Ackamoor with flautist Margaux Simmons, with whom he had co-founded The Pyramids in 1972. Ackamoor's route to Afro-Futurist jazz began in the US in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Stryker with Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band: Blue Soul

Read "Blue Soul" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Bob Mintzer had an idea. The renowned tenor saxophonist, who serves as principal conductor of Cologne, Germany's world-class WDR Big Band, had made several appearances as guest artist with guitarist Dave Stryker's New York-based organ trio and was so impressed that he thought it would be a good idea to re-orchestrate some of Stryker's music for ...


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