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Musician

Matana Roberts

Matana Roberts is a dynamic saxophonist, composer and improviser, who tries to expose in her music the mystical roots and spiritual traditions of African American creative expression. A Chicago native, she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by elder musicians who showed her by distinct example the importance of listening to one's personal creative voice while at the same time using the profound and many layered traditions of jazz and improvised musics to act only as her creative guide, not as her creative definer. By using their mentorship, she has been able to craft a voice and creative focus that truly speaks to her own true artistic individuality. She feels strongly that her music should not only reflect the many colors and moods of universal human emotions, but that it should also testify, critique, document, and respond to the many socio-economic, historical, and cultural inequalities that exist not only in this country, but all over the world. Her second recording collaboration with bassist Joshua Abrams and drummer/ percussionist Chad Taylor - known as sticks&stones was released to critical acclaim on Thrill Jockey records in June of 2004.( www.thrilljockey.com) She has played alongside such musical luminaries as Steve Lacy, Eugene Chadbourne,Hery Grimes, Hannah Marcus, Fred Anderson, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Robert Barry, Joe Maneri, Miya Masaoka, Vijay Iyer, David Boykins, and Ralph Alessi. Matana is currently working on a recording of “live electronic” solo compositions, a string project to be premiered in October 2004, and is collaborating with wordsmith Reg E. Gaines and tap dancer Savion Glover on a project that explores the legacy of saxophonist John Coltrane. She is also an associate member of the A.A.C.M.--Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Matana is also on the faculty of S.I.M.--School For Improvised Music.

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Article: Album Review

Johnny Gandelsman: This Is America: An Anthology

Read "This Is America: An Anthology" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Violinist Johnny Gandelsman is as versatile as he is innovative. An accomplished composer, improviser and a producer, Gandelsman defies categorization and excels in the watershed area among genres. A member of both the unique string quartet Brooklyn Rider and the Silk Road Ensemble and the owner of Circle Records, Gandelsman has his finger on the pulse ...

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Article: Live Review

Brilliant Corners 2022

Read "Brilliant Corners 2022" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Brilliant Corners 2022 The Black Box jny:Belfast, N. Ireland March 4-12, 2022 Brilliant Corners is ten. Belfast's onliest jazz festival celebrated the milestone by welcoming audiences back to The Black Box after 2021's virtual edition. When Brilliant Corners was last held here before a live audience, in March 2020, Covid ...

Article: Book Review

Ugly Beauty - Jazz In The 21st Century

Read "Ugly Beauty - Jazz In The 21st Century" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Ugly Beauty Phil Freeman 250 pagine ISBN: #978-1-78904-632-8 Zer0 Books 2021 Critico musicale da tempo presente nelle riviste musicali e nei blog statunitensi e inglesi (The Wire, Down Beat, Jazziz, The Village Voice, Stereogum ecc...) Phil Freeman si occupa sia di jazz che di metal (è stato capo ...

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Article: Album Review

Jeff Parker: Forfolks

Read "Forfolks" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Guitarist/composer Jeff Parker is closely associated with indie group Tortoise and Rob Mazurek's Chicago Underground and Exploding Star Orchestra projects, but the scope of his work is extensive. The Bridgeport, Connecticut native has worked in numerous genres and technologies, and with a varied range of artists including, Joshua Redman, Nicole Mitchell, Yo La Tengo, Matana Roberts, ...

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Article: Interview

Logan Richardson: To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before

Read "Logan Richardson:  To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before" reviewed by Chris May


In a 2016 interview, jny: Kansas City-born alto saxophonist Logan Richardson said: “Jazz will constantly change because there's constantly a new us, new times. There will always be a fight from the conformists--but they don't represent where the tradition is coming from." Richardson was talking not long after the release of his adventurous Blue Note album, ...

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Article: Album Review

Logan Richardson: AfroFuturism

Read "AfroFuturism" reviewed by Chris May


In a 2016 interview, Kansas City-born alto saxophonist Logan Richardson said: “Jazz will constantly change because there's constantly a new us, new times. There will always be a fight from the conformists--but they don't represent where the tradition is coming from." Richardson was talking not long after the release of his adventurous Blue Note album, Shift. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

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Article: Album Review

I Don't Hear Nothin' But The Blues: I Don't Hear Nothin' But The Blues Volume 3: Anatomical Snuffbox

Read "I Don't Hear Nothin' But The Blues Volume 3: Anatomical Snuffbox" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The prolific and eclectic saxophonist/composer Jon Irabagon finds his most uninhibited side with his I Donʼt Hear Nothinʼ but the Blues (IDHNBTB) group, one he aptly describes as his “brutal ensemble." I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues Volume 3: Anatomical Snuffbox expands the group that debuted as a duo, then became a trio on Volume ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Renewal of AACM: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts

Read "The Renewal of AACM: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts" reviewed by Russell Perry


In 100 one-hour programs, the series Jazz at 100 told the story of recorded jazz. It established the foundations upon which the broadly diverse music of today is built. This is the first hour of the successor series which aims to give voice to the current jazz scene and appreciates its countless creators. In ...


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