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ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Umbria Jazz: Days 7-10, July 16-19, 2009

Read "Umbria Jazz: Days 7-10, July 16-19, 2009" reviewed by Michael J. West

Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-10 The final days of the 2009 Umbria Jazz Festival were an extravaganza of sorts for lovers of the piano. Topping the must-see list was avant-garde innovator Cecil Taylor, giving a solo concert on Friday at Teatro Morlacchi; but Ahmad Jamal and McCoy Tyner also appeared, and for ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Umbria Jazz: Days 4-6, July 13-15, 2009

Read "Umbria Jazz: Days 4-6, July 13-15, 2009" reviewed by Michael J. West

Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-10 The next three days of the Umbria Jazz began with two concert series that promised to be intriguing. American vibraphonist Joe Locke performed three times with Italian pianist Dado Moroni and saxophonist Rosario Giuliani at the very small Oratorio Santa Cecilia church. The trio is recording an ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Umbria Jazz: Days 1-3, July 10-12, 2009

Read "Umbria Jazz: Days 1-3, July 10-12, 2009" reviewed by Michael J. West

Days 1-3 | Days 4-6 | Days 7-10 “You know," said one American tourist to his friend as he walked past the tents on the first day of Umbria Jazz, “Ever since we got here last week this is all we've heard anyone talk about." Small wonder. The 10-day, citywide festival is more than ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Benny Lackner Trio: Pilgrim

Read "Pilgrim" reviewed by Michael J. West

The rock-ish but very adult Pilgrim is a cautionary example of why detail is important in jazz. On a cursory listen, the Benny Lackner Trio sounds like a Bad Plus imitator: the rock influence is heavy, pianist Lackner shares Ethan Iverson's harmonic trajectory and heavy touch, and drummer Robert Perkins' sound is superficially like Dave King's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frank Basile Quintet: Thursday the 12th

Read "Thursday the 12th" reviewed by Michael J. West

Even the neo-traditionalists, the “neocons, have evolved their idiom in the past twenty-five years; that's what makes Thursday the 12th--Frank Basile's debut album--so baffling. Nothing about it, from the arrangements, to the phrasing, to Basile's haircut on the cover, even suggests that it was recorded after about 1961. That's not to say it's bad--in fact it's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Saltman/Knowles Quintet: It's About the Melody

Read "It's About the Melody" reviewed by Michael J. West

Washington, D.C.'s Saltman/Knowles Quintet (four-fifths of whom were once four-sixths of Soulservice) have staked everything on making tuneful, singable jazz. That's made clear in the liner notes of It's About the Melody. After a list of “Things we like that includes everything from Borat to sweet potatoes to Billy Strayhorn, their dislikes contain but one entry: ...


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