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Norman Weinstein

I am a published poet and critic. My books include A Night In Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz (Limelight Editions, 1993), Gertrude Stein and the Literature of the Modern Consciousness (Ungar) and Nigredo: Selected Poems 1970-1980 (Station Hill). My jazz criticism has appeared in "The Village Voice", "Jazziz", and "Downbeat". I'm also a winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for excellence in music criticism.

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Two Ways of Bookending John Coltrane

Read "Two Ways of Bookending John Coltrane" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

Reviewing a massive reference volume about saxophonist John Coltrane alongside a jazz journalist's personal overview of Coltrane and his legacy might at first seem like comparing an apple with an orange--but bear with me. This is really like comparing an apple painted by Cezanne with a lemon painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Arcimboldo was a 16th century ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Willie Colon: The Player: A Man and his Music

Read "The Player: A Man and his Music" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This two-disc overview of the work of the trombonist, vocalist, and composer Willie Colón presents a musically convincing case that Colón was to the history of Latin music what Don Drummond was to Jamaican ska and J.J. Johnson was to jazz. If the preceding suggests a holy trinity, note that all three had a fervor frequently ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard Leshaw Quartet: Shadow Song

Read "Shadow Song" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This highly engaging album brings to mind the enduring impact of John Coltrane's legacy in terms of spiritual lyricism. In the case of Howard Leshaw, whose other band is a spirited klezmer band, Coltrane's spiritually-charged lyricism is mingled, as in the case of Andy Statman's music, with a comprehensive immersion in a variety ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!!

Read "Compulsion!!!!!" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

The five exclamation marks following the word Compulsion are completely appropriate for a title. Of all the distinguished albums of Andrew Hill's career as a pianist/composer, this is arguably the most passionately executed. The monumentality of this recording can best be realized by looking at its recording date of 1965. Coltrane was leaving his classic quartet ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bunky Green: Another Place

Read "Another Place" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This release is a welcome reminder that Bunky Green is alive and well--and one of the dozen most important alto sax players in the country. In spite of notable associations with bands led by Charles Mingus, Sonny Stitt and Yusef Lateef, Green's available catalog until this release consisted of a single disc, Healing the Pain (Delos, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Archie Shepp: Kwanza

Read "Kwanza" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This big band session collects all of Archie Shepp's virtues as a composer, saxophonist and jazz dramaticist and puts them into one glorious package. Like the African-American holiday this album is named after, it's an imposing hybrid form, a sprawling mass of experimental jazz circa 1969 sharply peppered with funk, blues, and myriad musical evocations of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charlie Palmieri: El Gigante Del Teclado

Read "El Gigante Del Teclado" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

The ongoing achievements of the great Latin jazz pianist/composer Eddie Palmieri may hopefully lead listeners new to Latin music to explore the recordings of his equally talented brother Charlie. Charlie Palmieri, a dynamic keyboardist and bandleader, passed away in 1988, and his albums have been difficult to obtain compared to those of his younger brother. “El ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

John Coltrane: Fearless Leader

Read "John Coltrane: Fearless Leader" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

John Coltrane Fearless Leader Prestige 2006 This six-CD set of all of the original Prestige albums led by John Coltrane comes as a relief after the previous sixteen-disc box of every one of his preserved recordings on the label, as leader or sideman. Putting aside the daunting cost of that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Lynch / Eddie Palmieri Project: Simpatico

Read "Simpatico" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

Two decades of working as a highly accomplished trumpeter in Eddie Palmieri's Latin jazz band has culminated for Brian Lynch with this completely ravishing recording alongside his musical mentor. While the name of the group might raise the question of “who's on first?", rest assured that this is an inspired collaboration with the less-celebrated Lynch firmly ...


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