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Article: Big Band Report

Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?

Read "Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 18, Betty and I flew to Los Angeles to attend Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion, a four-day panorama sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute and held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, about a stone's throw or two from the LAX airport. We arrived early afternoon so we could also be present for ...


Article: Interview

Meet Sam Newsome

Read "Meet Sam Newsome" reviewed by Steve Armour

Courage and vision in the creation of art are rarely rewarded commercially. Sam Newsome proved it does occasionally happen, though the outcome is never certain. After years spent developing a reputation as a first-rate tenor saxophonist alongside Terrance Blanchard, Donald Byrd and Lionel Hampton, Newsome gave up the tenor to concentrate exclusively on the soprano sax. ...


Article: Record Label Profile

Darby Christensen: At the Jazz Summit

Read "Darby Christensen: At the Jazz Summit" reviewed by Steve Armour

If you still see Summit Records as a niche label for classical brass players, Summit president Darby Christensen wants you to take another look. The label's catalogue still has great brass recordings, but it also features chamber music, educational recordings, and an ever-growing roster of jazz musicians. Summit seeks a broad audience, Christensen says, “the music ...


Article: Album Review

Gilles Bernard: Le Chapeau de ma Soeur

Read "Le Chapeau de ma Soeur" reviewed by Steve Armour

The first few times I listened to LE CHAPEAU DE MA SOEUR, I fell into a kind of trance and missed the solos. But I didn’t care. Quebecois composer and pianist Gilles Bernard has created such hypnotic harmonies and textures, such fetching melodies that the solos seem almost an afterthought, a little something to extend the ...


Article: Album Review

Christine Jensen: Collage

Read "Collage" reviewed by Steve Armour

Christine Jensen starts Collage with a blues in fancy wrapping: a funky Rhodes ostinato, a displaced, sliding tonal center, and a stutter-step orchestration. This rich writing asks and gets the most from Jensen's musicians on this, her debut recording. Drummer Karl Jannuska and pianist Brad Turner chat it up throughout the album. Their open phrasing on ...


Article: Album Review

Sylvain Provost/Norman Lachapelle: Ni Un Ni Deux

Read "Ni Un Ni Deux" reviewed by Steve Armour

Sonority, not tradition, centers the music on Ni Un Ni Deux. The rich blend of Norman Lachapelle's upright bass with Sylvain Provost's acoustic guitar (plus percussion help from Pierre Cormier) anchors the duo as they stretch across musical boundaries. It makes for great sounding music, if uneven jazz. The pair sounds happy, mostly. The vibe is ...


Article: Album Review

Daniel Thouin: Organique

Read "Organique" reviewed by Steve Armour

Hemingway said good writing comes from what you leave out, a lesson pianist Daniel Thouin and his Montreal-based partners have applied to music on their new release, Organique (I’m guessing French for “organic"). They leave out the bass on the opener, the splang-splang-a-lang cymbal pattern just about everywhere else, any statement of time in one of ...


Article: Album Review

Tom Christensen: Gualala

Read "Gualala" reviewed by Steve Armour

Despite the almost thirty-five year absence of a dominant figure, jazz is still evolving. While the big institutions of jazz sniff along after retro trends and media darlings, small labels, small clubs and individually minded musicians are developing the music separate from any clear mainstream. The results of this Balkanization of jazz have been uneven, but ...


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