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Article: Live Review

New Birth For New Orleans Brass Bands

Read "New Birth For New Orleans Brass Bands" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

You could hear it almost every night of the week: the call of a trumpet piercing the air, saying, “Here is where the party's at! The booming bass drum pounding out a hip hop rhythm, and the sizzling snare building on that beat with choppy, Latin-style syncopation. The trombone crying out with baritone joy, the sousaphone ...


Article: Album Review

Ned Goold Trio: The Flows

Read "The Flows" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Charles “Ned" Goold is as distinctive an inside-outside tenor player as there is, and he should be a household name given the luck he's had with employment. Besides fronting his own trio on several CDs, he has been a mainstay of Harry Connick Jr.'s bands since the early '90s. Goold's unique tone combines something of the ...


Article: Live Review

'Let My Children Hear Music': Jazz Lives, and Young People Can Hear it at Chicago's Jazz Showcase

Read "'Let My Children Hear Music': Jazz Lives, and Young People Can Hear it at Chicago's Jazz Showcase" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

“Our mission is to save the kids,” said Marshall Vente, 50, a pianist, composer and arranger. That’s the goal the Jazz Showcase, which hosted Vente’s jazz festival in January, had in mind for its Sunday matinees, with free admission for children 12 and under.And part of that mission, Vente said, is to make sure jazz ...


Article: Interview

Elevate Me: Michael Blake's New York World-Jazz

Read "Elevate Me: Michael Blake's New York World-Jazz" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Imagine Duke Ellington's orchestra swinging by camelback caravan through the marketplace of Tangier, Morocco, or Miles Davis and crew funky-tonkin' up the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and you'll get an idea of what saxophonist and composer Michael Blake's approach to jazz is. Blake, who plays this year's JVC Jazz Festival - New York on June ...


Article: Live Review

Norah Jones at Ravinia - July 8, 2003

Read "Norah Jones at Ravinia - July 8, 2003" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

“Thanks for waiting in the rain, sticking it out – you guys rock !” Norah Jones said to a capacity crowd at the 2003 Ravinia Festival, before launching into her swaggering rendition of Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.” All day thunderstorms had drenched the grounds of the suburban-Chicago locale that hosts an annual summer music-showcase, but ...


Article: Interview

Arif Mardin: In Conversation

Read "Arif Mardin: In Conversation" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Arif Mardin is a mover and shaker in the music business, but at age 10, he was the one being shook. “My father was manager of a Turkish bank in Alexandria, Egypt," Mardin said. “In 1942 we were there; Germans would bomb the city. We would go down to the shelter, and at one point, famous ...


Article: Profile

Fred Anderson Finally Gets His Due: And His Records Back In Print

Read "Fred Anderson Finally Gets His Due: And His Records Back In Print" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Next door to the Velvet Lounge in Chicago's Near South Side neighborhood is Fitzee's Bar-B-Que, a chicken joint whose counter sports a bullet-proof window separating the kitchen and dining room. Across the street is a recently constructed LaSalle Bank branch, complete with ritzy landscaping. Walking down the street on a recent Saturday night, you might not ...


Article: Album Review

Kermit Ruffins: 1533 St. Philip Street

Read "1533 St. Philip Street" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

An essential ingredient for a great barbecue is to have your coals white-hot before you throw the meat on the grill. Veteran New Orleans trumpeter, singer and bandleader Kermit Ruffins is nothing if not a Barbecue Swinger, and for his latest album, 1533 St. Philip Street , the musicians he’s recruited are ready to burn through ...


Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Swing This, Baby! III

Read "Swing This, Baby! III" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Throughout the 20th Century, jazz musicians and fans have maintained that “swing is the thing,” but it takes more than matching zoot suits to make a tune really cook. And while it’s admirable that a new generation of revved-up fans are reviving America’s pop music of the 30s and 40s, the neo-swing scene is, unfortunately, devoted ...


Article: Album Review

Vandermark 5: Free Jazz Classics - Live at the Empty Bottle

Read "Free Jazz Classics - Live at the Empty Bottle" reviewed by Todd R. Brown

Tucked away inside 1,000 specially marked packages of the Vandermark 5's latest CD, Burn the Incline , lucky fans can find a bonus disc featuring a live set by the group performing “free jazz classics."The concert was recorded earlier this year at the Empty Bottle club, a cornerstone of Chicago's free jazz/fusion renaissance. Reedsman ...


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