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Xavier Breaker

It was in the church around the age of five when Xavier Breaker started playing the drums. Then later on in his life, he realized that music was what he was made to do. Xavier received a B.M. degree in Performance from the University of South Carolina where he studied under Scott Herring, Jim Hall, Bert Ligon, and Craig Butterfield. He recently began playing for many artists such as Mike Allemena, Skip Pearson, and most recently Joe Sample, along with Randy Crawford, Howard Hewitt, and Lalah Hathaway. Xavier's influences are his father, Tony Sims, Brian Blade, Greg Hutchinson, Jeff Tain Watts, Jimmy Cobb, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Dennis Chambers, Sonny Payne, Jeff Elmore, and gospel drummers Calvin Rodgers and Ladell Abrams.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Junius Paul: Ism

Read "Ism" reviewed by Emmanuel Di Tommaso

Il bassista e contrabbassista Junius Paul rappresenta dagli inizi degli anni 2000 l'anima ritmica della scena jazz di Chicago: già collaboratore di Makaya McCraven in Universal Beings (International Anthem, 2018), uno dei dischi jazz rivelazione degli ultimi anni, Paul è membro fra i più attivi della Art Ensemble of Chicago e dell'Association for the Advancement of ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Still Dreaming and Dr. Lonnie Smith at Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland

Read "Still Dreaming and Dr. Lonnie Smith at Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Still Dreaming/Dr. Lonnie Smith Playhouse Square Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, Ohio June 29, 2018 Now in its 39th year, Cleveland's Tri-C JazzFest has evolved over the years having started as an educational springtime event. Most recently, the action has shifted from the Cuyahoga Community College campus to downtown Cleveland's Playhouse Square ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Read "Gilmore Keyboard Festival" reviewed by John Ephland

Gilmore Keyboard Festival Kalamazoo, Michigan April 25 to May 12, 2018 Thursday night is always the second night of the biennial Gilmore Keyboard Festival. Thursday night is also the first night for jazz, the festival putatively a classical music rollout with jazz confections, albeit well-considered, strewn throughout this 22-day cultural jewel based ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit

Read "2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit featuring Tony Monaco, Gerard Gibbs, and Dr. Lonnie Smith Hope College Holland, Michigan March 9-11, 2018 Back in the fall of 2016, a small liberal arts college on the banks of Lake Michigan decided to serve as the epicenter of activity aimed at gaining more ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John McLean: Parts Unknown

Read "Parts Unknown" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

This inventive Chicago Quartet finds Kurt Elling's long time backing team comprised of guitarist John McLean and bassist Clark Sommers pushing into original sonic adventures with fresh modern twists. The band's debut outing for Origin Records also features drummer Xavier Breaker and vibes veteran Joe Locke whose tone and style accompanies and interacts perfectly with John ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Greg Duncan & The Individuation Quintet: Unification

Read "Unification" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Jazz musicians derive inspiration from all kinds of sources--but there probably aren't many who are inclined to build an entire series of songs around concepts connected to Jungian psychology. Trumpeter and composer Greg Duncan is quite earnest in this endeavor, however, and on this release he gives musical expression to a number of aspects of Carl ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John McLean / Clark Sommers Band: Parts Unknown

Read "Parts Unknown" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's amazing what can happen when you take a tight-knit, deep-dish duo reflective of Chicago's jazz riches, add one of the world's most dexterous and expressive vibraphonists, and sweeten the deal with a grooving up-and-comer. Charts are mapped over uncharted territories, musical assuredness carries the day in uncertain realms, and surprises await around every well-constructed corner. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Brown Jr.: There Can Only Be One

Read "There Can Only Be One" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A native of the small town of Venice, Illinois, guitarist Larry Brown Jr. is a deeply religious man with a big vision and plans for the future. Not only is Brown a musician and educator, but as founder of the Black Church Music Piano camp and the Music for the Heart non-profit organization, he is also ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Brown Jr.: There Can Only Be One

Read "There Can Only Be One" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Guitarist, composer and educator Larry Brown Jr's debut, There Can Only Be One, has both feet firmly planted in a rich musical past but remains a modern record in its delivery and execution. There are vague hints of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell in his playing but his style is all his own, and these faint ...


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