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IN PICTURES

Ravi Coltrane Live in Montreal and New York City

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Ravi Coltrane continues to evolve as an artist of remarkable depth and breadth as reflected in the diversity of contexts in which he engages. Coltrane was featured in three different musical settings at the recent (2017) jny: Montreal International Jazz Festival Invitation Series. All concerts were held at the Centre de Creativite Gesu, an intimate concert hall that seats close to 500 people and offers outstanding acoustics and excellent site lines. The sold out concerts were were given an extremely ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel Moore: Magnetic

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Saxophonist Joel Moore says Magnetic is an EP, even though it runs for as long (thirty-seven minutes) as some full-fledged re-releases on CD from the LP era. Moore's quintet performs five songs in all, two by the leader, one each by guitarist Nick Mizock and bassist Michael Barton, plus Wayne Shorter's diaphanous “Ana Maria," which opens the studio session. Moore's “Not So Far Away" is a gospel-inspired anthem, “Sob a Luz Amarela" a sunny Latin-flavored theme on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ambrose Akinmusire: A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard

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Live albums can be an iffy proposition. Not so with this double CD set recorded live at New York's legendary Village Vanguard. California born Akinmusire has worked with the same band for a number of years and their communication is apparent. Pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown supply the support and the embellishment appropriate and compliment the trumpet master throughout. In a program that rides an emotional rollercoaster, Akinmusire offers 16 original compositions over ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alicyn Yaffee: Someone Else

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Dyspeptic in my late 50s, in a fit of self-pity, I have said, “Youth is wasted on the young." That is so much sour grapes on my part given to a questionably-misspent youth. What I wish for the young, sadly tilting at Mother Nature's windmills, is to remain young forever. I certainly wish this for vocalist/guitarist/composer Alicyn Yaffee, who made her recording debut in 2016, with the self-produced Someone Else. She composes music with rounded corners and informed melodies. Her ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ulysses Owens, Jr.: Falling Forward

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Amidst a successful trajectory as a sought-after drummer with some of the premier jazz bands in the business, Ulysses Owens, Jr. has decided to take a giant step outside his comfort zone with Falling Forward, his fourth venture as leader. In a radical departure from typical jazz ensemble configurations, the assembled group consists of Owens, bassist Reuben Rogers, and vibraphonist Joel Ross, known collectively as Three. The instrumental sparseness is an obvious intent to expand individual contributions, as the triangular ...

IN PICTURES

Umbria Jazz 2017

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Founded in 1973, Umbria Jazz is Italy's most important jazz music festival and one of the first international jazz festivals of its kind. This year's festival ran from July 7 to July 16 with events primarily held at the Arena of Santa Giuliana in Perugia, the capital of the Umbria region. Other participating venues included the Santa Giuliana Arena, the Morlacchi Theater, the Podiani Hall within the National Gallery of Umbria, the Piazza IV Novembre, the Carducci Gardens, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Merrill: Tell Me Your Troubles – Songs by Joe Bushkin, Volume 1

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There are several arcs of history and experience intersecting on Bob Merrill's Tell Me Your Troubles--Songs by Joe Bushkin, Volume 1. The first is that of Joe Bushkin (1961--2004). Bushkin was a swing era pianist and composer best known for his association with trumpeter Bunny Berigan's band, guitarist Eddie Condon, Max Kaminsky, Joe Marsala, and Muggsy Spanier before World War II and Louis Armstrong, Bud Freeman, and Benny Goodman after the war. His style of composing, as evidenced on his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: I Know Who I Am

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With a resolute commitment to her art, singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Kosi (Akosua Gyebi) has recently released various acclaimed records, culminating with a superb tribute to Abbey Lincoln, Ghosts Appearing through the Sound in 2015. The aptly titled I Know Who I Am is a personal odyssey through love, guilt, and absolution, leading to self-acceptance and validation, expressed with a voice that flows impeccably from jazz to spirituals, that never wanders far from the blues. Accompanied by the musicians that have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stanton Moore: With You In Mind

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The title of Stanton Moore's homage to Allen Toussaint suggests the affection at the heart of this project. With You In Mind symbolizes the achievements of the latter NOLA icon as ongoing inspiration for generations of musicians to come and not just those with their roots in New Orleans like this great drummer and bandleader with top billing here. Beginning with the celebratory called “Here Come The Girls," Moore's quasi-martial beat underscores the rhythm inherent in Cyril Neville's ...


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