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CATCHING UP WITH

Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipirinhas and Constellations

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"It's the busiest I've ever been," Kurt Rosenwinkel happily declares during a rare week of down time at home in jny: Berlin between tour legs. This would seem like quite a statement for someone established as a jack of many trades--luminary guitarist, music teacher, technological experimentalist and bandleader in several genre-hopping ensembles. These recent months have seen him further expanding his resume to include lead singer, lyricist and label boss. He describes it as a crazy time, but couldn't be ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

HoTS: Numbers

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Poland's HoTS quintet makes its own mark on European modern jazz, led by composer/guitarist Mikołaj Poncyljusz. The band takes its name from the title of their first album, Harmony of The Spheres, and the Pythagorean mathematics referenced there continue in the numerical titles given to all but one of the tracks on Numbers. Opener “#26" shows a band in the Blue Note hard bop tradition, the twin horns of trumpeter Radosław Nowak and tenor saxophonist Bartosz Tkacz leading the way ...

PROFILES

Gregg Allman: December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

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“Well, I'll keep on moving. Things are bound to be improving these days. One of these days..."Gregg Allman recorded Jackson Browne's lament for his 1973 Capricorn release Laid Back. The song clung to him like smoke, the length of his career, surfacing here and there, until, finally he sang the song with its composer for the special, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman (Rounder, 2014). That was a fine moment, one curiously prophetic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Albert Ayler Quartet: Copenhagen Live 1964

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It's almost as if the phenomenon that was saxophonist Albert Ayler was just a dream. Nearly fifty years after his death, listeners (and musicians, for that matter) are still catching up to him, and realizing his gift. His life, like that of Charlie Parker, ended at age 34. But where Parker (an originator of bebop) developed in the musical world of Kansas City, Ayler seemingly stepped off a spaceship to deliver his provocative free jazz. Ayler's early career, in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jacob Duncan: The Busker

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Hailing from Louisville, KY., saxophonist Jacob Duncan (Liberation Prophecy) plays his horn with vocal attributes on this trio endeavor that provides a storyline to his travels in the US and abroad. He was a busker (street entertainer) performing his craft near train stations, office complexes and so on, perhaps brightening the days and injecting a little joy into the life of a casual observer. Duncan's musical storyboard is augmented by a crystalline audio production--where you could probably hear ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa Trio: Pathways

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Yoko Miwa is a pianist operating in the Boston area whose stylistic reach touches on funky gospel, bluesy bebop and dramatic pomp. She and her long time trio jump out nicely from the first track, the surging gospel rhythms of Marc Johnson's “Log O'Rhythm," drummer Scott Goulding providing a solid shuffle foundation to Miwa's pounding. They also have fun cascading up and down on another Johnson tune, “After All" later on the disc. Miwa's original melodies on this ...

Swinging with Sartre: Jazz Is Like Bananas

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“Jazz is like bananas, it must be consumed on the spot." These immortal words were first brought to life by the famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in an article that appeared in the Saturday Review, November 29, 1947. The article, titled I Discovered Jazz in America, was written after a visit to jny: New York City in the mid-forties, where Sartre had attended a jazz performance at Nick's Bar. “They play. You listen. No one dreams. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazzkaar 2017

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Jazzkaar 2017 Tallinn Estonia April 21-30, 2017 Jazzkaar covers most territories. This exceptional 10-day festival presents the best players on the indigenous Estonian scene, imports big-name acts from the USA, and also invites some choice artists from around the rest of Europe. Some shows represent jazz in mainstream mode, whilst others twist towards the innovative. There is also a strong commitment to bands who skirt the edges of rock, pop and electronica, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Toxic: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker: This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People

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Polish multi-instrumentalist Mat Walerian is on the verge of reserving his seat in the pantheon of groundbreaking hornmen who recorded for the late Bernard Stollman's storied ESP-Disk' label. Not as frenetic as Frank Wright, nor as strident as Sonny Simmons, Walerian instead boasts a singular approach that binds Eastern influence and blues sensibility with fluent, legato phrasing, often reminiscent of Marion Brown's lyrical finesse. His first two live recordings for ESP--The Uppercut: Live at Okuden (2015) with Matthew Shipp and ...


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