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THE BIG QUESTION

If Coltrane emerged today, would he receive recognition and appreciation?

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A while ago I had a chat with Vytautas Labutis, an influential Lithuanian saxophonist, educator and, at the time, curator of jny: Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival. He said: “The list of players with top skills is almost endless. Today we have kids who can do amazing things on their instruments, but the world is waiting for a new Coltrane." This phrase set my mind to thinking about this nearly religious aspect of contemporary jazz reality. If He arrives, how will ...

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Ravi Coltrane Quartet at Cornell University

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Ravi Coltrane Quartet Bailey Hall @ Cornell University Cornell Concert Series March 20, 2015 With chromatism in his very chromosomes, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane has managed to cut a profile distinct from that of Father John. Nimble yet logical, he is an admirably balanced player who keeps his feet on the tightrope at all times. When he took to the main stage as part of Cornell University's 2014-15 Concert Series, he proved himself to be quite ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Slagle & Bill O'Connell: The Power Of Two

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The initial impetus behind the creation of this recording was the passing of Kenny Drew Jr., an exceptional and underappreciated pianist who saxophonist Steve Slagle worked with, both in the Mingus Big Band and on one of his own leader dates--Reincarnation (SteepleChase, 1994). On the day his friend passed, Slagle penned “KD JR.," later sending it to Bill O'Connell, another of his piano-playing colleagues. That got the ball rolling for this, the first duo date in Slagle's discography.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Batik: Headland

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Batik may be a relatively new group but there's a natural chemistry in this debut recording that is the result of long years playing together in a variety of contexts. The genesis of the group dates back to Joost Lijbaart and Wolfert Brederode's duo collaborations, which began in 2005 and the pair are also part of the Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet. Bassist Mark Haanstra and Lijbaart play in Honing's splendid Wired Paradise. Five of the eleven original tunes were composed ...

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Sheila Jordan & Steve Kuhn Trio at Birdland

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Sheila Jordan & Steve Kuhn Trio Birdland New York, New York April 3, 2015 Sheila Jordan is a natural. Still going strong at 86, she does more than sing with her voice. She plays it like an instrument. Like any great jazz improviser, she bends notes to their expressive potential, traveling far but always returning home. Among few other musicians could this have been clearer than pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist Steve Laspina, and drummer Billy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gary Peacock Trio: Now This

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Some of bassist Gary Peacock's earliest musical associations speak to a career that has been nurtured by unusually well-rounded experiences. Subbing for Ron Carter in gigs with Miles Davis, playing with the Bill Evans Trio and pianist Paul Bley and a stay with saxophonist Albert Ayler provided Peacock with foundations that ran the gamut from main-stream balladry, to conceptually modern jazz to the most unrestricted free jazz. All of which led up to the three-decades long relationship with Keith Jarrett ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Roney: Preludes

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Intelligent programming in a jazz release provides its own reward in seasoning the recital contained therein with a thoughtful foundation. Canadian pianist John Roney entitles his recording Preludes and proceeds to populate the disc with exactly that, “Preludes," those brief, often standalone keyboard compositions from the Romantic era. Preludes most often feature a limited number of rhythmic and melodic motifs that recur through the piece. Important in jazz, the prelude is an improvisatory piece of music capably malleable to an ...

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Norfolk And Norwich Festival 2015

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Norfolk And Norwich Festival Norwich, UK May 8-24, 2015 With a program that includes dance, visual arts, site-specific theatre in city streets and ancient woodland and a few almost impossible to define events, a festival such as the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival still manages to find space for jazz. The 2015 festival found space across a range of venues, for possibly the most exciting jazz line-up of recent years--hot jazz from the early ...



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