Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Libertango - The art and music of Leonardo Suarez Paz

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Argentinean violinist-composer Leonardo Suarez Paz personifies the tango. Both a dance and a music, Tango bridles with passion and seethes with a barely suppressed sexual tension. “To bridle" is the correct verb here with its dual connotations of intense emotion and constraint. It is far from the braggadocio of immature machismo and speaks instead to a mature sexuality. Few other musics, if any, move so comfortably on the dance floor or stand so proudly on the concert stage.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow

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Hymn-like melodies, oscillating and quivering sounds, and a mixture of solemnity and adventurousness all inform the solo work of saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson. On Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow, Parzen-Johnson is all by his lonesome with his baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer, creating what could rightly be described as trance spirituals for the modern epoch or, in the words of the man himself, “lo-fi experimental folk music." Parzen-Johnson, a Chicago native who's now based in Brooklyn, was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Altschul's 3dom Factor: Tales of the Unforeseen

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Barry Altschul made his mark on the musical world at a time of both turmoil and guarded acceptance. Charles Lloyd's quartet, with the unknown pianist Keith Jarrett, was bridging a gap with psychedelic rock at the Fillmore West; Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970) along with the work of groups like Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Carlos Santana were blurring the line between increasingly progressive rock and even more progressive jazz in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kutiman: Space Cassava

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Kutiman is an Israeli polymath composer, musician and film producer. Space Cassava is the title of a 2015 mini-album release which is available as a download and also on a limited vinyl version. Despite the paucity of the combined length of the two tracks, weighing in at around 25 minutes, there is some heavy stuff to appreciate here. Although the line-up would belie its credibility, this is actually big band music made possible by Kutiman's ingenious multi-tracking and ability to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Albany: Now's The Time

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Pianist Joe Albany (1924-1988) is a musicological artifact within an art form full of them. Most recently, Albany has garnered attention through the movie and soundtrack Low Down (Bona Fide Productions, 2014, directed by Jeff Priess) based on the bracing, stream-of-conscience memoire written by his daughter, Amy-Jo Albany. His is a story told many times: near-genius junkie brushes stardom but never achieves the escape velocity necessary to escape his desperate circumstances to make his mark. Central to any discussion of ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

The New Orleans All-Star Brass Band: Do You Know What It Means?

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This article was originally published in October 2006. It has been said that the truest expression of a people is in its music and dance. That being the case, then pianist {m: Herbie Hancock was right on the money when he described jny: New Orleans as “the soul of our country. The nation's soul however, was laid painfully bare for the world to see when hurricane Katrina struck. Katrina killed over fifteen hundred people and forced the displacement ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Larry Young: Unity – 1965 – The Missing Link

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In high school and college in the 1970s, I was a huge fan of progressive rock, especially Yes and Emerson Lake & Palmer. As a pianist myself, I was floored by Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. How did they do that? Fast, creative, loud, part-rock, part-jazz, part-classical. Wow. My obsession with Moog synthesizers led me to classical music through the back door. ELP led to Switched On Bach, which led to, well, real Bach. Later, the same impulse ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Anais Maviel with Miya Masaoka and Al Margolis at Y Not Jazz Room

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Anais Maviel with Miya Masaoka and Al Margolis Y Not Jazz Room Solo, Duet, and Trio Performances New York, NY August 9th, 2015 It is no hyperbole to call the French-Haitian singer Anais Maviel a force of nature. She sings from the heart and the gut, her voice merging with her environment for healing and revelation wherever she goes. Any context, from spare, painfully intimate solo shows to sprawling twenty-piece orchestral projects, is ...



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