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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ginger Berglund & Scott Whitfield: Solitary Moon

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The unabridged subtitle of this endlessly charming album is “Ginger Berglund & Scott Whitfield Sing the Johnny Mandel Songbook." For those who were unaware that there is a Johnny Mandel Songbook apart from “Emily," “The Shadow of Your Smile" and “Close Enough for Love," this scintillating summary is a guaranteed eye-(and ear-) opener, lovingly packaged and earnestly delivered by Berglund and her multi-talented husband, trombonist / arranger / singer Whitfield. That “memorable trio" of songs are here, as indeed they should be; but Mandel, who began his career as a trumpeter, has been writing beautiful music for ...

INTERVIEWS

Jon Armstrong: Limitless Enthusiasm

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Of those jazz men who are still left (of course today is a new day and jazz is dying again), the Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra's debut album Farewell, is something new to say hello to. The end is the beginning you know. Jon Armstrong has a (so-far) limitless enthusiasm for being in the thick of music, he is both mature experience and child psyche, surrounded by the vibrant jny: Los Angeles music scene, gifted with Daniel Rosenboom as his inspirational label manager and band mate, and playing for long enough that his chops are tighter than a banker's liability insurance. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Theron Shaw: Gumbo Caribe

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Theron Shaw is well known in local music circles as the go-to man for guitar support ranging from jazz to calypso. His two previous releases signalled a willingness to engage with native cultural mores and tackle Caribbean Jazz not only as a way to “tropicalise" harmonically complex original music, but as a way to validate and valorise calypsoes, ethnic music and folk songs in a surprisingly new context. With his third release on CD, Gumbo Caribe, Shaw almost exclusively utilises the talents of a cadre of Boston-based Berklee College of Music faculty and alumni to expand the thematic influences beyond ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Weller's Hanging Hearts: Chris Weller's Hanging Hearts

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Composer and saxophonist Chris Weller was born and raised in Oak Park, IL. Weller sites his passion for music happened in eighth grade after hearing Charlie Parker. Weller attend Berklee College of Music on a scholarship from 2007-2010, where he received his bachelor's degree in Music Performance. While at Berklee, Weller studied with: George Garzone, Dave Santoro, drum master Rakalam Bob Moses, Ed Tomassi, Jim Odgren, Shannon LeClaire,Greg Hopkins, Benny Golson and Mark Turner. Weller perfected his studies while performing extensively in various bands and ensembles that focused on styles of Jazz, Latin, and Hip Hop. After college, Weller returned ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Sticks: The Sticks

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The Sticks is a new, young Norwegian trio, another product of the acclaimed jazz conservatory in Trondheim--pianist Oscar Grönberg, (who was born in Sweden and plays in saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg quartet), double bassist Aksel Jensen and drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen (who plays in violinist Ola Kvernberg trio and in the modern jazz quintet Motif). The trio's name has two meanings for Norwegians and both may describe the spirit of its music: wasteland or middle-of-nowhere, but locals use it to describe “a condition where one becomes so hot and muggy that underwear becomes glued to the thighs." ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Drago Gajo: Jazz Internationalist

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It's said that music is the universal language. And even though it's considered an American creation, jazz music in particular is performed and enjoyed all over the world--including in the central European nation of Slovenia. For anyone who might be unfamiliar with Slovenia, it's one of the countries formed after the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Located at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia is bordered on the west by Italy, on the north by Austria, on the east by Hungary, and on the south by Croatia. In the center of the country lies its capital: ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Cooper: Mists - Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra

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American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954) was an arts iconoclast in the vein of his contemporary poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). Both men were successful business executives who profoundly changed American art as an avocation. Ive's music brimmed with an Americana that sounds slightly sepia-toned today, but that has not prevented it's subjugation as subject for jazz interpretation, another piece of Americana. Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody's Twelve Songs by Charles Ives (Winter & Winter, 2008) set the patrician insurance executive's sound on its ear. Now, noted composer and arranger Jack Cooper completes his near two decades old quest in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

U2: Songs of Innocence

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These days there is no other band that can polarize both critics and audiences alike than Irish band U2. Most of the time that's because of non-musical reasons that have accumulated through the years and the internet never forgets. The band always seems to cause heated debates that swell into fever pitch. Having reinvented themselves several times during their career the most constant thing about it is the constant change. And with each new record U2 seems to be taking bold new steps ahead as it was the unprecedented announcement to release its new record Songs of Innocence for free ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Horvitz: 55: Music and Dance In Concrete

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Reviewed on LP, the only other option for this release is a digital download, but with the latter you won't get the sharp colorful booklet that includes photos of the corresponding dance moves, choreographed by Yukio Suzuki and Wayne Horvitz' detailed album notes. The album was recorded at an old military base, Fort Worden that is situated in a state park outside of Seattle. In fact, the Fort serves as an additional instrument, especially heightened by the inherent analog vinyl pressing. The premise for this production emanates from Horvitz' numerous electronics works transposed to dance, video, and performed by the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Welch / Chazav / Israeli Trio: Jazz from the Middle to the East: Songs from Tel Aviv

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Gilad Chatsav's third album, Jazz from the Middle to the East--Songs from jny: Tel Aviv, grabs you from the start. Not necessarily because of its musical ingenuity, but because of its diversity of styles and rhythms. The album features ten pieces, all original compositions by Chatsav, saving two by Welch as well as two arrangements ("Caravan" and “Ode to the Bay"). Gilad Chatsav teams up again with old friend and bassist Stewart Welch and is joined this time by Boston-based drummer Noam Israeli, who is carving himself a serious career in the United States. The interplay between the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Marty: Ondes Primitives: Improvised Solo Pieces for Double Bass

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The debut album of French double bassist Fred Marty summarizes his musical experience and exploration through an entire spectrum, from classical interpretation to collaborative free improvisation. Marty employs the bass as an organic extension of his body, searching for an array of extended techniques that expand the instrument's timbral range. Each of nine pieces focuses on a distinct sonic property and acoustic palette, developing ideas in an intimate and usually patient manner, like a researcher who methodically studies aspects of the bull fiddle. He creates with the bow and other objects like drumsticks and chopsticks. A ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Charlie Daniels Band at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

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Charlie Daniels Band, Molly Hatchet and the New Riders of the Purple Sage NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY September 13, 2014 Charlie Daniels is an American treasure. The 77-year-old singer/guitarist/violinist, who will celebrate his 78th birthday in late October 2014, has been writing and performing since the '50s. In 1964, Daniels co-wrote Elvis Presley's “It Hurts Me." During the early part of his career, he was a working Nashville session musician, playing on albums by, among others, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. In 1971, he recorded and released his first solo album, Charlie Daniels ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diva: A Swingin' Life

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What do you get when you have fifteen talented and swinging female jazz musicians in an orchestral setting? The answer, drummer Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra offering A Swingin' Life as proof that hard-charging big band music is not the exclusivity of the male gender. Building upon the work of more than a dozen previous albums, DIVA presents music from the Great American Songbook and more, capturing eleven audacious tracks recorded live by Jazz at Lincoln Center at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in New York and, at the renowned Manchester Craftsman's Guild in Pittsburgh. Adding to ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Jan Granlie: My Favorite Things - Jazz Photos 2004-2014

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My Favorite Things--Jazz Photos 2004 -2014 Jan Granlie 182 Jazz og Sånn 2014 Norwegian photographer, writer and editor Jan Granilie has an intimate and through knowledge of the history and almost everyone that is involved in the Nordic and European jazz scenes. He edited the Norwegian jazz magazine Jazznytt for several years and is now the editor of the jazz website Salt Peanuts. Granlie wrote countless reviews on albums, gigs and European festivals and photographed almost any gig that he attended. Or, as he summarized the experience so far, in his characteristic ...



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