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July 2015

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Dear Mr. P.C.: Frank Zappa said Jazz wasn't dead, it just smelled bad. If players bathed more frequently would Jazz be more popular?  Thanks. --Jacques Dear Jacques: Check your thesaurus! If something smells bad it is “funky"; Zappa's quote can be paraphrased as “Jazz isn't dead, it's just funky." Funk, in his eyes, is the opposite of death; the funkier the jazz, the more full of life. Reflect on that ...


Brisbane International Jazz Festival 2015

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Brisbane International Jazz Festival Various locations jny:Brisbane, Australia June 3-8, 2015 Celebrating its third edition, the Brisbane International Jazz Festival may be one of Australia's youngest jazz festivals but the state of Queensland is no stranger to jazz. The non-profit organisation Jazz Queensland has been curating concerts, developing audiences and working with media and promotors to develop a sustainable jazz community in Australia's second largest state since the early 1980s. The BIJF, which ...


Which jazz musicians produce consistently good music on records or in concert?

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We all have our favorites, but I'm wondering which of your favorites rarely, if ever, disappoint you on records or in concert? For me, it seems anything Joe Locke releases or plays on, sounds great. His latest, Love is a Pendulum (Motema, 2015), already has a seat assignment on my best of 2015 list and I still occasionally dip into his older recordings like Mutual Admiration Society (Sharp Nine, 1999) and Sound Tracks (Milestone, 1997). Thanks for all ...


Burlington Discover Jazz Festival: Burlington, VT, June 5-14, 2015

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Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Burlington, VT June 5-14, 2015 The continuing success of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival not only elevates the level of participation in the city's music scene for the duration of each annual run, but also shines a light throughout Vermont's Queen City to illuminate the variety of venues and associated amenities it offers. And BDJF has created healthy competition too, to the extent the historical stronghold that is Nectar's put together a ...


Moon Hooch at Shakespeare's Pub

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Moon Hooch Shakespeare's Pub Kalamazoo, Michigan May 29, 2015 It was an interesting combination. Two saxophones and a drummer, along with a sound system that kept everyone on their feet, if not dancing. The up-and-coming New York aspirants Moon Hooch (previously touring with They Might Be Giants, Lotus and Galactic), on a nationwide tour, made a stop at Kalamazoo's Shakespeare's Pub on Friday, May 29. And, in the wake of their 2014 release This Is ...


Nutshell 2015

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Nutshell 2015 Bergen, Norway May 27-30, 2015 For a decade now, Nutshell has been an important engine in promoting Norwegian jazz talent abroad. This year, Nutshell's four-day program presented nine acts of quite diverse stripes to an audience of festival directors, radio programmers, booking agents and journalists from fifteen European countries. For bands who impress, Nutshell potentially offers a direct route to the stages of jazz festivals and clubs the length and breadth of ...


Dave Burrell: Pianist Navigating the Windward Passages

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Dave Burrell is a master pianist and composer who encountered the avant-garde in the 1960s and has been following his own independent path ever since. He combines classical and jazz elements that are both “inside" and “outside" the mainstream. The title of a poem by J.V. Cunningham, “The Metaphysical Amorist" characterizes much of his playing, which is “romantic" (amorous) in both the sense of that era in music history and the influence of the American Songbook, and yet penetrates the ...


Struttin' With Some Barbecue

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The contributions the South has made to America are innumerable and varied. My beloved Virginia, for example, gave such priceless gifts as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and seven presidents (I do not count William Henry Harrison, because he was a dumbass). We gave the nation Smithfield ham, Virginia peanuts, Eskimo pies, and the first truly American cookbook. And that's just a tiny portion of gifts from one part of the South. On the whole, we've given this country ...

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