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Sitting In It, Low Blow, Always a Bridesmaid

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Sitting In It Dear Mr. P.C.: Is there an “etiquette" as when to accept and when to decline joining a band on stage when invited? --Getting Uneasy Each Sit-in Time Dear GUEST: First, the obvious: If you're better than the band, sitting in makes them look bad but makes you look good. If you're worse than the band, sitting in makes them look good but makes you look bad. That means the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tin Men and the Telephone: World Domination Vol 1: Furie

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Seriously, if this is what world domination sounds like, sign me up for a lifetime subscription! Sure you can control this trio with a smartphone through the Tinmendo app, but can you really? These guys are so gloriously off the rails, so wondrously their own entity that, yeah, go find your hot spot and hope for reception, but you ain't in control. None of us are (at the moment). But when this Amsterdam-based cauldron of invention and genre-mashing ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Groovemeisters: Dennis Coffey and Barry Goldberg

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Any musiclover worth his or her salt will testify to the fact that some of the best instrumentalists are the greatest unsung heroes. Playing during any given era of rock and roll, blues, jazz or funk, in any cross-fertilization thereof, session players, sidemen and collaborators of comparatively low profiles can be part and parcel of the most durable recordings and memorable stage performances. To that end, the names of such figures as Barry Goldberg and Dennis Coffey invariably turn up ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Toronto Jazz Orchestra: 20

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The name on the album--20--says it all: the world-class Toronto Jazz Orchestra has been presenting marvelous music in eastern Canada and beyond for twenty years and has marked the special anniversary by releasing the fourth in a series of admirable recordings that began in 2001 with Toronto Jazz Orchestra. This time out, all the arrangements (and all but one composition, a revision of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's “Dear Prudence") are by the TJO's artistic director, Josh ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frank Salis: Frank Salis

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Swiss organist Frank Salis (until recently he has called his working trio “Frank Salis H3O") plays the blues like he's been doing it since childhood--because he has. As a young prodigy (he taught himself how to play the piano at age eight) he was exposed to blues piano early on, and decided that was what he wanted to do. At age 20 he began studying jazz, finding his second musical love when exposed to the Hammond organ for the first ...

PROFILES

SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In

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Five years after the jny: San Francisco, California organization SFJAZZ created its own building, the SFJAZZ Center, it has proved a raving, even rampaging, success, unrelenting in programming, sales, education, and music production. Its number of concerts has doubled from 248 to more than 500. Its membership has increased by almost 200% to more than 14,000. It moves a million dollars worth of tickets in the first week its box office opens; some shows sell out to members even before ...

INTERVIEWS

George Wein: A Life and Legend in Jazz

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Last summer, in June of 2017, I had the privilege and opportunity to interview George Wein, founder and producer of the seminal Newport Jazz Festival. At 91, he was just in the process of supporting and transitioning the new artistic director Christian McBride into this demanding and critical role for the future of the Newport Jazz Festival, to ensure the continuation of the legacy. The impact of this festival has been historically felt by the jazz community for its breadth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Igor Willcox Quartet: Live!

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Live! is an unrelenting coup of a performance, an in-your-face and out-of your-seat statement, and one hell of a very hot disc -non-stop Euro fusion and jazz funk. Brazilian drummer Igor Willcox opens the gate and leads his indefatigable quartet of virtusosi -relentless bassist Glecio Nascimento, Jan Hammer influenced keyboardist Vini Morales, and free-blowing Clayton Sousa on sax -through a high-octane celebration of living and joyful playing. One can immediately see and hear that Willcox doesn't mince words ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Haynes & Free Country: My Favorite Things(1960-1969)

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There have been several jazz projects that looked back at the popular music of the 1960's, but none have been as all-encompassing as what drummer Phil Haynes and his band Free Country do here. They touch on Baby Boomer favorites like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and James Brown, but their sweep of the Sixties is wide enough to also bring in Leonard Bernstein and John Coltrane. This quartet of guitar, cello, bass and drums is extremely flexible in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Geyer: The Acadian Orogeny

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Pianist Ben Geyer is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of West Georgia. Previously he taught music theory and aural skills at Oberlin College Conservatory and has a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. Geyer's research focuses on issues of temporality (time) in jazz, and his dissertation is called “Meter, Phrase, and Form in the Compositions of Maria Schneider." Geyer's debut album The Narrative ('18) was released in ...