Tenor-sax somersaults & trampolines: Sonny Rollins in 1967

Music · Reviews
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SONNY ROLLINS photography by John Abbott Each December, the marketplace offers up some must-have jazz-related item. A newly-minted LP collection, a CD or DVD box, or doorstop book—something that pushes aside everything around it. In 2020, that was unquestionably Sonny Rollins in Holland (Resonance). The two-CD compilation of previously unissued live performances by the tenor ...

‘Sittin’ In’ at golden-era jazz clubs 1

Architecture & Design · Music · Reviews
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bird & friendscourtesy of jeff gold These days, every self-respecting college and civic performing arts center has a subscription jazz series. It’s no surprise, then, that many people see jazz as concert music. But it wasn’t always so. 1930s and ‘40s jazz musicians mostly worked in ballrooms with dance bands, but they stretched out and ...

Jazz serendipity: Alan Broadbent Trio’s ‘Trio in Motion’

Music · Reviews
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The longstanding professional relationships of the Alan Broadbent Trio might indicate that the recording at hand is the result of a comfy, well-worn process. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each selection of their new album, Trio in Motion (Savant) is a journey, and the performances are travelogues that sometimes surprise the musicians as much ...

In ‘jazz quarantine’ with Josh Nelson Trio 2

Music · Reviews
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For jazz musicians and their audience, the spring and summer months of 2020 have been, to paraphrase the rebel leader Don Jose in The Wild Bunch, the months of sadness. Musicians need to communicate, exchange, and create with each other. And most thrive before an audience. As clubs and music spaces shutter due to the ...

Jazz composer/pianist Billy Childs brings new ‘Acceptance’ to musical life

Music
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There have been two hallmarks—standards if you will—that have been a part of every Billy Childs album. The first is the journey he’s traveled as a composer.  He has always written and, to great acclaim: he has received five GRAMMY ® awards and 16 nominations—many for composition and arrangement. Presently in continual demand for symphonic ...

Saturday afternoon with the in-crowd — and Ramsey Lewis

Music
How much more of an in-crowd guy can you be? The cool cat seated in front of the yellow backdrop is the GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist Ramsey Lewis. Lewis, an NEA Jazz Master who is still rocking it at 85, has a nice invitation to get onto your Saturday schedule — it’s a way to check ...

Awaiting the return of Amir ElSaffar’s eclectic & enchanting soundstream 2

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Ed. note: This article was commissioned and first published by The Soraya in conjunction with an April 16, 2020 performance, unfortunately cancelled by COVID-19. It is republished on artsmeme with permission. This young jazz-fusion artist, who mixes an Oriental and Western sound, merits your attention. Musical eclecticism is built into the DNA of the 43-year-old ...

Exit the jazz giant: McCoy Tyner

Music
Meandering, plucking-and-picking, pouring forth, cascading. In the video, pianist McCoy Tyner (1938-2020) both reveres and rips into “My One and Only Love.” It’s a ditty with underpinnings so thin it’s just humbling the mighty mountain of sound Tyner constructs of it. Personnel include McCoy Tyner (piano), Azar Lawrence (saxophones), Juini Booth (contrabass), E. W. Wainwright, ...

Bird Lives — to 100 — at CAP UCLA

Music
Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken. We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who ...

‘Disappearing guitars’ of Bill Frisell & Julian Lage @ CAP UCLA

Music
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Guitarist Bill Frisell has proven himself as one of the most interesting conceptualizers of the past twenty years or so in jazz. His albums are a continual source of delight and amazement, as he takes his audience down one musical rabbit hole or another. Whether he’s playing his own original scores to Buster Keaton’s silent ...