Christopher Porter

Christopher’s Contributions

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July/August 2006    Albums

With Strings
The Choir Boys

The Choir Boys are Jeff Kaiser (trumpet, quarter-tone trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics) and Andrew Pask (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, bass pennywhistle, electronics); the “with strings” includes guitarist G.E. Stinson and contrabass guitarist Steuart...


July/August 2006    Albums

Claudio Roditi

The third CD by this tri-country trio is like the first two: pleasant chamber jazz that won’t register anywhere in your brain. Brazilian trumpeter and flugelhornist Claudio Roditi gets the bigger name on the cover, but eight of the 11 tracks are by German...


July/August 2006    Albums

Klaus Suonsaari and Frank Carlberg

Drummer-composer Klaus Suonsaari is slowly but surely building a catalog of impressionistic yet edgy ECM-like music on his KSJazz label. Originally from Finland, Suonsaari now makes his home in New Jersey, but he often calls on his native country’s musicians...


June 2006    Artist Profiles

Chris Trapper: Real Gone

Chris Trapper looks like he could be a male crooner à la Michael Bublé. With his slicked back red-brown hair, blue eyes and lean torso, you could easily imagine this former barbershop -quartet singer sporting a snappy suit and crooning into a big old Sinatraesque...


June 2006    Albums

Everything Ecstatic: Films & Part 2
Four Tet

One of the defining elements of Kieran Hebden’s Four Tet project is the way he’s able to make electronic music that sounds random, taking his songs away from their programmed and sampled roots and into the organic headspace enjoyed by live bands. Last year’s...


June 2006    Albums

Hugh Masekela Presents the Chisa Years 1965-1975
Various Artists

When trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist Hugh Masekela arrived in the U.S. in 1961, he was a man without a home. South Africa’s apartheid government was in full crackdown mode, and activist musicians like Masekela were routinely shaken down for their meddling...


May 2006    Artist Profiles

Edmar Castaneda: Colombian Buzz

On New Year’s Eve 2005, Giovanni Hidalgo and the Mercadonegro Orchestra warmed up a cold night at an outdoor concert during the Umbria Jazz Winter festival in Orvieto, Italy. The audience was packed tightly into the Piazza del Capitano del Popolo, but Edmar...


May 2006    Features

Enrico Rava: Easy Living

Life is good for Enrico Rava, whose ECM recordings have earned him a reputation as Italy's greatest jazz musician. The trumpeter's graceful, subtly attention grabbing-style has also won over American fans.


May 2006    Albums

Echu Mingua

After years of playing congas in the legendary Cuban jazz group Irakere and with the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Migel “Angá” Díaz has finally released his first solo CD—though it sounds like a compilation culled from a dozen discs because the tracks are so diverse...


May 2006    Albums

Batagraf and Jon Balke

Norwegian keyboardist Jon Balke started Batagraf as something like an informal drum circle. Leaving his keys in favor of percussion, Balke and drummers Kenneth Ekornes, Harald Skullerud, Helge Andreas Norbakken and Ingar Zach played music just for the fun...


May 2006    Albums

Iro Haarla

The great experimental Finnish drummer Edward Vesala has a secret weapon: His wife, Iro Haarla, helped orchestrate much of his music, including his last four albums for ECM with the Sound and Fury band. Vesala died in 1999, but only now is Haarla stepping...


May 2006    Albums

The Welcome Table
Super Numeri

Super Numeri is a Liver-poolian collective that is definitely under the sway Miles Davis during his plugged-in, Dark Magus phase, not to mention Can, Faust and other Krautrock luminaries. The core trio of Pop Levi, Karl Webb and Snap Ant (all multi-instrumentalists...


May 2006    Albums

Various Artists

Rare-groove collectors are an odd sort. They’ll pay something like $500 to buy an obscure record by a long-forgotten band just to sample a single breakbeat or to drop a lost song into a DJ mix. Marcus Hacker of the German label Perfect Toy is just such a...

April 2006    JT Notes

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

What a long, strange trip it's been. OK, it's not been that strange. And six years is nothing, really. And I hate the Grateful Dead, so I don't know where that reference came from. I guess what I'm trying to say is that after being at the helm for 62 issues...


April 2006    Artist Profiles

Monty Alexander: Forever Lovin' Bob

Seven years after Monty Alexander made the hit CD Stir It Up: The Music of Bob Marley (Telarc), the Jamaican-American pianist returned to the Soul Rebel for Concrete Jungle (Telarc). "I could go back to Bob a thousand times," Alexander says of the reggae...


April 2006    Artist Profiles

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Freedom Call

Joseph Shabalala is in New York City and he's trying to reach Paul Simon ("my brother"). But the leader of South Africa's premier harmony-vocal group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, says, "I was trying to call, and I discover that his phone is off. But I'm going...

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About Christopher Porter