Stuart Nicholson

Stuart’s Contributions

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November 2002    Albums

Elastic
Joshua Redman

This CD is being heralded as a new step for Joshua Redman, although the tenor saxophone, organ and drum combo is hardly new to jazz. It's being marketed as "Redman's first work with electric instruments," which after eight acoustic albums amounts to a shrewd...

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July/August 2002    Features

Tomasz Stanko: The Soul of Freedom

As the airplane descends into Warsaw airport, you can almost see the ghosts of Poland’s past rising up to greet you. Here is a city that over the centuries has borne witness to freedom and tyranny, tolerance and persecution, art and power, integrity and...

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March 2002    Hearsay

Marc Moulin

“Things change, jazz changes,” says Belgian keyboardist Marc Moulin. “More and more musicians I know here in Europe want to play with DJs. But I don’t think journalists are going to be part of this revolution because they want pure jazz and don’t want to...

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March 2002    Albums

Speaking of Now
Pat Metheny Group

More than any of the diverse performing contexts guitarist Pat Metheny has found himself in over the years, from Michael Brecker to David Bowie, it's impossible not to think of his playing as being defined by, and defining, the Pat Metheny Group. Certainly...

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January/February 2002    Albums

Inside Out
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette

In the liner notes for this wholly absorbing release, pianist Keith Jarrett makes the point that his now famous standards trio, with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, is less about the standards themselves, and more about where the group...

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December 2001    Albums

Progression: Art of the Trio, Volume 5
Brad Mehldau Trio

This is the third time pianist Brad Mehldau has returned to the Village Vanguard in the course of his Art of the Trio cycle, here for a two-disc set. Bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy again divide their accompanist duties with equal flair...

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October 2001    Hearsay

Esbjörn Svensson

Pianist Esbjörn Svensson is not really surprised to see his E.S.T. trio become one of the most talked about jazz groups in Europe. “It’s not by accident it is happening for us,” he says. “We have been working very hard for it. It’s taken us seven years of...

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June 2001    Features

Manfred Eicher & ECM Records: Lucidity, Transparency and the Movements of Sound

Every musician wants his or her work enshrined on compact disc—and now good, bad and indifferent albums swamp the market. In an idealized past, things seemed so much simpler. In the ’50s and ’60s, Alfred Lion’s Blue Note was widely recognized as one of jazz’s...

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May 2001    Features

Nils Petter Molvær: Future Jazz Now

“It’s luck,” says trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær with a shrug. “It’s being in the right place at the right time. There are so many factors and I have been fortunate they happened all at once for me.” Since his 1997 album Khmer became an unexpected underground...

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April 2001    Albums

Hanging Gardens
The Necks

It is tempting to say that if you want to hear jazz that is not another wearying variation of hard bop but is pushing the envelope, reaching out in new and interesting directions, look beyond American shores. Tempting, but, like all generalizations, is only...

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April 2001    Albums

Good Morning Susie Soho
Esbjörn Svensson

Good Morning Susie Soho peaked on the Swedish pop album chart at 15, above the likes of Whitney Houston, Britney Spears and Pearl Jam, yet was named album of the year for 2000 by the critics in the British magazine Jazzwise. At the same time, Svensson was...

April 2001    Solo

Evansing the Score: The Politics of Exclusion in Ken Burns’ Jazz

A quick stroll down the shopping malls of cyberspace is enough to confirm that at the moment we are not enduring a dearth of jazz history books. Like mayflies in permanent hatch they seem to be in a state of constant renewal, as one disappears several more...

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03/25/01    Concerts

Ornette Coleman Live in London

Ornette Coleman's remarkable career has operated at two levels: fighting the battle every lonely visionary must fight and fighting against the frustration that flows from this. It has meant the alto saxophonist, who once threatened to pull the jazz temple...

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January/February 2001    Albums

Concerts Inedits
Michael Petrucciani

Despite the unqualified admiration of just about everyone who counts on the international jazz circuit, recognition that Michel Petrucciani had been perhaps the finest of all the young musicians who swept into jazz during the last 20 or so years was only...

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January/February 2001    Hearsay

Lynne Arriale

“I’m looking at the long haul,” says pianist Lynne Arriale, “hopefully playing until I’m a hundred years old.” Speaking with the same focussed intensity that’s a hallmark of her playing, Arriale’s relaxing after completing five nights at London’s Pizza Express...

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January/February 2001    Hearsay

Ivan Lins

“I’m gifted,” shrugs Ivan Lins with a smile. And he is. The singer, keyboard player, composer and songwriter may not be a household name like his fellow Brazilians Antonio Carlos Jobim or Sergio Mendes, but jazz musicians have long recognized his talent...

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About Stuart Nicholson

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