Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

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12/14/15    Albums

American Legend: Live in California
Mose Allison

Three years ago, after more than six decades on the road, pianist and vocalist Mose Allison officially stopped touring. This 53-minute session, captured at Marin County’s 19 Broadway, is being touted as the NEA Jazz Master’s final live recording. True enough...

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12/11/15    Features

Four Women: The Enduring Influence of Nina Simone

Cassandra Wilson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, René Marie & Dianne Reeves reflect

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12/10/15    Albums

Sounds and Cries of the World
Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue

“Song for Naldo,” the penultimate track on vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu’s new album, first nods to a writer friend, a “weaver of words,” a “weaver of dreams.” The focus then shifts to a vibrant dream of Shyu’s own that, involving...

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12/03/15    Albums

Flirting With Disaster
Lorraine Feather

Across 10 previous albums, you could count on Lorraine Feather to be funny, sardonic, wisely observant of the minutiae of everyday life and, occasionally, wistful and romantic. Now, for the first time in her colorful recording career, Feather is focusing...

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12/01/15    Albums

Life Goes On
Stevie Holland

Amid the ever-expanding sea of jazz vocalists, there’s nothing strikingly distinctive about Stevie Holland’s voice, and yet her assets are considerable: beautiful clarity of tone, immaculate phrasing and an excellent sense of time. She makes the most of...

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11/28/15    Albums

Mucho Leo
Leo Sidran

His dad, pianist, vocalist and composer Ben Sidran, was once aptly described as a “renaissance man cast adrift in a modern world.” The apple that is Leo hasn’t fallen too far from that tree. He wrote his first song at age 6, established himself as an accomplished...

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11/25/15    Albums

Varuna
Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach

Perhaps least known among contemporary jazz’s great voice-piano duos, with 25 years of shared history, Laurie Antonioli and Richie Beirach are also masters of delayed gratification. The Duo Session , their first album as coleaders, was recorded in 1992 but...

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11/23/15    Albums

Two Songbirds of a Feather
Becky Kilgore & Nicki Parrott

Some jazz voices—Ella and Louis, Carmen and Betty, Bing and Rosie—seem made for one another. The bi-generational teaming of Rebecca (Becky) Kilgore and Nicki Parrott flaunts that it-had-to-happen spirit. Best evidence among this baker’s dozen tracks is the...

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11/19/15    Albums

Jazz and Other Four Letter Words
Mark Winkler

Last time we heard from Mark Winkler, in 2013, was with a studio version of West Coast Cool, the snappy, midcentury-styled nightclub act that he and the Manhattan Transfer’s Cheryl Bentyne toured across North America. It seems, however, that Winkler isn’t...

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11/14/15    Albums

Alegria de Viver
Leny Andrade & Roni Ben-Hur

Though she’s extremely under-recognized outside Latin America, veteran Brazilian vocalist Leny Andrade has achieved status and esteem there equivalent of Ella, Sarah or Billie. Known for her scorching delivery and dense, earthy sound, the Rio-born Andrade...

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11/06/15    Albums

Send One Your Love
New West Guitar Group

The math is simple: three guitarists; 10 tracks; and five vocalists, each exploring two love songs, one vintage and one more contemporary. The three players—Perry Smith, Jeff Stein and John Storie, collectively know as New West Guitar Group—have been together...

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10/31/15    Albums

The Royal Bopsters Project
London, Meader, Pramuk & Ross

Five years in gestation, this boplicious project serves as both the introduction to a terrific new vocal foursome and as a living tribute to five of jazz singing’s foremost pioneers. The idea was ignited in 2010 when Amy London and Holli Ross paid a visit...

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10/27/15    Albums

Midnight McCartney
John Pizzarelli

The same week that the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” hit No. 1 in Billboard in April 1964, Ella Fitzgerald recorded her version. Lennon and McCartney compositions have remained a vital part of the vocal-jazz repertoire ever since. But you’d be hard pressed...

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10/25/15    Albums

Sophisticated Abbey: Live at the Keystone Korner
Abbey Lincoln

Anyone who knows Abbey Lincoln’s history is aware of the sizable recording gap—a barren stretch from 1962 to 1972 followed by close to two decades of very sporadic live and studio sessions—that preceded her vibrant comeback in the early ’90s. Any unearthed...

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10/19/15    Albums

Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein
Karrin Allyson

Why do jazz singers embrace so many songs by Rodgers and Hart yet so few—save the Coltrane-blessed “My Favorite Things”—by Rodgers and Hammerstein? While Rodgers’ music is accepted as consistently top-drawer, Hart’s lyrics are widely considered sharper...

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10/15/15    Concerts

Review: South Africa's Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival

A dichotomous affair, from the disappointing to the sublime

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About Christopher Loudon

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