David R. Adler

David R.’s Contributions

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May 2008    Albums

Affairs of State
Andrew Rathbun

“Fiction could not create more colorful, ridiculous characters,” writes Andrew Rathbun in the liner notes to Affairs of State. He’s speaking of the Bush administration. A native of Canada based in Brooklyn, Rathbun is upset, like many, by political realities...

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March 2008    Albums

Day Trip
Pat Metheny w/ Christian Mcbride & Antonio Sanchez

Pat Metheny is best known for his 30 years and running with the Pat Metheny Group. Among his widely varied projects, however, the trio holds a special place, beginning in 1976 with his debut album, Bright Size Life, featuring Jaco Pastorius and Bob Moses...

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January/February 2008    Features

Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette & Gary Peacock: Standard Bearers

“There’s width and depth in a player’s ability,” says bassist Gary Peacock, reflecting on 25 years spent exploring standards with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette. “Width involves technique, sense of time, all the objective aspects of a person’s playing...

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11/26/07    Concerts

Tigran Hamasyan Trio

By the time Tigran Hamasyan won the prestigious Monk piano competition in 2006, he had already dominated similar face-offs in Monaco and Montreux. In Moscow, nearer his native Armenia, he placed third. It’s an enviable track record for any rising musician...

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November 2007    Artist Profiles

Happy Apple: Hometown Homeboys

It’s hard to picture a band more grassroots than Happy Apple. Drummer David King, electric bassist Erik Fratzke and saxophonist Michael Lewis hail from Minneapolis, in the verdant northern Midwest, far from the concrete jungles where hard-hitting jazz musicians...

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November 2007    Albums

Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard
Chris Potter Underground

These two albums do more than highlight different facets of Chris Potter’s musicianship. They also present his take on two idiomatic choices that are highly popular in current jazz. Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard is the second outing by...

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October 2007    Solo

Jazzing Iraq

Hard to believe, but Iraq was once seen as “an island in a sea of instability.” In Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, Penny M. Von Eschen discusses how Iraq changed, and how American jazz musicians practically witnessed it. Dave...

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September 2007    Albums

Inamorata
Bill Laswell’s Method of Defiance

It’s hard to overstate bassist/producer Bill Laswell’s influence on contemporary music or, more specifically, the meshing of rock, avant-garde jazz and electronica, which, thanks largely to him, is now commonplace. His latest project, Method of Defiance...

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September 2007    Albums

Sulphur
Steuart Liebig/Minim

Electric bassist Steuart Liebig (a.k.a. “Stig”) is a big fish in Southern California’s avant-garde scene, and Sulphur is the second release by his chamber quartet Minim. The first, Quicksilver (2004), featured a lineup of flute, violin, bass and percussion...

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September 2007    Albums

Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris
Nublu Orchestra

The most fascinating thing about Butch Morris’ “conduction”—his spontaneous composition method using coded hand gestures—is not the system itself, but its boundless adaptability. Ideally suited for free-jazz instrumentalists, conduction can be just as compelling...

06/26/07    Concerts

Vision Festival

The tagline for this year’s Vision Festival was “The Revolution Continues”—a reference to the October Revolution in Jazz, spearheaded by trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon back in 1964. If you walked just two blocks down Norfolk Street, however, you could see...

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May 2007    Features

Anthony Braxton: True Mathematics

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, at the corner of 51st and Broadway in Manhattan, has a wait staff that sings karaoke hits for a tourist clientele. Two doors down at the Winter Garden Theatre, the ABBA-inspired musical Mamma Mia! draws capacity crowds. Sandwiched...

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April 2007    Albums

Russell Gunn Plays Miles
Russell Gunn

It is bold, even potentially off-putting, for a trumpeter to cover Miles Davis’ repertoire—perhaps analogous to Branford Marsalis covering A Love Supreme. And it’s not clear that jazz history needs more versions of “Blue in Green” and “All Blues.” But if...

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April 2007    Albums

The Wind
Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan

In his mid 40s, Tehran-born Kayhan Kalhor is a master of the kamancheh, a Persian upright bowed fiddle with an exquisitely mournful sound. Having worked with sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan in the Persian-Indian hybrid ensemble Ghazal (documented by ECM...

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April 2007    Albums

Trio Alto Volume One
Loren Stillman

Loren Stillman is one of New York’s best alto saxophonists, and has gained the distinction well before reaching age 30. He’s made vital contributions to Andy Milne’s DAPP Theory, Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas project and the trio Jackalope (with John Abercrombie...

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April 2007    Albums

Brooklyn Jazz Underground, Volume 1
Various Artists

Showcasing artists united under the banner of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, this 10-track compilation offers music that has been (for the most part) previously released but not very widely heard. It alerts listeners to some superior work done between 2002...

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About David R. Adler

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David R. Adler writes on music, politics and culture from his home in New York. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, JazzTimes, DownBeat, Jazziz, Slate, Time Out New York, The New York Times, Forward, The New Republic Online and many other outlets. David is also a "New York @ Night" columnist and regular contributor to The New York City Jazz Record (formerly All About Jazz-New York). His blog Lerterland can be found at blog.adlermusic.com.