Christopher Porter

Christopher’s Contributions

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January/February 2007    Features

Martial Solal: French Modern

“I thank Mr. Hitler,” says a droll Martial Solal, a French-Algerian Jew and France’s foremost jazz pianist. “Because of him I discover music. Without him, I wouldn’t be here—and neither would you.” “Here” is Juan-Les-Pins, a tiny swath of Mediterranean beachfront...


December 2006    Albums

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Various Artists

An average person might buy 10 CDs a year. But you’re not an average person. You’re reading a magazine that specializes in jazz music, a niche market that appeals to connoisseurs and collectors more than casual fans. You probably buy 10 CDs a month, not...


November 2006    Albums

Ethiopiques 21: Ethiopia Song
Emahoy Tsegue and Maryam Guebrou

The Éthiopiques series is known for high-energy pop, brass bands and jazzy instrumentals—dance music for swingin’ Addis Ababa. But the 21st volume acts like a nightcap after a night out on the town. Playing solo piano, Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou works through...


November 2006    Albums

The Source
The Source

Saxophonist Trygve Seim often comes across like he’s a classical musician holding a jazzman’s instrument. But when he’s around his friends in the Source collective, his more abstract chamber-music instincts give way to something akin to free-jazz balladry...


November 2006    Grooves

In Orbit Vol. 1
The Skatalites

The Skatalites helped usher in the modern age of Jamaican music in the early 1960s by mixing American R&B with jazz chops and funky rhythms with the island’s African-derived folk music. The musicians comprised the house band for Studio One, and they moonlighted...


November 2006    Grooves

Present Mudfoot Jones
Basement Boys

You may not have heard of the production team called the Basement Boys, but you’ve likely heard their work if you turned on the radio in the past 16 years. They’ve remixed Paula Abdul, Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu and they co-wrote Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy...


November 2006    Grooves

People People Music Music
Groove Collective

Groove Collective can’t decide if it wants to play funk, Latin or jazz on its first album in five years. While the band has always flitted between styles, its strength isn’t jazz, it’s funk. Too much of People People Music Music attempts to be the former...


November 2006    Grooves

The Exchange Session, Vol. 2
Kieran Hebden/Steve Reid

When Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid went into the studio to jam, it seemed like a mismatch. Hebden usually records under the name Four Tet, creating percussion-driven electronica based on samples, analog electronics and plenty of postproduction. While he’s...


November 2006    Grooves

Matthew Herbert

Matthew Herbert is an ideologue. Like Lars von Trier did with his Dogme 95 rules for filmmaking, Herbert constructed the Personal Contract for the Composition of Music (Incorporating the Manifesto of Mistakes) in 2000. He doesn’t allow himself to use synthesizer...


November 2006    Grooves

New Tones

NOMO—the band dem-ands all caps—is all about Fela Kuti. But unlike Brooklyn’s Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, who seem like they’ve been beamed straight from Nigeria circa 1974, Michigan’s NOMO adds enough experimental jazz and various strains of West African...


November 2006    Grooves

Rico Rodriguez

While trombonist Rico Rodriguez left Jamaica for England just as ska was taking off, he’s always been seen as part of the musical foundation of the Caribbean’s second-most influential island. (All respect to Cuba.) Togetherness is a good-sounding live recording...


November 2006    Grooves

Café D’Afrique
Various Artists

With the jazz demographic getting older and older, more and more mainstream labels are turning their attention to the dancefloor in order to capture younger ears. Savoy had already released a CD by the English dance-pop trio Saint Etienne, but Cafe D’Afrique...


November 2006    Grooves

Rebop: The Savoy Remixes
Various Artists

Producers used to sample old jazz LPs on the fly and hope nobody noticed. Well, they did notice, and jazz labels started commissioning remix projects. It seems like the trend would have played itself out—and it pretty much has from an artistic standpoint—but...


November 2006    Artist Profiles

Ilhan Ersahin: Kind of Nublu

On the edge of the East Village is a white door illuminated by a single blue light. You could easily wander past 62 Avenue C and, if you notice it at all, think the entrance leads to nothing more than an unexceptional residence. But like so many buildings...


07/24/06    Concerts

Jazz a Juan 2006

Every concert, everywhere, should be staged in front of the sea as the sun sets. Because when you listen to music while looking at water—with sailboats and yachts floating by, a full moon hovering in a cherry-painted sky, cicadas buzzing along in a sympathetic...


July/August 2006    Artist Profiles

Thomas Strønen: Unclassifiable in Every Way

Thomas Strønen used old-fashioned psychology in order to get his first instrument: “When I was five, I saw a drum in a store in Kiel, Germany, and cried my eyes out to make my parents buy it. It took about four hours to tire them out. “From this day, my...

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About Christopher Porter