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Fender Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo Signature Jazzmasters

The Jazzmaster, a visually striking and tonally versatile instrument manufactured by Fender, has enjoyed one of the electric-guitar industry’s strangest and most ironic existences. Introduced in 1958 as Fender’s most expensive piece, its original purpose was to steal the jazz-guitar market away from Gibson, whose hollowbody models were bop staples. With its gentler, single-coil soapbar … Read More “Fender Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo Signature Jazzmasters”

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Melissa Walker: In the Middle of It All

Following the 2001 release of her fine I Saw the Sky, Melissa Walker seemed to go quiet. The career-halting silence was, in fact, reflective of a terrifying reality for Walker. An infection resulting from severe allergies ignited vocal-cord paralysis. But the feisty Canadian chanteuse refused to succumb to despair or self-pity, instead devoting her years … Read More “Melissa Walker: In the Middle of It All”

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Spencer Day: Vagabond

There’ve been some changes made. Five years ago, when the lanky Idahoan made his recording debut with Introducing Spencer Day, his not-quite-jelled sound suggested peripatetic trips along the folk-rock matrix extending from Livingston Taylor to Boz Scaggs. A year later, the still-angelic-sounding Day eased into a cooler California vibe on his Movie of Your Life … Read More “Spencer Day: Vagabond”

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Sherry Winston: For Your Love

It can be tough to cover a well-known pop song on the flute and not make it sound like something you’d hear at a high-end department store, but Sherry Winston succeeds wonderfully on Beyoncé’s “Naughty Girl,” her flute working its Middle Eastern snake-charmer charms. You’d think “Roxanne” might get a bit sappy, but Winston pulls … Read More “Sherry Winston: For Your Love”

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Linda Oh Trio: Entry

An accomplished bassist-composer and fearless improviser on the New York scene, newcomer Linda Oh has two open-minded and highly skilled musical partners on her leader debut: adventurous trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and drummer Obed Calvaire, a marvel on the kit. The stripped-down trio makes a strong impression from the jump on “Morning Sunset” and continues the … Read More “Linda Oh Trio: Entry”

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Josh Berman: Old Idea

Chicago cornetist Josh Berman, a mainstay on the Windy City’s improvised music scene for the past 10 years, has put together a provocative, intelligent debut as a leader. His Old Idea, seemingly, is to capture some of balance of structure and freedom heard on Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch! (which is now 45 years old). … Read More “Josh Berman: Old Idea”

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Etienne Charles: Folklore

Trinidad native and Juilliard-trained trumpeter Etienne Charles artfully and organically blends Afro-Caribbean folkloric music and jazz improvisation on his second recording as a leader. With a lineup of international all-stars including Guadeloupean tenor saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Serbian pianist Milan Milanović, Trinidadian steel pans player Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, veteran percussionist Ralph MacDonald and the powerful rhythm … Read More “Etienne Charles: Folklore”

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