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Jan Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble: Remember me, my dear (ECM)

There is rich history to the pairing of Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and British early-music vocal team the Hilliard Ensemble, history that resonates in every nuance of their latest (and, we presume, last) collaboration, Remember me, my dear. Garbarek, David James (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Steven Harrold (tenor), and Gordon Jones (baritone) worked together on 1994’s … Read More “Jan Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble: Remember me, my dear (ECM)”

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The Bad Plus: Activate Infinity (Edition)/ Reid Anderson/Dave King/Craig Taborn: Golden Valley Is Now (Intakt)

Drummer Dave King and bassist Reid Anderson have had an uproarious last 24 months. They lost their partner of 17 years in the Bad Plus, pianist Ethan Iverson, found a new Bad keyboardist/pal (the joyously diabolical Orrin Evans), and recorded two new albums, including this month’s Activate Infinity. At the same time, Anderson and King renewed … Read More “The Bad Plus: Activate Infinity (Edition)/ Reid Anderson/Dave King/Craig Taborn: Golden Valley Is Now (Intakt)”

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Dr. Lonnie Smith: Rise Up!

It took a while for the good Doctor to get his groove back. The turban-wearing Hammond organist with an ear for rubbery soul-jazz lent his blue notes to George Benson and Lou Donaldson throughout the 1960s. Smith then created an unsurpassable level of infamy for his deliriously funky Think in 1968. It was the sort … Read More “Dr. Lonnie Smith: Rise Up!”

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing: This is Our Moosic

Mostly Other People Do the Killing loves Pennsylvania, loves Ornette Coleman and loves poking fun at itself and the entirety of jazz. Maybe not necessarily in that order, but you get the drift quickly. Billing itself as a “bebop terrorist band,” the quartet’s appropriation of Coleman’s legendary cover art-MOPDTK’s new album’s suit-and-tie take on 1960’s … Read More “Mostly Other People Do the Killing: This is Our Moosic”

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Chris Byars: Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art

After covering the waterfront of jazz classicists George Shearing, Tadd Dameron and George Gershwin on his first record and conjuring energetic originals with the hard bop of Blue Note’s best on Photos in Black, White and Gray, all-around saxophonist Chris Byars goes for some West Coast cool for number three. That he’s a Manhattanite tied … Read More “Chris Byars: Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art”

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Jacob Young : Sideways

At 38, Lillehammer, Norway’s Jacob Young is set to take on the loose-fitting crown of strum ‘n’ thrum king held throughout jazz history by Jim Hall, Bill Frisell and the Pats (Martino, Metheny) by filling up his melodies’ leaps of imaginary rhythm with grand spacious tone. Like those players, Young’s cool use of atmosphere/ambience is … Read More “Jacob Young : Sideways”

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Various Artists: Cannon Re-Loaded: An All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley

Once upon a deep, dark mood-Miles’ Kind of Blue, for example-an alto ax-man came calling. His name was Cannonball Adderley, a saxophonist whose exuberant zeal burst through the postbop clutter of the 1950s to create a brand of peppy, happy jazz rimmed eventually by the bubbling husk of R&B and fresh-faced funk. To the letter … Read More “Various Artists: Cannon Re-Loaded: An All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley”

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Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart

There’s the back story of Melody Gardot, the Philadelphia jazz folkie disabled in a car accident: she uses specialized seating, dark glasses and other distractions to comfort her deep pelvic fractures, photosensitivity and the autonomic nervous system dysfunction that allows her hypersensitivity to noise. Forget that. Really. Though there’re long, lyrical, even silly allusions to … Read More “Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart”

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Patricia Barber: The Premonition Years: 1994-2002

It was as if a skylark had swallowed a bassoon that first moment singer/pianist Patricia Barber opened her mouth: a blues-hooting, nervously flitting bird with smartly semantic wiseacre lyrics beating her own drum vocally and rhythmically. Forget that her poorly titled albums seemed to signal some ersatz beat revivalism. Hers was a thoroughly modern listen … Read More “Patricia Barber: The Premonition Years: 1994-2002”

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