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James Brandon Lewis Takes Two

Closing out the the opening night of the 2018 Vision Festival on May 23 at Roulette in Brooklyn, 34-year-old tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis played an hour-long collective improvisation set with masters of the form: drummer Andrew Cyrille, bassist William Parker, pianist Dave Burrell (the nominal leader), and the group’s senior member, the omnivorously avant-garde … Read More “James Brandon Lewis Takes Two”

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Before & After With Sherrie Maricle: Reflecting on Big-Band History

On March 30, 1993, drummer Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra gave their debut performance at the Loeb Student Center at New York University, where Maricle was then on the faculty. They spent nine months holding auditions, perfecting new arrangements and rehearsing under the direction of Maricle and DIVA cofounder Stanley Kay, the longtime … Read More “Before & After With Sherrie Maricle: Reflecting on Big-Band History”

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Adam Rogers: Rhythm, Guitar

On a Thursday in early September, at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village, guitarist Adam Rogers and the trio DICE did what they have done countless times in the same place over the past decade, though never the same way twice. Rogers hung on a repeating rhythmic motif until bassist Fima Ephron and drummer Nate … Read More “Adam Rogers: Rhythm, Guitar”

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Bright Moments With Louis Hayes

On May 31, drummer Louis Hayes celebrated his 80th birthday and a new album at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York, surrounded by friends, collaborators and acolytes,including drummers Michael Carvin, Nasheet Waits and Eric McPherson, and trumpeters Jimmy Owens and Jeremy Pelt, the latter of whom sat in. Another presence loomed large: pianist-composer Horace Silver, … Read More “Bright Moments With Louis Hayes”

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Bright Moments with Cecil McBee

For the past six decades, bassist, composer and educator Cecil McBee has quietly anchored the rhythm section for bands led by Charles Lloyd, Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Summit and countless others. He currently tours with the Cookers, a supergroup featuring saxophonists Billy Harper and Donald Harrison, trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss, … Read More “Bright Moments with Cecil McBee”

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Q&A: Shabaka Hutchings

When London-based tenor saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and his group Shabaka and the Ancestors opened the 13th annual Winter Jazzfest at Le Poisson Rouge on Jan. 5, they preceded Pharoah Sanders, one of their primary influences. As Hutchings developed coiled rhythmic motifs into a syncopated climax, Johannesburg-based Ancestors vocalist Siyabonga Mthembu repeatedly intoned the rallying cry … Read More “Q&A: Shabaka Hutchings”

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Bright Moments With Carla Bley

It was Nov. 4, and Carla Bley sat at the piano at Jazz Standard in New York, gesticulating at drummer Matt Wilson during “Silent Spring,” one of Bley’s elegiac compositions on Time/Life: Song for the Whales and Other Beings, the Liberation Music Orchestra’s fifth album over as many decades. The orientation of the stage made … Read More “Bright Moments With Carla Bley”

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John Beasley: What Does a Music Director Do?

Miles Davis alum John Beasley has stepped into the role of music director for a diverse slate of projects—from tours with Steely Dan and Queen Latifah to the Thelonious Monk Institute gala, International Jazz Day and American Idol—and though the job varies project to project, there are some constants. “We help pick material, show order, … Read More “John Beasley: What Does a Music Director Do?”

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