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Cyrille Aimée Is Moving On

Standing on the stoop of her three-story apartment building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on a warm, late August day, Cyrille Aimée is grinning. She is all Gallic charm, with her flowing mane of brown curls, her floral-print sundress and her open, inviting smile. When she speaks in softly accented English, she’s like a whiff of … Read More “Cyrille Aimée Is Moving On”

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Chops: Scott Robinson Is Married to His Saxophone

Has Scott Robinson’s tenor saxophone ever forgiven him for the time when, exhausted after a late gig, he absentmindedly left it on a New Jersey Transit bus? “I sometimes feel my horn is rebuking me,” Robinson, 60, told me recently by phone, referring to the silver 1924 Conn that has been his partner since he … Read More “Chops: Scott Robinson Is Married to His Saxophone”

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Wynton Marsalis Imagines Buddy Bolden

Nearly 120 years after his heyday in New Orleans, Charles “Buddy” Bolden, the cornet player and bandleader widely credited with inventing jazz at the dawn of the 20th century, may finally be about to get the attention he deserves. Bolden, an independent feature film by director Dan Pritzker with original music composed and performed by … Read More “Wynton Marsalis Imagines Buddy Bolden”

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Inside the Barry Harris Method

As one of Dr. Barry Harris’ weekly New York City jazz workshops was getting under way on a Tuesday night in December, a friendly stranger gave me some advice: “Leave your ego behind.” For years I had heard about these public sessions where anyone with $15, regardless of ability or previous experience, could spend six … Read More “Inside the Barry Harris Method”

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Luciana Souza Returns to Her Poetic Ways on New Album

Words have always mattered to Luciana Souza as much as music. The Brazilian singer and composer—whose father was a bossa nova guitarist and songwriter, and whose mother was a poet—is that rare jazz artist who has always been equally comfortable in both worlds. In The Book of Longing (Sunnyside), her 12th album and first in … Read More “Luciana Souza Returns to Her Poetic Ways on New Album”

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Heads of State: Search for Peace

These four elder statesmen of postbop-Gary Bartz, alto and soprano saxophones; Larry Willis, piano; Buster Williams, bass; and Al Foster, drums-had crossed paths many times but never played together as a quartet before an engagement last fall at New York City’s Smoke, organized as a tribute to McCoy Tyner. On their first outing as a … Read More “Heads of State: Search for Peace”

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Aaron Diehl: Space Time Continuum

On pianist-composer Aaron Diehl’s fourth album as a leader, his choices of both material and sidemen illuminate his recording’s title: The 29-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, creates an environment in which historic and contemporary styles of jazz, as well as the Western classical tradition, are welcome and integrated. While the album is not especially piano-centric, fans … Read More “Aaron Diehl: Space Time Continuum”

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Duduka da Fonseca: Jive Samba

If you think that Brazilian-influenced jazz might be a bit passé, you don’t know Duduka. Drummer Duduka da Fonseca, that is, who wrote the book on Brazilian drumming, literally, with his Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset, first published in 1993. Ever since he moved to the U.S. from his native Rio de Janeiro in 1975, the … Read More “Duduka da Fonseca: Jive Samba”

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Russell Malone: Love Looks Good on You

In his 11th album as a leader and his first for HighNote, Russell Malone demonstrates the clear, thoughtful tone, tasty phrase-making and rhythmic mastery that have made him one of today’s finest exponents of the mainstream jazz guitar tradition of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and George Benson, his early idol. Malone’s years as a sideman-supporting … Read More “Russell Malone: Love Looks Good on You”

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Jeff Hamilton Trio: Great American Songs Through the Years

For those who might think the great tradition of crisply arranged, deeply swinging piano trios ended with the passing of Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, there is good news in the form of drummer Jeff Hamilton’s latest recording with his highly accomplished colleagues Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christoph Luty on bass. All three are … Read More “Jeff Hamilton Trio: Great American Songs Through the Years”

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Justin Kauflin: Dedication

Expectations for Justin Kauflin’s second album, produced by Quincy Jones, have been high following the success of Keep on Keepin’ On, the award-winning documentary about the young pianist’s close friendship with nonagenarian trumpet legend and jazz educator Clark Terry. Kauflin, who has been blind since age 11, met Terry-he affectionately calls him “CT”-as a jazz … Read More “Justin Kauflin: Dedication”

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