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Ben Monder: Dust

Seven originals and the standard “I’ll Remember April” are featured on Monder’s debut recording, a trio set with Ben Street on bass and Brooklyn’s own wizard of the beat, Jim Black on drums and percussion. Monder’s fingers have been in numerous and varied musical pies including performances with Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, the … Read More “Ben Monder: Dust”

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Joe Morris and William Parker: Invisible Weave

Guitarist Joe Morris and bassist William Parker recorded this duo session at Michael Dorf’s downtown launching pad, The Knitting Factory, early last year and the seven tracks herein are, in Morris’ words, creative music. Their color, texture and design is a completely spontaneous act, music of a specific time and place. Controlled frenzy? Idiosyncratic swing? … Read More “Joe Morris and William Parker: Invisible Weave”

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Hamiet Bluiett: King/Bluiett Trio: Makin’ Whoopee

Baritone saxist Hamiet Bluiett and tenorman David Murray have been half of World Saxophone Quartet since its inception while alto and soprano saxophonist Eric Person had a brief stint with the group. Outside that hallowed institution, they all continue to pursue startling music as well. Bluiett’s blustery baritone seems an unlikely front for a tribute … Read More “Hamiet Bluiett: King/Bluiett Trio: Makin’ Whoopee”

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Art Tatum: No Greater Art

Today, Art Tatum would have been 88. His music survives and continues to astound. This weekend, after working my way through his Solo and Group Masterpieces on Pablo, which included such collaborators as Roy Eldridge, Lionel Hampton and Ben Webster, I’m listening to a Verve reissue, 20th Century Piano Genius, recorded live at several Beverly … Read More “Art Tatum: No Greater Art”

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Jacky Terrasson and Cassandra Wilson: Rendezvous

In these alarmingly noisy times, I cling to what now passes as something of an antiquated mantra-simplicity is elegance. The work of Lester Young, in particular, remains a guidepost for me. Pres always played only what was necessary, nothing more, nothing less. That sensibility informs this prized collaboration, from the Greek goddess of vocal creativity, … Read More “Jacky Terrasson and Cassandra Wilson: Rendezvous”

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Mark Murphy: Song For The Geese

Song For The Geese is the quintessential recording of an extraordinary singer and lyricist. On his first recording for a major label in three decades, Murphy’s vibrant vocals are vitalized by inventive, energized arrangements. In addition to his Seattle based trio (pianist Marc Seales, bassist Doug Miller and drummer John Bishop),percussionist Larry Bouleau and the … Read More “Mark Murphy: Song For The Geese”

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Diana Krall: Three into One

By the conclusion of her performance at this year’s North Sea Jazz Festival, Diana Krall left each member of the audience with the impression that she was singing and playing the piano solely for them. During the three-day Dutch musical marathon, easily the most comprehensive assembly of jazz talent known to man, I had the … Read More “Diana Krall: Three into One”

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