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Steve Reid Ensemble: Spirit Walk

Perhaps the only musician to play with James Brown, Miles Davis, Sun Ra and Fela Kuti and on Motown sessions, drummer Steve Reid is a Rhodes Scholar of rhythm. His Ensemble’s a lively, heraldic octet, appropriately recording for England’s impeccable Soul Jazz. Spirit Walk harks back to the revolutionary passion and feisty soulfulness of late-’60s/early-’70s … Read More “Steve Reid Ensemble: Spirit Walk”

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Yesterday’s New Quintet Presents Sound Directions: The Funky Side of Life

Madlib (Otis Jackson Jr.) may be the most industrious studio whiz working today. (Who said smoking blunts induces laziness? While you read this, Madlib’s just finished another track.) Despite his prolifigacy, Madlib maintains lofty quality control. Peruse his work with the jazz-funk revival unit Yesterdays New Quintet, or with hip-hop projects Madvillain, Quasimoto and Lootpack, … Read More “Yesterday’s New Quintet Presents Sound Directions: The Funky Side of Life”

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Ultralyd: Chromosome Gun

Chromosome Gun begins with a bang, a detuned guitar clang, a power drone, a truculent blast of clarinet and alto sax-and it gets progressively more intense thenceforth. Norway’s Ultralyd believe in assaulting the listener from the get-go, so track one, “Beautor,” finds Frode Gjerstad going banshee-mad in the upper registers of his sax, blowing white-hot … Read More “Ultralyd: Chromosome Gun”

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Mandarin Movie: Mandarin Movie

Could this disc be the enema jazz needs to get it out of its logy state? The answer: “Yes!” in thunder. Mandarin Movie is the tumultuous instant classic conceived by Brazil-via-Chicago cornetist Rob Mazurek (Isotope 217, Chicago Underground Trio, Tigersmilk, Orton Socket). Mazurek’s past projects have shown flashes of understated brilliance, but none has hinted … Read More “Mandarin Movie: Mandarin Movie”

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Groundtruther: Latitude

Eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Bobby Previte decided to record three albums as a duo while using a different guest on each work. On Latitude, they’ve chosen alto saxophonist Greg Osby. (Longitude and Altitude will complete the trilogy.) If this opening salvo is typical, lovers of experimental music that blurs genres will reap huge … Read More “Groundtruther: Latitude”

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Various Artists: Blue Note Revisited

Jazz record-company marketing departments smell death. Panicked by the spectacle of their core fan base dying, they scramble to snag the much-coveted 18 to 34 demo. Ergo, these suits recruit a raft of hip-hop and electronica producers to infuse youthful vigor into the dusty grooves that, ironically, form the foundation of many of said producers’ … Read More “Various Artists: Blue Note Revisited”

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Wayne Horvitz: American Bandstand

This prolific keyboardist lights up the Seattle-area jazz, new music, improv, jam-band and classical worlds, but he swears he’s not eclectic. Dave Segal tries to pin down Wayne Horvitz. Good luck.

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