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Roy DeCarava: The Sounds He Saw

Much like a lost jazz recording, master photographer Roy DeCarava’s one-of-a-kind fine art book the sound i saw: improvisations on a jazz theme sat unpublished for decades. It existed solely as a maquette—essentially a mockup or prototype, crafted painstakingly by hand in 1960, shut inside a worn leather case and left to languish in a … Read More “Roy DeCarava: The Sounds He Saw”

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Before & After: Michael Dease

Michael Dease didn’t take up trombone until age 17. Nine months after switching from saxophone, the Augusta, Ga., native entered Juilliard’s inaugural 2001 jazz class, on his way to becoming one of jazz’s most impressive young soloists on any instrument. He spent the next 12 years in New York, teaching at Queens College and the … Read More “Before & After: Michael Dease”

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Live Review: Fresh Cut Orchestra Plays the Freedom Now Suite in North Carolina

Black Mountain College was a noble experiment in progressive education that existed from 1933 until 1957. Its legacy is preserved in downtown Asheville, N.C., by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, based in a new and roomy gallery space with clear sightlines to the street outside. Downstairs on a wall display you can … Read More “Live Review: Fresh Cut Orchestra Plays the Freedom Now Suite in North Carolina”

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Aaron Goldberg: Beyond Logic

For over 20 years, pianist Aaron Goldberg has set himself apart as one of the most scintillating performers in jazz, in a longstanding trio with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland and in pivotal sideman stints with Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Wynton Marsalis, and others. His new album, At the Edge of the World … Read More “Aaron Goldberg: Beyond Logic”

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Bright Moments: Brian Blade

Drummer, composer, bandleader: the words seem inadequate. Brian Blade is an experience. Leaving his creative imprint on a wide swath of jazz and pop over the last 25 years, the Shreveport, La., native surrenders bodily to everything he plays, moving freely and joyfully in and around the beat, whether taking part in the stratospheric invention … Read More “Bright Moments: Brian Blade”

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The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Grant Green

Odd as it seems, Grant Green (1935-1979) is simultaneously one of the most and least celebrated guitarists in jazz history. He was certainly one of the most prolific. The writer and radio personality Bob Porter, in his Soul Jazz: Jazz in the Black Community, 1945-1975, notes that the St. Louis native played on 15 sessions … Read More “The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Grant Green”

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Live Review: Big Ears 2018

You know you’re at the Big Ears Festival when Nathan Bowles, banjo and bones player for the old-time string band the Black Twig Pickers, enthusiastically shouts out Milford Graves, the sage of avant-garde jazz percussion. “I got my wig flipped!” Bowles said of Graves’ solo set, which took place on the same stage just hours … Read More “Live Review: Big Ears 2018”

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Kurt Rosenwinkel: A Whole New Vista

There’s something at once disarming and immediately gripping about Caipi, the newest release by guitarist and composer Kurt Rosenwinkel. In what is probably the boldest departure of his nearly three-decade-long career, Rosenwinkel sings full-blown lyric songs, plays nearly every instrument on the record and creates a vivid panorama of sound, with hard-driving, Brazilian-tinged beats propelling … Read More “Kurt Rosenwinkel: A Whole New Vista”

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David Weiss’ Departures & Arrivals

With Point of Departure, a group exploring charged and often lesser-known repertoire from the late ’60s and early ’70s, trumpeter/bandleader David Weiss has spent more than 10 years testing the youngest and rawest of New York talent through trial-by-fire on the bandstand. Talk to virtually any PoD member and they’ll offer some version of the … Read More “David Weiss’ Departures & Arrivals”

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Overdue Ovation: Allan Harris

Here’s an enviable yet daunting circumstance: warming up the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Downtown Manhattan before the Jack DeJohnette/Dave Holland/Jason Moran trio takes the stage. In late August, singer and guitarist Allan Harris faced that challenge and won over the crowd with apparent ease. Being personally mentored by Tony Bennett can have that effect … Read More “Overdue Ovation: Allan Harris”

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Before & After: Kevin Hays

Known for his exceptional output as a leader and his modern-minded pianism in bands led by Nicholas Payton, Al Foster, Chris Potter and more, Kevin Hays has nothing if not a discerning ear. He’s rooted and highly proficient in the postbop piano lineage but always game to branch out. On several releases, most recently the … Read More “Before & After: Kevin Hays”

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