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Robby Ameen: Days in the Life

Although he’s been a leading drummer on the Latin pop and jazz scene for over two decades, this is the first album where Robby Ameen has served as both leader and principal composer/arranger. Definitely a drummer’s date, it spotlights Ameen’s versatility, with the emphasis on Afro-Cuban rhythms and rocking beats. It’s not surprising that he … Read More “Robby Ameen: Days in the Life”

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Lori Bell: The Music of Djavan

Jazz flute and Brazilian music go all the way back to Herbie Mann’s pioneering work, recordings that predated even tenor saxophonist Stan Getz’s crossover hits. Both Getz and Mann embraced bossa nova and collaborated with Brazilian musicians, but Bell, a flute player whose Web site’s motto is “From Bach to Bebop,” here delves into the … Read More “Lori Bell: The Music of Djavan”

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Mark Colby: Reflections

Stan Getz is tenor saxophonist Mark Colby’s stylistic model, and on previous recordings his debt to Getz has been obvious. It’s not a bad model-everyone doesn’t have to sound like Coltrane-especially when you, like Colby, have a strong lyrical bent and can inhabit a ballad like Johnny Mandel’s “Close Enough for Love” or Cole Porter’s … Read More “Mark Colby: Reflections”

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Derrick Gardner and The Jazz Prophets: A Ride to the Other Side…

Despite the name, there are no prophecies here, nor is the “other” in the title a reference to futuristic or outside music. The inspiration for trumpeter Derrick Gardner’s band name is Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and like that once-stalwart ensemble, the Jazz Prophets are down and in the pocket. Like the Messengers, Gardner’s Prophets hew … Read More “Derrick Gardner and The Jazz Prophets: A Ride to the Other Side…”

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Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz by Howard Mandel

Author Howard Mandel assumes many roles here-elucidating critic and devoted fan, knowledgeable listener and Boswellian acolyte, evangelist and champion of the avant-garde-all taken on with infectious enthusiasm. Of Miles Davis’ last years: “He arrived at much more transporting music live in concert and on his ’80s studio albums than he did dull dead ends.” Ornette … Read More “Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz by Howard Mandel”

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The Jazz Image: Masters of Jazz Photography by Lee Tanner

Sometimes music isn’t enough by itself. We crave more information, more insights and more intimacy with the artists whose music we enjoy. It’s the same with all the arts; why else would we have celebrity media coverage, the E! Network or even the publication you’re holding now? The photographs in this coffee-table-size book are another … Read More “The Jazz Image: Masters of Jazz Photography by Lee Tanner”

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Jeff Healey: Among Friends

Jeff Healey broke out on the pop charts back in 1988, barely out of his teens, with the Top 5 “Angel Eyes” (John Hiatt’s, not Matt Dennis’) to become Canada’s leading blues-rocker. But the blind guitarist-singer had grown up listening to, and collecting, early jazz records from the 1920s and 1930; even DJ-hosting a show … Read More “Jeff Healey: Among Friends”

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Connie Crothers Quartet: Music is a Place

They may have started as members of the Lennie Tristano school of jazz, but the members of this highly evolved and polished quartet, as much a collective as the band of pianist Crothers, has ventured far beyond the tenets of Tristano. They take liberties with time, tone, tempo, dynamics and attack that would horrify more … Read More “Connie Crothers Quartet: Music is a Place”

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Swing @ Sea: Jazz Cruises

You don’t get to see two veteran octogenarian trumpet players trading licks very often, but there were Clark Terry and Snooky Young, riding out on top of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (Young is the big band’s senior member) in the Vista Lounge showroom of the Holland America Line’s m/s Oosterdam last October off the Mexican … Read More “Swing @ Sea: Jazz Cruises”

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Sean Jones: Roots

It’s not surprising that Wynton Marsalis recently chose Sean Jones as lead trumpet for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Jones is a consummate musician with a rich tone and brilliant articulation. But it’s also hard to imagine there being a Sean Jones-a twentysomething jazz trumpeter with impressive credentials and artistry-today without the influence of Marsalis. … Read More “Sean Jones: Roots”

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