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Christopher Hollyday’s Vanishing Act

Like thousands of young jazz musicians before and after him, alto saxophonist Christopher Hollyday enrolled at Berklee College of Music to expand his artistic knowledge, learn from seasoned professionals, hone his skills, and chart a path for his future. Unlike almost any other Berklee student in memory, Hollyday did so after having recorded four albums … Read More “Christopher Hollyday’s Vanishing Act”

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The Eclectic Mr. Klein

Four-time Grammy winner Larry Klein was only in his mid-teens when he had his first epiphany as an aspiring jazz bassist, thanks to the 1968 album Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival. No doubt, other budding young musicians at the time were similarly inspired by the near-telepathic musical conversations between Evans, rising bass ace Eddie … Read More “The Eclectic Mr. Klein”

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Before & After With Nicole Mitchell

Nicole Mitchell isn’t kicking back at all after a heady 2017, during which she performed several world premieres at the prestigious Ojai Music Festival and made two of the year’s most audacious and acclaimed albums. A singular flutist, composer, bandleader, educator and aural provocateur, she is set to soar even higher than she did on … Read More “Before & After With Nicole Mitchell”

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Joshua White: Western Literature

Joshua White came so highly recommended to Rudresh Mahanthappa that the celebrated saxophonist hired him for a European concert tour without having ever met—or even heard—the San Diego piano phenom. That was in late 2015, two years before the release of 13 Short Stories, White’s audacious, long-overdue leader debut on Fresh Sound Records. “I’d been … Read More “Joshua White: Western Literature”

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Mingus’ “Tijuana Moods” Reborn

“Charles Mingus would be very proud of this band,” said Charles McPherson, shortly after the Mingus Dynasty’s sold-out “Tijuana Moods” concert in San Diego on Jan. 22. If anyone is qualified to offer an expert evaluation of this seven-man ensemble—and suggest how its iconic namesake would have rated the group’s performance—it’s McPherson. The esteemed alto … Read More “Mingus’ “Tijuana Moods” Reborn”

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Joe Lovano Us Five: Bird Songs

On Bird Songs, the challenge facing saxophonist Joe Lovano-and it’s a formidable one-is to tastefully approach Charlie Parker’s iconic repertoire and his impeccably crafted alto saxophone playing as building blocks for previously unexplored possibilities. Bold strides are required, not timid tip-toeing, so the challenge is well suited to Lovano and Us Five, the group he … Read More “Joe Lovano Us Five: Bird Songs”

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Dave Holland Octet: Pathways

Dave Holland, much like bass giant, composer and bandleader Charles Mingus before him, thinks and listens as intently as he plays. By doing so, this British-born, New York-based luminary creates maximum emotional impact and meaning with every carefully considered note he produces. In at least one instance on Pathways, the Mingus influence is literal as … Read More “Dave Holland Octet: Pathways”

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Dave Matthews Band: What Would You Play

From the quintessential postbop of Thelonious Monk to the otherworldly explorations of Sun Ra, Dave Matthews has a deep and abiding love for jazz. But his passion was first ignited when he heard such seminal South African artists as pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and trumpeter Hugh Masekela, after the Johannesburg-born singer-songwriter’s parents introduced him to their … Read More “Dave Matthews Band: What Would You Play”

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Eric Clapton: Extra Cream

Eric Clapton is a rock icon but he grew up listening to the likes of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. George Varga talks with the guitar legend about his affinity for the music.

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Charles McPherson: Ornithology With Strings

He’s best known as a veteran of Charles Mingus’ band and the man who supplied Charlie Parker’s solos in Clint Eastwood’s Bird. But Charles McPherson had a solid solo career as well. George Varga reports on McPherson’s latest CD, where the altoist revisits Bird-with strings.

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