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Five Years Beyond: Musicians Reflect on 9/11

For many in the jazz community, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hit close to home. Several people, including Sonny Rollins and Vijay Iyer, relied on music to help make sense of the tragedy. Josef Woodard spoke with various musicians about their memories of that day and its aftermath.

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Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell: Lágrimas Mexicanas

This sometimes intoxicating collaboration between mild-mannered guitar hero Bill Frisell and guitarist-singer Vinicius Cantuária, a Brazilian living in Brooklyn, might come as a surprise for anyone following Frisell’s discography. Then again, it might not: It may have been inevitable that Frisell would sooner or later turn his musical energies toward Brazil. Both Brazilian music and … Read More “Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell: Lágrimas Mexicanas”

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Michael Formanek: The Rub and Spare Change

While alto-sax firebrand Tim Berne hasn’t officially recorded as a leader for ECM, he has been slipping in the side door in provocative ways in recent years. David Torn’s Cloud About Mercury was essentially a more ambient reworking of Berne’s Science Friction band, and now bassist Michael Formanek’s potent brew of a label debut essentially … Read More “Michael Formanek: The Rub and Spare Change”

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Kris Davis/Ingrid Laubrock/Tyshawn Sorey: Paradoxical Frog

While the commanding drummer Tyshawn Sorey has been known for his mathematical and muscular intensity in settings with Steve Coleman, Fieldwork, Steve Lehman and other groups, he also boasts a fascinating free sensibility, as heard on this intriguing trio date. Lines and musical sympathies converge beautifully in this group, between the flexible German-born saxophonist Ingrid … Read More “Kris Davis/Ingrid Laubrock/Tyshawn Sorey: Paradoxical Frog”

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities

Steve Coleman has been serving up complicated, beguiling musical math for nearly a quarter century, from his early work with the M-Base scene beginning in the mid-’80s through his various projects with his group Five Elements. By now, we’ve grown accustomed to the weave and flow of his intricate rhythmic and polyrhythmic designs, as heard … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities”

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Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden: Jasmine

For 30-odd years, piano Prometheus Keith Jarrett has done his musical bidding and exploring in self-limited settings, most often either in his “Standards” trio with Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock, or-with greater regularity of late-solo. That alone makes Jarrett’s rare and beauteous new duet recording with bassist Charlie Haden a departure while simultaneously a rapprochement … Read More “Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden: Jasmine”

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Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: Fabula Suite Lugano

Among the ranks of the important new wave of Norwegian jazz musicians sparking up the international scene, pianist-composer-bandleader Christian Wallumrød is one of the most fascinating and least easily categorized. More to the point, part of the fascination arises out of his slipperiness, the intriguing way in which he eludes genre limitations, including the jazz … Read More “Christian Wallumrod Ensemble: Fabula Suite Lugano”

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James Weidman: Three Worlds

Pianist James Weidman calls his new album Three Worlds in reference to the variety of contexts brought together on the disc-a quintet with trombonist Ray Anderson and clarinetist/alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich on the frontline, a mellower quartet with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, and a few offerings from the pared-down piano-trio format. At the core of all … Read More “James Weidman: Three Worlds”

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The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival

While there is no disputing the hegemony of New York City as jazz’s artistic epicenter, some of the music’s stronger enabling forces have bases far away from Gotham. Take, for instance, the examples put forth on two of the finer jazz albums this year, the Monterey Quartet’s Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival and … Read More “The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival”

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