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Devin Gray: Dirigo Rataplan II (Rataplan)

Who says creative improvisation is for grownups only? Devin Gray’s Dirigo Rataplan I was party improvisation suitable for 4H Clubs, county fairs, and dancing toddlers. Dirigo Rataplan II dials back the merriment, but not the joy of improvising over compelling themes. Again accompanied by tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, trumpeter Dave Ballou, and bassist Michael Formanek, Gray the drummer … Read More “Devin Gray: Dirigo Rataplan II (Rataplan)”

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Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite Part Three (Big Dada)

An expandable quartet composed entirely of native New Yorkers is rare, but does that affect their musical product? Does residence matter in today’s tiny connected world? Taking a break from backing such pop near-celebrities as Princess Nokia, Blood Orange, and Wiki, Onyx Collective answer these questions in the positive by creating a mad NYC night … Read More “Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite Part Three (Big Dada)”

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María Grand: Magdalena (Biophilia)

There’s a sense of interior mystery in Magdalena, the full-length debut of María Grand. The 26-year-old Swiss native uses her tenor saxophone like a truth-illuminating candle, her haunting lines exploring every crevice of her equally somber and arresting compositions. No matter how rapt the improvisations, an itch of unknowing pervades the search. A regular in Steve … Read More “María Grand: Magdalena (Biophilia)”

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