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Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2019

There had never been anything like it before at Spoleto Festival USA—four consecutive days of 100-degree heat—and nothing like it before in Charleston, S.C., where temperatures that torrid had not previously been recorded in May. Fortunately, two of the three outdoor headliners in Spoleto’s jazz lineup skirted the worst of the heat wave: bassist and … Read More “Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2019”

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Live Review: Savannah Music Festival 2019

Call it the Jazz at Lincoln Center influence, but the Savannah Music Festival’s annual Jazz Week (March 29-April 5) had a bit more of an educational tinge this year. Not only was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Big Band one of 12 finalists in the annual Swing Central playoffs, SMF’s nationwide high school big … Read More “Live Review: Savannah Music Festival 2019”

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Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA

Two years ago, there was a changing of the guard in Charleston, S.C, as Spoleto Festival USA brought jazz to the forefront of its 40th-anniversary celebrations. With Wells Fargo jazz director Michael Grofsorean replaced by jazz advisor Larry Blumenfeld, the lineup turned noticeably toward domestic and New World performers, a trend that’s continued since. Blumenfeld’s … Read More “Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA”

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Review: 2017 Savannah Music Festival

Jazz is always prominent when the Savannah Music Festival cranks up its eclectic assortment, with diehard jazz fans dropping anchor during Jazz Week, culminating in the epic Swing Central Finale concert at Lucas Theatre of the Arts. Three high-school big bands perform, finalists of the Swing Central workshops and competition, followed by a concert where the mentoring musicians … Read More “Review: 2017 Savannah Music Festival”

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Benoît Delbecq/François Houle: Because She Hoped

Parisian pianist Benoît Delbecq and Canadian clarinetist François Houle don’t collaborate very often. Their three Songlines recordings span 14 years, with their previous summit meeting, Dice Thrown, released in 2002. Yet they remain resolutely exploratory on this recent effort. Both musicians have advanced in terms of their arsenals of sounds and their abilities to weave … Read More “Benoît Delbecq/François Houle: Because She Hoped”

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Jenny Scheinman: Mischief & Mayhem

Jenny Scheinman always makes her next move a guessing game. The mercurial fiddler telegraphed this one when her Mischief & Mayhem quartet played the Village Vanguard in July 2010, adjourning to a Brooklyn recording studio with guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Todd Sickafoose and percussionist Jim Black right after their weeklong stint at the fabled club. … Read More “Jenny Scheinman: Mischief & Mayhem”

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Orchestre National de Jazz: Shut Up and Dance

With frequently changing personnel and leadership, ONJ has been remarkably chameleonic during its 25 years, sometimes, as when Paolo Damiani was at the helm for Charmediterranéen in 2003, veering from idiom to idiom as we moved from track to track. The French band is no less eclectic under its current leader, Daniel Yvinec, but each … Read More “Orchestre National de Jazz: Shut Up and Dance”

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Ehud Asherie: Organic

After three releases on Posi-Tone leading small combos from the piano, 31-year-old Israeli native Ehud Asherie switches over to Hammond organ for his latest quartet outing, Organic. Fats Waller and Count Basie come readily to mind as jazz immortals who doubled on the two instruments. While their piano styles were more individualized than Asherie’s at … Read More “Ehud Asherie: Organic”

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Ehud Asherie: Welcome to New York

On Welcome to New York, his first-ever solo-piano collection, Asherie’s mastery of various masters’ styles, from Waller and Tatum and Dave McKenna on down, puts him in the elite group of heritage pianists who rode in on the wave of Wynton Marsalis traditionalism. The 13-tune playlist here is resourcefully thematic, not necessarily extolling New York … Read More “Ehud Asherie: Welcome to New York”

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Terry Myers: Smiles

With his smooth, mellow-toned lucidity, tenor saxophonist Terry Myers evokes memories of swing-era stalwarts Bud Freeman and Budd Johnson. But when he lathers up-or pulls out his soprano sax-the thrust and grit of Zoot Sims come to mind. The fun begins as soon as you hit the play button: The sheer joy of Myers’ music … Read More “Terry Myers: Smiles”

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One For All: Incorrigible

If the titles of this sextet’s recent discs for Sharp Nine, The Lineup and Return of the Lineup, suggested that the group was in a creative rut, fans can rest assured that this first effort on their new label isn’t a desperate flailing around for fresh frontiers. Kinship between the group’s sound here and Return … Read More “One For All: Incorrigible”

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Savannah Music Festival

Perry Tannenbaum reviews performances by Clayton Brothers, Bill Frisell Trio, Ken Peplowski, Ben Tucker and Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Bas at festival in Savannah, Ga.

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Egberto Gismonti: Saudações

Fans of Egberto Gismonti probably expected him to play throughout his new two-CD set, but as with Meeting Point, Gismonti’s 1997 ECM outing featuring the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, classical convention trumps jazz tradition. Gismonti is merely the composer of “Sertões Veredas: Tributo à Miscigenação” (“Desert Paths: A Tribute to Miscegenation”), the first disc. His … Read More “Egberto Gismonti: Saudações”

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The Ninth Annual Jazz Cruise

Undaunted by stormy seas, JT’s Perry Tannenbaum takes in a special week of performances during the 2009 edition of The Jazz Cruise.

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