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Artist Profiles

Maceo Parker: A Brand New Bag

Shouts of “Maceo!” by James Brown, both onstage and on albums, preceded solos by saxophonist Maceo Parker from the 1960s to the 1980s, giving him rare first-name fame. Parker’s fiery playing with the Godfather of Soul didn’t hurt his recognition either. From his baritone sax lines on the hits “I Feel Good” and “Out of … Read More “Maceo Parker: A Brand New Bag”

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Roberta Gambarini: Facile Amare

Singer Roberta Gambarini tackles standards with a blend of virtuosity and fluid grace on Easy to Love (Groovin’ High/Kindred Rhythm). For those who have followed and admired the Italian-born, New York City-based vocalist, the question is: What took so long for her to record an album? “I’ve wanted to do certain things, and not others,” … Read More “Roberta Gambarini: Facile Amare”

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Lisa Thorson’s JazzArtSigns: Unbound

Vocalist and bandleader Lisa Thorson is wheelchair bound, but when she performs with her quintet many people won’t even notice. Instead they’ll focus on the animated motions of improvisational painter Nancy Ostrovsky. Working prominently behind the musicians, Ostrovsky creates a huge painting in sync with the music. Or perhaps they’ll watch an American Sign Language … Read More “Lisa Thorson’s JazzArtSigns: Unbound”

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Skalpel’s Top 10 Polish Jazz Albums

Skalpel is the name under which Wroclaw, Poland’s Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudlo make their sample-heavy jazztronica. The duo’s second CD, Konfusion (Ninja Tune), mines dusty grooves culled primarily from Polish jazz LPs made in the 1960s and ’70s to create a dark, moody downtempo soundtrack–using a 21st-century approach to reflect the time when Communism … Read More “Skalpel’s Top 10 Polish Jazz Albums”

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Arild Andersen: Electric Electra

When director Yannis Margaritis decided to stage Sophocles’ murder-and-revenge tragedy Electra, he wanted a 21st-century soundtrack for a play that was first staged around 420 B.C. So Margaritis turned to Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen, whose 1990 CD, Sagn (ECM), was a favorite. Sitting in an Oslo bar waiting to hit the stage with guitarist Frode … Read More “Arild Andersen: Electric Electra”

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