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Live Review: 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival

Much like Ernest Hemingway’s famous description of how bankruptcy happens (“Gradually and then suddenly,” he wrote in The Sun Also Rises), the pervasive presence of women instrumentalists at the Monterey Jazz Festival seemed to materialize in an instant, but actually resulted from a long, often underground buildup. Last year’s breakthrough, with more than 15 ensembles … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival”

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Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game: Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game (Royal Potato Family)

True to its name, the quartet Parlour Game plays music meant to evoke informal, intimate, and innocent settings, a gently bucolic mix of vintage jazz and Americana. This is personal roots music for violinist Jenny Scheinman, who grew up playing folk tunes around the campfire while living outdoors in the summer and had her formative … Read More “Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game: Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game (Royal Potato Family)”

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Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom: Glitter Wolf (Royal Potato Family)

You could almost see it coming. Boom Tic Boom’s four previous records were like bread crumbs leading longtime listeners to this new jewel. On its 2010 debut the band documented itself as a trio (albeit with a one-track visit from fellow traveler Jenny Scheinman). Bassist Todd Sickafoose and pianist Myra Melford were all drummer Allison … Read More “Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom: Glitter Wolf (Royal Potato Family)”

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Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom: Otis Was a Polar Bear

The cutesy title of Otis Was a Polar Bear, the third album by drummer-composer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom sextet, is not an anomaly. Inspired by the birth of Miller’s first child, the album exudes preciousness throughout. It seems to want to capture the spirit of children’s music-and unfortunately it’s all too successful. It starts … Read More “Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom: Otis Was a Polar Bear”

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