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Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Weekend 1

One way to define a music festival: the sum of its memorable moments. There were plenty of those moments to savor during the first four days of the 40th annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which kicked off in late June on 20 stages in the city’s downtown Quartier des Spectacles.   Which highlights … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Weekend 1”

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Chucho Valdés: Jazz Batá 2 (Mack Avenue)

This is pianist Chucho Valdés’ long-awaited followup to his landmark 1972 recording Jazz Batá, a trio album—piano, bass, and bata (a drum of Yoruba origin that’s a staple of Cuban Santería rituals)—then considered somewhat radical for its absence of a trap set. Here, Valdés’ compatriots include bassist Yelsy Heredia and two percussionists: Dreiser Durruthy Bombale, … Read More “Chucho Valdés: Jazz Batá 2 (Mack Avenue)”

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