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Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie (ECM)

Given guitarist John Abercrombie’s recent passing, you may be inclined to view Open Land, a film by directors Arno Oehri and Oliver Primus, as something it was never intended to be: an elegiac postscript. Instead, the film comes across as a lyrical portrait, quiet, spacious, reflective, and funny. From the outset, Oehri and Primus distill … Read MoreOpen Land: Meeting John Abercrombie (ECM)”

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Bill Evans: Portrait in Jazz

In the opening moments of Bill Evans, Time Remembered, a new documentary by Bruce Spiegel, bassist Chuck Israels admits that, despite his long tenure in the pianist’s trio, even he has trouble answering questions about the man behind the artist. “People are interested in who he was, what was he like? Damned if I know, … Read More “Bill Evans: Portrait in Jazz”

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Terence Blanchard: The Comedian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Blue Note)

Terence Blanchard’s soundtrack for The Comedian is a classic case of movie music that’s likely to be appreciated long after the film for which it was created is forgotten. When the Robert De Niro vehicle opened in February, it bombed both at the box office (ranked 21st in its opening week) and with the critics … Read More “Terence Blanchard: The Comedian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Blue Note)”

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John Coltrane: Love & Heart & Spirit

Early in the new documentary Chasing Trane, Benny Golson recalls his friendship with John Coltrane, complaining that the iconic saxophonist made him do all the talking. “He was quiet,” Golson says. “He never talked—until he put that saxophone in his mouth.” Director John Scheinfeld, never a diehard jazz fan before making Chasing Trane, discovered Coltrane’s … Read More “John Coltrane: Love & Heart & Spirit”

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Various Artists: Café Society: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The soundtrack to Woody Allen’s new film, Café Society, is a very nice, very polite affair. Bassist, bandleader and arranger Vince Giordano, who has been involved in the music for many of Allen’s movies, is a longtime custodian of 1920s and ’30s jazz, and he does a yeoman’s job of taking his band, the Nighthawks, … Read More “Various Artists: Café Society: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

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Miles Davis/Various Artists: Miles Ahead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Enjoyable as it is, the soundtrack album for Don Cheadle’s quasi-biopic Miles Ahead prompts a query common to such releases: For whom, other than completists, is this intended? Not your typical fan, as there are no previously unheard Miles items and some selections are edited (which a few sensitive souls may not be able to … Read More “Miles Davis/Various Artists: Miles Ahead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

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Jaco Pastorius: JACO

It’s hard to overestimate how eagerly fusion fans anticipated JACO, the first full-length documentary on Jaco Pastorius, the game-changing electric bass virtuoso and gifted composer. Directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak, the film-nearly six years in the making-became a reality thanks to its producer and cowriter, Metallica bassist and Pastorius superfan Robert Trujillo. It’s … Read More “Jaco Pastorius: JACO”

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