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Walking Distance Featuring Jason Moran: Freebird (Sunnyside)

No, we’re not talking Lynyrd Skynyrd requests here. Walking Distance—the charmingly cheeky and technically adept combination of alto saxophonist Caleb Curtis, tenor saxophonist Kenny Pexton, bassist Adam Coté, and drummer Shawn Baltazor—is freeing Charlie Parker’s music from the shackles of its comfort zone. Bird is most certainly the watchword throughout, but a deftly jumbled one. … Read More “Walking Distance Featuring Jason Moran: Freebird (Sunnyside)”

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Live Review: Big Ears 2018

You know you’re at the Big Ears Festival when Nathan Bowles, banjo and bones player for the old-time string band the Black Twig Pickers, enthusiastically shouts out Milford Graves, the sage of avant-garde jazz percussion. “I got my wig flipped!” Bowles said of Graves’ solo set, which took place on the same stage just hours … Read More “Live Review: Big Ears 2018”

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Live Review: Monk and Dizzy Centennial Concerts

Jason Moran’s approach to the role of artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center has been suspiciously similar to his approach to the role of pianist, composer and bandleader: to mediate a dialogue between the music’s history and its cutting-edge present. That has often meant bringing in the elder statesmen along with the rising … Read More “Live Review: Monk and Dizzy Centennial Concerts”

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