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Live Review: New York Winter Jazzfest 2019

The 15th annual Winter Jazzfest in New York opened on Friday, Jan. 4 at Le Poisson Rouge with “Thing Called Life: Prince Reimagined,” a concert by the festival’s artist-in-residence Meshell Ndegeocello. It was a risky move, for it recalled the bad old days when the Kool Jazz Festival toured the nation with such headliners as … Read More “Live Review: New York Winter Jazzfest 2019”

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Live Review: Grant Green’s Evolution of Funk in New York

Grant Green’s Evolution of Funk, which closed out a four-night stint at Jazz Standard in Manhattan on Sunday, July 1, is an unabashed tribute act. The quintet is fronted by Grant Green Jr., whose late father (1935-1979) remains one of jazz’s sleeper icons. In Blue Note Records’ fertile early-to-mid-’60s, Green the elder was an integral … Read More “Live Review: Grant Green’s Evolution of Funk in New York”

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Live Review: Bill Frisell Guitar Invitational in New York

“These are all my teachers up here,” Bill Frisell said on Thursday night (June 21) at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. He was referring to four of his fellow guitarists—Brandon Ross, Matt Munisteri, Julian Lage, and Marvin Sewell—who share his reverent yet open-ended attitude toward the jazz-guitar tradition, and who’d joined him for … Read More “Live Review: Bill Frisell Guitar Invitational in New York”

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Wynton Marsalis Septet: United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas (Blue Engine)

People pay big bucks to see Wynton Marsalis and his combos perform with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Lenny Kravitz and John Mayer. The concept is as gimmicky as it sounds, the lure for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual fundraising galas for its educational programs. United We Swing offers a highlight reel from the 2003-2007 … Read More “Wynton Marsalis Septet: United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas (Blue Engine)”

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2018 Winter Jazzfest NYC

Any single critic’s attempt to review Winter Jazzfest NYC comprehensively is predestined to fail, for reasons perhaps best explained by the title of an old Firesign Theatre album: How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all? With 125 performances at 12 Manhattan venues—109 of them occurring over only … Read More “2018 Winter Jazzfest NYC”

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Field Notes: John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring in NYC

The guitarist John McLaughlin, who helped pioneer jazz-rock fusion and became arguably its most important figure, is currently on what has been sold as his final U.S. tour. His packed-out performance at the Town Hall in Manhattan, on Friday, was even touted as his “final New York City appearance.” The culture of fandom around McLaughlin … Read More “Field Notes: John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring in NYC”

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Review: Jazz re:freshed Live at Nublu in NYC

Like so many hip things, it would have been easy to write off as a product of the ambiance: Everyone at the second of Jazz re:freshed’s two New York shows this August was altogether too cool-looking—they were dancing too freely and Instagramming too often, glowing under Lower East Side venue Nublu’s slick LED lighting. They … Read More “Review: Jazz re:freshed Live at Nublu in NYC”

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Concert Review: John Scofield’s Quiet and Loud Jazz at JALC

Canons are useful constructs when looking at the history of the arts, and organizations like Jazz at Lincoln Center are synonymous with the virtues and vices of honoring such a hall-of-fame concept. Holding up a curated list of masters and epochs is important, but there are snares to consider, like repetition and the exclusion of … Read More “Concert Review: John Scofield’s Quiet and Loud Jazz at JALC”

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Winter Jazzfest 2017: Snow, Sprawl & Social Justice

Will 2017 go down as a banner year in the history of Winter Jazzfest? The annual festival, which held its 13th edition Jan. 5 through 10, primarily at venues in Lower Manhattan, has enjoyed steady and consistent improvement throughout its run. But this round felt bigger, better, more important. By upping its offerings and introducing … Read More “Winter Jazzfest 2017: Snow, Sprawl & Social Justice”

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