Band can get heavy -- "classic rock influences" -- but she's more impressive when she strips everything away except for a thin whisper of guitar -- e. Can't read the hand-lettered booklet looks to offer quite a bit of info but did note the presence of saxophonists Dave Liebman and Dan Block, trumpeter Tom Harrell, and vibraphonist Mark Sherman -- all pluses in a very respectable effort.
Fusion album, power moves laid on thick. The former's voice is almost eerily duplicated, but I don't hear Parton and the music averages out as a bit less than the Handsome Family. I still like her voice, but everything else is turned to mush. This doesn't even hint at that, although the bassist here, Ken Filiano, can certainly go that direction.
Third player is Anton Denner on flute and piccolo, still not especially birdlike. Way too sedate to sustain my interest, although the piano is interesting when I manage to focus. Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour , MCA Nashville : The most genteel of the Pistol Annies generation of country women, she's still very a very comfortable listen on a slow ballad, but has mostly turned this album over to the producers to craft into pop schmaltz, over-orchestrated but not danceable enough.
Discogs credits her with a couple of vocal performances, but this is where she steps out front with her spoken-word poetry accompanied by Parker's donso n'goni and bass. Parker is restrained, otherwise he'd steal the show. I suspect she'll fall ever more clearly on the blues side, partly because that's how voices age, partly because she's already leaning hard on her guitar. Every time I've played this album I've heard non-obvious echoes of a Go-Betweens song.
One thing I'm sure of is that I'll never play anything else and find it reminds me of No Age. Still, the sound here moves way beyond noise, with an undeniable vitality. After three plays I enjoy every moment of it. But after three days I doubt I'll remember any of it. Okura describes what she does as Chamber Jazz, but she's hard pressed to smooth over the rough edges of her partners. Also a drummer, contrary to usual chamber practice, but I suppose the harp makes up for that. Leans toward noise to start, but grows from there to become quite haunting. Of course, it probably didn't. It may even have merely paved the way for this level of intimacy.
On the other hand, they're not doing anything they haven't done many times before. Complex groove with some sharp edges, closing with an exceptionally catchy vamp. Two originals, rest covers, ranging from Djavan to John Hicks. Chris Platt Trio: Sky Glow , self-released : Guitarist, from Canada, first album, trio with bass and drums. Nice flow, a little light. His back story started with birth in Mali in , mother Jewish from New Rochelle, father a west African who abandoned him, grew up in Chicago playing blues harmonica, copying Little Walter; went nuts, believing he had been abducted and probed by aliens; hit and killed by a bus in Pontiac first appeared in our world when Lurie released his Greatest Hits in Not much sax here; mostly guitar and growl.
Can't claim it's as good as Beefheart, but if you miss him you might welcome a kindred spirit. Noah Preminger: Genuinity , Criss Cross : Tenor saxophonist, has racked up an impressive discography quickly. This is a quartet with Jason Palmer trumpet , Kim Cass bass and Dan Weiss drums , playing nine originals, showing his range and burning up front and toward the end. Still, no even oblique mention of Trump this time: just a batch of scrimpy songs about love and death, mostly the latter.
He practically looks dead on the cover, and his throat-cancer-damaged voice has deteriorated even further, making this hard to listen to at first. Still, you get used to all that, and start noticing his little tics of wit. By the end, he's in heaven, and rather than mourning you're wishing you could come along for the ride.
Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra: Without a Trace , Origin : Big band leader, arranges and conducts, also plays a little trombone and alto flugelhorn. Four Reeves originals, three covers, band featuring Steve Wilson has a lot of power and swagger. One vocal, by Carolyn Leonhart, reminds me how awkward it seems to try to wrap words around tricky melodies. Third duo album, though they've played together much more than that, going back midway Vandermark 5. The first disc is a live duo set. A remarkable sax player, running through a wide range of moves, but still a little tiring.
Lewis drums , and Billy Martin percussion. Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Rogue Star , Edgetone : Alto saxophonist, also plays flute, leads a septet with tenor sax, E-trumpet, vibes, two basses, and drums. Some fine stretches, especially when I focus, but slips by when I don't. The group grew to 18 the next year, and recorded regularly over the next decade, regrouping later for significant anniversaries, with their 50th marking more time than had passed between ODJB's first jazz records and Globe Unity's founding.
Cutting edge then, still pretty far out. Drinks a lot, rocks a little, at least no strings yet. None of the horns lack for chops, but I don't care for the keyboards, or the vocals. Celebrating Cannonball Adderley , Savant : The leaders play hard bop alto sax and trumpet, same as Cannonball and Nat -- and the latter's "Worksong" closes the album on a high note. Could be a long-lost Adderley Quintet album, except that they stick to the top tier of the songbook.
Nine songs, each named "My Queen Is" and some name -- the two most familiar to me are Harriet Tubman and Angela Davis, but other track down to Africa and its diaspora. More than a few vocals, evidently guests. Nothing on the reptile, which is just as well. Interesting enough, but plods without a rhythm section pushing everyone along.
Bright postbop, the guitarist neatly tying it all together although the sax, of course, is up front. So irregular I doubt I would have given the time of day except for Christgau's pick, which motivated me to give them three or four extra spins. Got to where I rather like them, but they still seem like harder work than a pop group should be.
Released a solo album in , then four more since Touted as "nine feminist bangers," I can't say much about the feminism, but the "bangers" are pretty muted. One exception: "Dancefloor. Wagner's songs, done with a light touch.
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Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited , Passin' Thru : Tenor saxophonist also plays flute and oboe here , born in Memphis, grew up in Detroit, has a few albums since With Melanie Dyer viola, voice , Hill Greene bass , and Tyshawn Sorey drums , looking back at the tradition and remaking it. Dan Weiss: Starebaby , Pi : Drummer, based in New York, plays tabla elsewhere, shows up on quite a few interesting records but I've never gotten into his own. This one too, although he surprised me twice: first with two talented pianists who mostly play synths and contribute damn little Matt Mitchell, Craig Taborn ; second by turning the album over into heavy-handed fusion thrash, a far cry from guitarist Ben Monder's usual rut although closer to electric bassist Trevor Dunn.
Often struck me as a bit ornate for those groups, but that works to his advantage here, as does a challenging rhythm section. This year they decided to do their own albums, and while his isn't as good as hers, it's still pretty good: loud, chunky, a bit of dissonance. Trio adds Hector Del Curto bandoneon and Claudio Ragazzi guitar , the relatively small group permitting a lot of piano flourish.
The first two are classics, with Ella picking faves from her extraordinary explotation of the Great American Songbook, and Armstrong gamely singing along, with occasional splashes of trumpet. We always knew that Armstrong had a remarkable voice, but he had rarely picked such sophisticated fare, so the surprise was how flexible and subtle he could be.
Less well known are three more studio albums Armstrong cut for Granz in one with Oscar Peterson's quartet with Herb Ellis on guitar , and two with Russ Garcia's string-laden orchestra. This box devotes a CD to each, padded out with alternate takes and false starts. The fourth disc is titled "A Day With Satchmo: August 1, ," flushed out with twenty-two takes of four songs. I decided to excerpt the three albums see below , then make a pass through the extras -- more listenable than I expected, but not a bright spot in Armstrong's stellar career.
Nothing you haven't heard before, but a nice survey of the decade. The strings tend to meander abstractly. This is one of the great quartets of all time -- Marily Crispell piano , Mark Dresser bass , and Gerry Hemingway drums -- in their last year after a decade together. One of their most extraordinary recordings. Coltrane, well into his string of recordings for Atlantic, was bursting with fresh ideas, not that Davis was willing to give up the lead. Twelve tunes, mostly from jazz sources although you'll barely note "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" , stretched with their usual consummate skill.
The jazz musicians don't get to show off their chops much, but they can fall back on credible blues. This doesn't particularly sound like bass, more like an underground orchestral soundtrack to a horror flick that never turns really horrible. The reissue -- as far as I can tell digital only -- basically doubles the album with alternate versions spliced with some dialogue. Can't say it offers new insights. You shouldn't skip Work Time or Saxophone Colossus or even Plays for Bird , but I've played just the extras three times and enjoy them as much as I do the original album, and that's one of his very best.
We Out Here , Brownswood : Contemporary jazz sampler from London, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings by far the best known although I recognize a few other names. Common trait is that the groups favor a groove though some also lean ambient. Neil Young: Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live , Reprise : A live set immediately following the recording of one of Young's most extraordinary albums, one that would sit on the shelf nearly two years before its June release. Nine of the album's twelve songs appeared here, along with "Walk On" introduced for the encore as an "old song," but was a single from On the Beach.
Not sure that the live album offers anything extra, the reprise is even stronger than on the album, and I've had songs from this stuck in my head all week. Decca pushed Armstrong to be more pop, and the songs -- including two from Hank Williams -- reflect that. Not really his standard show: fewer vocals, more ensemble dixieland, culminating in a riotous "Tiger Rag. Armstrong was vastly popular in Europe, and these tapes are riddled with applause.
The State Department took advantage of his popularity, using him as a goodwill ambassador, notably on tours of eastern Europe -- a practice he stopped in to protest Eisenhower's "gutless" inaction on civil rights. Not really his thing, but he nails them anyway. The songs lean a bit more toward blues, but the orchestra is incapable of swing.
B [ of Pops Is Tops ]. The band also that passed down hard-won jazz wisdom. Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah performed with an attentive band capable of speaking in the many tongues of modernity. One of the strongest sets at the festival was the Sean Jones Quartet closing out the jazz tent at the fairgrounds on the final Saturday of the year-old event.
It was a great, straight- ahead session, as Jones played with a pure and beautiful tone on trumpet and flugelhorn. His songs moved subtly, so that by the end of the performance, listeners were in an unexpected but not unrecognizable place. Global Community Connects at jazzahead! The edition featured well-known American acts, like vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, but also European players, like German-based drummer Shinya Fukumori.
Sybille Kornitschky, project manager of jazzahead! By the end of jazzahead! Nevertheless, he had and bass clarinetist delivers a poignant portrait a surreptitious encounter that would shape much of his Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. The orga- For 20 years, Marcus has worked in nization assists with the renovation of build- Sandtown for the nonprofit organization ings, offers arts classes, provides safe havens for Intersection of Change. Even though his music is cal science major at Loyola University Maryland, highly composed, it tends to dip into the folk ele- he immersed himself in the Sandtown commu- ments of jazz.
Doubling flute and bass held April 20—29 in Tallinn, Estonia. Over in the larger Vaba initiation into Estonian culture and suggested the Lava black box theater, one of the most anticipat- shape of jazz to come during the next 10 days. Urban Space Project taking emerging musicians album covers. With so much competent amateur singing into streets, trams, schools and airports. Erm mentioned derland of shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. Estonian future artistic direction. But Estonian harmonies and interlocking rhythms.
Over the past several years, he has worked as a side- studies. But the year- definitely going according to plan. I knew the set order debut as a leader, Vision Ahead. He was impressed that I knew gy, yet tempered by mature skills. His com- New York as a musician? That was a good indication that I was positions are solid, his performance ground- in Connecticut with my parents, expenses serious and reliable.
He can count on me to deliv- ed, full of dance feel, and one with a future. I and Sasha Foster. You never importance of moving to the Big Apple from of determination and dedication. His M. Sometimes you Connecticut after completing his university always is to be prepared, know the music and get the call. M the Chinese and Japanese cultures. On it, Saeki ayu Saeki moved from her native patisserie.
Not long after that, she appeared in improvises an intro and outro on the shinobue, Japan to New York in , carrying her first New York show—a trial-by-fire gig with a traditional Japanese flute, with a poignant dose little but her flutes and the fervent hope Hamilton at the Jazz Gallery—and pulled it off. A musician she had befriended brought sextet until his death in Sanders and drummer John Davis in the rhythm section. The piano replaces the guitar, rendering the har- monic environment a more percussive one.
Gone also are the saxophones, leaving the flute as the undisputed melodic lead. And banished are the rigid time constraints. Saeki is anticipating a return to both clubs leading her own band and performing in a duo with Warren Wolf on piano at An Die Musik in Baltimore. He want- kaleidoscopic disc, Contrasts Posi-Tone. Bassist Luques Curtis and pianist his songs.
Wassily Kandinsky exhibition. Then life threw including an Oct. Right before he and his wife, Ola York. You blow them off and head down- more the way I wanted it to be. Practicing runs town to play for spare change. Yet, he can look back on becoming into rock guitar players. I did get into electron- the youngest artist ever to headline at Ronnie ic music, like Disclosure and Kaytranada.
They include opting type of music, it becomes a part of you. But the way Mos Def and Varady was 9 years old. It inspires the way happily so. I phrase in a solo. I was father, Bandi, on bass. Tariska saxophone. I felt like, what am I learning here? I can do that with my noted. For example, The Quest is aggres- room. But I like being here. So, my Varady always has based his approach to next album will still be my vibe, but with very improvisation on infusing his own ideas into different sounds. In his early years, he recalled, sounds.
The Chicago meeting afforded Blanchard the opportunity to mingle with like-minded musicians, dancers, designers, architects and authors. After ducking into an empty restaurant for a conversation, a few confer- ence attendees spotted Blanchard and stopped by to chat.
Despite his hec- tic schedule, Blanchard remained unfailingly open and genial with every- one. This was shortly after stu- dents from Parkland, Florida, staged an enormous rally in support of more stringent gun laws in response to the February mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Both events connect to themes that Blanchard explores on Live Blue Note , an album he recorded in different cities with his plugged-in group, The E-Collective. The California and Florida inci- dents took place after the album had been recorded, but such violent acts are part of a pattern that Blanchard has studied.
And then we continue to perform. You use those elements to try to get your idea across. He also expressed hope, say- and Fabian Almazan, who adds keyboard lines astated. You could feel that something has changed enhances one track. To see that response and to see how elo- dynamics, the new album also reflects the com- ate joy.
The E-Collective keeps him on his toes. David has a great understand- ing of harmony and rhythm, and how to devel- op musical ideas, and Oscar has such a unique sound and groove. No one right now is doing that. Every night that we play, if any band mem- ber hears the music going in a different direc- tion, then we play it. The film—which has a produc- tion team that includes Oscar winner Jordan Peele Get Out —is based on the memoir of an African American detective who infiltrated the white supremacist organization in Colorado in The issues the film addresses are rele- vant today, as Blanchard observed last spring.
We are all humans. Currently, he is collaborating with libret- oring it with an orchestra. Where you can sit about the inhumanity of all of this stuff. That performance is slated to mony with low brass and low strings and just ship with a man because of being molested as debut in June Blanchard explained that having a little bit of percussion.
And the wild part he enjoys the way creating large-scale works for Champion and Fire Shut Up In My Bones about it is I know in the jazz community these the screen and the stage pose distinctive chal- examine how Griffith and Blow hid or spurned issues have never been seriously tackled. From lenges and opportunities. This another human being. My dad was a serious pac- of those things set up a finite set of criteria that historical context adds to the poignancy of a line ifist when I was growing up. He never let me play I have to move around. So, when I see that. Blow fought internally about suppressing Along with all his performing and compos- But even within that and some of the dramat- his desires.
They take still writing the vocal and piano parts. The new album Dirt … And More Dirt introduces his band 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg, which combines personnel from Zooid, Double Up and an as-yet unrecorded brass ensemble dubbed Dimples, which Threadgill premiered in These are technical issues only scholarly-type people are concerned with. Something that goes , is now going I really like Alban Berg, who just did things he wanted to do with his system. I like people like Debussy—people who just do what they want.
After the one-off recital X by a homegrown intervallic tone system. Zooid drummers. The players, who included rugged while removing his instrumental voice from rehearsed a year-and-a-half, without a gig in individualists like Olu Dara on trumpet and Craig the preponderance of the proceedings. To navi- sight, before we started. I did it in Chicago with a number of peo- flair his sui generis pieces, in which Threadgill based best-and-brightest Gen Xers and millen- ple. I did it when I worked with Cecil Taylor deftly refracted marches, rags, the blues, sacred nials who match his job description of being during the s.
On Hoffman return. Augmenting that personnel Ellman remarked. Henry wants the music to be tested and Pan-Asian flavors. Then, with Zooid, he pared guitarist Liberty Ellman and drummer Elliott internalized, so it really comes out as something down, framing his instruments with an aus- Humberto Kavee, who pairs off with Weinrib.
Threadgill mentioned the encounter to classmates Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors, who decided to investigate. In , they became members of the newly formed AACM; in , Threadgill—who had spent three years rais- ing a joyful noise with a traveling evangelist before his time in Vietnam—joined them. Once Muhal told me he was going to start tuning his piano. He took the whole piano apart. Next thing you know, he had three com- puters, including one he was opening up to see the mechanics.
You saw him unravel the myths or mysteries behind things. If I let myself be dis- cal instrument in this environment. In time, recalled. My idea—and what Butch was con- a premiere by Elliott Carter, whoever was play- standing pianist but an accomplished compos- cerned with—is how to keep musicians away ing at the Village Vanguard or the Jazz Gallery. He knew my musical processes. We looked from automatic musical behavior. They all lived here. And that was so successful that I decided to tackle the whole score.
So, I started assigning arranging tasks to current and ex-stu- dents of mine while supervising them. Perhaps the secret weapons in the Multiverse Amadeo Way. Same with salsa. It was the soundtrack to cussionists who had no reading skills or very Projects where he grew up, located at E. Street and Courtlandt Avenue. And when Multiverse Big Band, the commemorative dou- posedly encroaching on the white ethnic work- he raises his hand to the saxophones and they ble album West Side Story Reimagined is sched- ing class, Sanabria has flipped the script with stand up to do the mambo background lines uled for a July 20 release on the Jazzheads label his West Side Story Reimagined.
So, this new reimagin- the clave rhythm from his youth in the Fort sary of maestro Bernstein. And the rhythms and cul- were playing conga drums in the park all the dent ensemble, the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz tures of those communities are now reflected in time, and at that time, salsa was ubiquitous in Orchestra. And jects bits of the national anthems from the six Bernstein the composer.
So, he had all that the Trump Administration, all played simulta- Jewish parents who revolutionized the clas- inside of him. Sanabria says. Everything which was the biggest theater in the Bronx. I Puente and Tito Rodriguez. And the open- interest in Latin music goes back to , a musician is in West Side Story. Because he ing chase scene with the juxtaposition of the when he was in Boca Raton, Florida, and heard always championed tolerance and fighting dance and the accompanying music was so Cuban music on the radio emanating from bigotry and racism.
And we should all check powerful, the synergy was so intense. And Radio Progresso.
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And when he heard that that out. Nor, if the audience response on these albums is any indication, did it involve abandoning jazz fans in favor of funk kids. But things had changed in the interim. The landscape had changed, but so had Grant Green. The first important recording date he had after Rusty Bryant was with organist Reuben Wilson, for an album called Love Bug.
This ses- sion was significant for two reasons. They were background players. So instead of having them in the background, it was just a matter of bringing [them] to the forefront. As his son Greg, who dark, horn-like tone and rich, blued-tinged lyr- Green definitely dug the concept, and in performs and records as Grant Green Jr. He loved James ly identifiable. His playing could be edgy and his first Blue Note session as a leader since Cobblestone—his only studio time in all of The Bryant.
All the money he would get meant Green wound up working with bass- Lou Donaldson in , Green quickly became would go for drugs. It was a minor conviction, but the gui- On. No wonder some saw this as the moment the Green and Ridley is wonderfully contrapun- decidedly one-of-a-kind. His playing had a curtain came down on Act One. Taken from a Sept. Green acknowl- stretch. One of the peo- ple who saw it there was Resonance producer Zev Feldman, who tracked down and licensed the audio for legitimate release.
The music had been bootlegged before, but from low-quali- ty copies and not the 96kHz master Feldman used. By that time Green had moved from his Brooklyn apartment to Detroit, where he bought a house. He continued to release studio albums of funk-infused jazz, and slowly built a bigger audience.
But it would be his concert recordings that were the most enduring. Again, the emphasis was on extending the groove, not simply so the play- ers could stretch out, but also to give the audi- ence something to react to. And react they did. And when everybody is building a groove—you know, taking it to a cli- max—you gotta take the audience there, too. A lengthy, rambling piano solo during the middle section adds to the disjointed feel. The Constitution! Grenadier powers through it, while varied as Frederick Loewe, Elmo Hope and Ballard provides a lithe ride cymbal.
McCartney and as obscure as Nick Drake. Where Mehldau Ordering info: nonesuch. Often listeners will hear sub-exchanges between members of the group, supported by— or in defiance of—some broader context. Personnel: Jamie Baum, flutes, singing bowl; Amir ElSaffar, trum- pet, vocals 2 ; Sam Sadigursky, alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Chris country drawls that dominate half the mate- A band this size can fall into sounding like Komer, French horn; Brad Shepik, guitar; John Escreet, piano; Zack rial here. Her boozy voice has the craggy Lober, bass, singing bowl 4 ; Jeff Hirshfield, drums; Jamey Haddad, either a mini-orchestra or a beefed-up combo.
Authenticity, not craft, is her principal asset, and she spins it into a hungover hillbilly elegy of misfortune, laced with compassion. But it works for them, and ily jazz background still shapes every bebop and they make it work for us. Each seems to have post-bop line. They with two master rhythm sections. Lloyd more open setting, with guitar and saxophone pressure and heat, making it seem as if every often appends arpeggiated flourishes that conversing brightly, while also managing vig- note must be cut on defiant self-determination.
The title track is an uninspired drummer Bill Stewart. Dave Holland, bass 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, Harland, drums; Lucinda Williams, vocals 2, 4, 6, 8, Fuller sometimes plays as if she were having Ordering info: mackavenue. Mehldau follows his usual strategy of salting his set with a couple of standards, so we can find surprises on our own, then takes us into some fresh territory. But the musical clarity is airy and constant; Mehldau is the keeper of modern piano essentials.
The quiet virtuosity here is a return to a familiar summer cabin, where subtle rhythm adjustments slant new light into the room and fresh chord voicings open windows to the breeze. The ribbons of counterpoint on "Ten Tune" and "Spiral" suggest Mehldau's recent explo- rations of Bach might be having some spillover effect. Bridges works best when rhythm's kept at the center of its tour through the Balkans and the In- dian subcontinent. Interest wanes when the pace slows. Material is somewhat weakened by several empty prologues of dawdling duration and a few splashes of gratuitous chaos.
Everything connects here: concept and execution, soloists and ensemble, Nepal and New York, spirit and flesh. The accompaniment by two all-star rhythm sections adds a layer of interest. Add Bill Frisell and things get deep. Its arrangement sets up shapely solos from Dayna Stephens on tenor saxophone, Mike Rodriguez on trumpet and Johnathan Blake on drums.
Barron is creative even in the background, as is bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, holding things together without flash, just grace. Cohesion and subtlety are basic to Concentric Circles, moments of particular beauty emerging from its stream of high-mind- ed, yet gratifyingly grounded, play. Every track Ordering info: bluenote.
Sometimes the musicians pursue each the late Third Stream composer David Baker. What might nuance. The pair perform with energy, wit layers of chattering rhythms. Drummer V; Chateau D'Eau. Here we have, Johansen. The hymnals and Guadalupian drumming. Folksy vo- Ordering info: quesonegro. Alessi deliv- fuzzed bass sounding like a guitar soloing —with Reflets Denses Socadisc ers a dazzling high-note trumpet solo here, with a jittery electro-halo. This is jazz as ritual celebration. The contem- founding members Daevid Allen and Gilli Coleman-esque alto lines into the Afro-Cuban plative spiritual-jazz aura has shades of Smyth actually left their own band.
Ordering info: sunnysiderecords. Layering percus- sion atop atmospherics created by the sampler of Dino J. Fullmoon could be an inspiration to young avant-minded trumpeters, showcasing what can be achieved, even with a limited palette. This rather brief album also should serve as a calling card for soundtrack work. The tongued rhythms and digital grinding on some tracks could be a tough sell for lay listeners. Deane, sampler. Ordering info: relativepitchrecords. His communication with tart Eric McPherson merit the same level of praise. Hints pop bonus. On the final track, Hersch takes a solo Ordering info: palmetto-records.
On this recent austere session, his rich voice hedges that way in a sage, deliberate man- ner as it reflects the sensitivity or strength found in the lyrics to ageless classics. His general cynicism about the work- since the s. Levine, who died her trusted producer-bassist, Terry Wilson.
This patchwork of abundance of spirit. Wilson and the other solo-acoustic and electric-band tracks from the time, it reportedly took a toll on him. Ordering info: teresajames. After begin- the traditional bullet points: good singing meanders bear repeat listening. The Pittsburgh-area musician steps up laxed East Coast-style. The is it demonic possession? A passable cover of 11, 15 , bass; John Lauffenburger 6—8 , Brian Hamada 1—3, 6—8, latter wins out. Fried Chicken. The album, recorded and mixed in , was delayed because of contractual circumstanc- es.
Ordering info: nonesuch. With expert liner notes from Ameri- before his death. Ordering info: espdisk. Ordering info: littleimusic. The genius of the music absorb in one chunk. Disc Two: 77 Million Paintings. Disc Five: Needle Click; Light diaphanous and abstract. And often the work small intrusions of processed vocals.
Mimmo Paladino or designer Asif Khan. Ordering info: astralwerks. She wields a grainy, vigorous tone on saxophones, van der Schyff, and tenor saxophonist Jon Bentley. And while the compositions on Taking Off undoubtedly tilt and clever, and the arranging is powerfully inventive. Recorded live in laid-back vocals mingling with horns.
Vienna during , the episodic composition features Lettner play- A formidable talent and bandleader, Lee and her creative collective rip ing the duduk an Armenian double-reed instrument and alto, as the it up. Memorable music flourishes on her compositional canvas, resonat- rhythmic pulse continuously morphs while the ensemble crafts alluring ing across sundry genres.
Ordering info: artdialogue. Enemy dares ner Nederlands Jazz Archief ; France. The With confidence and open-mindedness, Dutch reedsman Herman Schoonderwalt live and overall magic of his trio, though, is Enemy navigates exciting new genre byways — Although he was to become neatly embodied on this satisfying album, at every turn. Eldh and Maddren, who stand a celebrated arranger-composer and big- captured at the Barbican Center in London, on equal footing with Downes, provide stimu- band leader on the Dutch jazz scene, he circa The trio has issued other live re- lating conversation throughout the recording.
Ordering info: jazzarchief. Partir makes a stark departure—solo scope and intent on Palmares Fantasy. Brazilian music icon Hermeto Pascoal—a dream project. Ordering Info: ecmrecords. Sixties Cree folk singer Buffy 20th centuries. Where the lens of jazz then colors Birdsongs is state of vertigo.
Intertwining musical structures with Moses Taiwa Molelekwa. Kamen, vocals 1. Ordering info: planetarts. Live, they both gave free rein to of boundless creative curiosity that drove his improvisational instincts, producing an previous books, particularly Something To album of extraordinary musicality. She performs in According To Questlove. Her remarkable vocal flights and blocked creativity. French creatives, tips and lessons trickle through the being filled once more. The story serves producer Matthieu Chedid, who adds his sym- engaging and often relatable stories.
He re- vocals that swirl in and out of cascading gui- audience reception, each section ends with organizes songs he has stored digitally, ask- tar work. Diawara laments the loss of her only one bite-sized suggestion for a way to get ing himself some admittedly uber-Quest- your brain moving. He comes for how to maintain a vibrant, creative back to that idea repeatedly. He also divulg- mind. Ordering info: shanachie. And when those soloists include saxophonist Branford that showcase individual voices. Luis Perdomo is on keys for most of the album, his ists to do Jobim justice.
Each exploration features a distinctive storyteller, fluid lines and powerful chords driving the band. Ordering info: franvielma. What goes around comes around, Sparked by a Pablo Picasso glass and around. Instead, across 10 tracks listeners find an assort- adept throwback. As nacular. Forget ballads: These guys ity, as if the musicians were creating spontaneously. The highly notated, run full-steam ahead.
Paul Gill, bass; Joe Strasser, drums. Ordering info: erikfriedlander. Although improve- for a non-toxic alternative to pressure treating, tarists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? He hoped to use it in the construction of better the old bulb was. Natural aging of the wood Torrefaction was created with an entirely resulting in a more stable and weather-resis- and playing time are important factors in the different purpose in mind.
With roots that tant material. Years later, Savolainen happened maturing of musical instruments, and luth- stem from the time of the Vikings, the mod- to show some of his treated material to a friend, iers have spent decades researching this phe- ern technique is credited to a Finnish fire chief Rauno Nieminen, headmaster of a guitar-mak- nomenon in the hopes of discovering a method named Osmo Savolainen, who was searching ing school in Finland, who immediately noticed.
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He is widely recognized as a pioneer in with a variety of temperatures and durations ments. The study, released in , produced the field. Ruokangas was given the opportuni- indicated that extreme treatments can result data that clearly indicated that this process rep- ty to measure and inspect pre- and post-treat- in negative consequences, such as overly brit- licated some of the same chemical reactions that ed wood and came to the conclusion that cer- tle wood, and that milder treatments produce occur in the natural aging of tonewoods.
It also tain types of thermal treatment can result in the best results for instruments. Ruokangas has indicated that the wood underwent a measur- a chemical reaction that is nearly identical to gone on to build carved archtops using treated able improvement in its ability to transfer vibra- what occurs during natural aging. To be more wood and is a firm believer in torrefaction. Some eight years later, an arti- is slightly reduced, the wood darkens in color and Dana Bourgeois, founder and CEO of cle on the process by David Wilson appeared in and pores are cleansed.
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Bourgeois widely is rec- to gain serious traction. He noticed a dif- impact on the use of torrefaction in acoustic guitar makers worldwide in building both ference in the stability of the material, as well guitars. His interest in torrefaction began when acoustics and electrics. Many of these build- as an increase in strength, and these two bene- he first saw a thermo-treated bass guitar neck ers point out that torrefaction has the ability to fits alone were enough to sell him on the process.
In addition to enhanced sta- noticeably improve the tonal characteristics of Actually, the added stability was the first aspect bility, Bourgeois noticed that this wood dif- a new instrument, and it also adds dimensional that widely was acknowledged by the music fered in appearance and began to hear that it stability to the wood. With such a major inno- industry, resulting in several companies offering also sounded better. During several companies that currently use torrefied longer to surface, and Ruokangas points out that a conversation with a violin-making friend, wood in building their guitars.
He noticed that many Bourgeois was asked to shine a light through. It did not, and he learned that this was one of the foolproof meth- ods used to detect counterfeit Stradivarius violins, since new wood allows light to pass through but old wood does Reco. With his interest piqued, Bourgeois built his first gui- tar using a torrefied top in As the largest purchaser of wood in the music industry, it only makes sense that Yamaha would take an interest in torrefaction.
According to Dennis Webster, marketing manager at Yamaha Guitars, initial research on the technology began in the violin department but soon spread to acoustic guitars, which were the first products released in using the technique. This has allowed Yamaha to maintain total control over the process 93 c1 and fine-tune it to perfection. In evaluating the effects of torrefaction, ti en. The dif- th Au. The result is a more bal- nD.
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Eastman Music Company began looking into torrefaction about two years ago, running tests on Adirondack spruce tops. Ruok angas Emma Maria. However, he took a different approach, applying the technique to his carved- top mandolins, instead of flattop acoustic guitars. Carved instru- ments are very different animals, and the archtop community has been extremely slow in adopting torrefaction. MacRostie felt that the technique would work well for his instruments, and after send- ing some samples out for testing, he decided that commercially treated wood was too brittle for his use and went on to build his own oven, so he could experiment and develop the perfect recipe for his purposes.
In addition to the tops, MacRostie also cooks the backs and sides, necks, tonebars, neck blocks and even bridges. MacRostie noticed that when given the choice between a treated and un-treated instrument, players preferred the torrefied mando- lin nearly every time. Torrefied wood also is stiffer and less sensi- tive to climate change, making it easier to carve, sand and finish.
And torrefaction is definitely one of those things that makes a difference. The acoustic quality becomes mellow and sweeter, and all the frequencies sound more compressed. The company had been conduct- ing experiments with other roasting methods prior to releasing its first torrefied guitars a few years ago. According to Lee, Washburn was very interested in trying the technique on mass-market instru- ments. They have had success with spruce and mahogany, but found that cedar was problematic.
Today, Washburn uses torrefied tops on nearly all of its solid wood guitars built overseas. Tops and brac- es are treated, and varying degrees of treatment are used on differ- ent models. With instruments shipping worldwide, the dimension- al stability of torrefied guitars is a huge benefit to Washburn. Lee adds that torrefaction is not magic: It still requires quality tonewood to produce a good guitar.
As a company focused on providing quality, affordable instru- ments, Recording King was extremely interested in exploring the benefits of torrefaction. Recording King built a few prototypes and offered its first torrefied-top guitars in Atz says that there was a serious learn- ing curve involved in working with treated wood, as it reacts dif- ferently to tools and adhesives. Recording King has developed its own custom recipe and feels that these instruments exhibit an even response with more volume and increased bass. Atz notes that these guitars will age just like vintage.
Taylor Guitars had been experimenting with torrefaction for years and has taken a gradual approach, introducing the process on a few select models in According to Andy Powers, master gui- tar designer at Taylor, the company closely is evaluating the effects of the treatment on various guitars and wood species to ensure that it benefits the overall sound of the instrument. Powers points out that the added resonance and decreased damping sometimes can have a negative impact on a guitar by introducing unwanted over- tones and other inharmonic content. According to Powers, the results of torrefaction are lighter and stiffer wood with a lower damping factor and higher sound velocity, noting an increase of 5 to 10 percent.
The company uses a mild treatment and actually introduces some oxy- gen into its recipe. Powers recognizes the potential of torrefaction and says it gives an instrument a head start. Ibanez claims that torrefaction first came onto its radar when major players like Martin and Taylor began to use the process. Ibanez felt it would be perfect for its Artwood Vintage line, which features moderately priced guitars built to vintage specs.
Ibanez released the Artwood Vintage Thermo Aged series instruments. Facciolo says that the process is a win-win for Ibanez and is definitely worth the extra production time and cost since it helps the company achieve its mission of offering the best guitars possible and creating a good playing experience right from the start. Facciolo describes the tone of these gui- tars as live, more dynamic, with a sweet- er high end and an expanded reach.
The com- pany describes it as a combination of spec- ifications, procedures, materials and parts designed to mimic a naturally aged Martin as closely as possible. Using vintage guitars as a model, Martin worked on replicating the tone, color and even the cell structure of these instruments. The process is cur- rently being used by numerous companies, large and small, with more coming on board every day. It has proven to be an asset on guitars at nearly every price point, and play- ers are beginning to take notice. Although debates continue over whether torrefaction actually makes a new guitar sound just like a vintage one, there appears to be no debate over the fact that they definitely do sound better.
I to understand the common elements of the lan- 2 To be able to improvise melodic lines remember back when I was trying to figure it guage that they were speaking.
As I expanded on my new person- could play over changes—were over a perennial- classes, etc. Within these tunes I began to recognize the ing the same language. I began making sense were the 2—5—1s? I also became familiar with recurring their predecessors, based on chronology.