Last Batch of Favorites of 2014 & Thoughts on the NPR Poll

Happy 2015 folks. Even though the new year is already a few days old there's already more than a few excellent releases to look forward to in 2015. I'm particularly stoked about the live album from Jack DeJohnette/Roscoe Mitchell/Henry Threadgill/Muhal Richard Abrams/Larry Gray that is coming out on ECM shortly. But I'm getting ahead of …

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More Favorites of 2014: Peter Brendler and Captain Black Big Band

Ok folks, a couple more of my favorite albums from the last year (and as always, the whole list can be found here).... Peter Brendler, Outside the Line (Posi-tone) - What a sizzling, fun, and adventurous date. Bassist Brendler, joined by the unbeatable front line of tenor saxist Rich Perry and trumpeter Peter Evans, and …

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My Top Ten Bucket-List Jazz Albums

A few weeks ago a former professor of mine shared an article on Facebook from the Village Voice that listed the Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die. Usually it seems like the "ten whatevers you need to do/visit/read/listen before you die" lists are things that people probably haven't done, are not likely to …

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Jacob Young’s Multiple Sides and the Danger of Pigeonholing

There aren't too many professional musicians I know who can only do one thing. In fact there might not be any. To make it playing music one has to be able to take a bunch of gigs which requires playing in a bunch of styles - weddings, swing dances, funk bands, latin, messed up country, …

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