Overlooked in 2012: Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s Michiana

Jonah Parzen-Johnson's solo baritone saxophone album Michiana counts among many of the excellent albums that were overlooked last year.   While I did see a handful of reviews online, I didn't notice a whole lot of recognition in terms of more reviews, making it onto best of lists, mentions on the blogosphere, etc., for an album which …

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Overlooked in 2012: Nadje Noordhuis’ Gorgeous Debut Album

I was going back through some stacks of CDs from last year that I didn't really dig into as much as I should have and remembered just how much I enjoy the self titled debut album from Australian trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis.  Given the vast amount of albums that come out in one year, it's easy …

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Savion Glover Collapses Music/Dance Binary on New DVD

The press materials to master tap dancer Savion Glover's new DVD, entitled Fours, includes a perfect description of what the viewer can expect: "4 NEA Jazz Masters + the world's greatest tap dancer = a tsunami of rhythm." The performances, captured live at the Blue Note, consist of four jams, each one pairing Glover with …

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Add guitarist Avi Granite to your list of talent deserving of wider recognition

When Downbeat began its critics poll the category of "rising star" didn't exist like it does today.  Back then it was called "talent deserving wider recognition."  As somebody who votes in the poll, I prefer the latter category, as the definition of "rising star" can mean a whole lot of different things to different people.  …

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Out this week: the must hear album from Rivers/Holland/Altschul

As publicists who send me review copies can attest, unless I'm working with a magazine deadline, I rarely write CD reviews close to an album's release date (I'm finishing up one such review today, in fact) - usually it's a few weeks late.  On rare occasions, I'll review one far in advance - which from …

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Get Yer Groove on to Ryan Heinlein’s Project H

There are some in Kansas City who lament the current lack of classic "Kansas City" jazz going on in the K.C. area.  They have nostalgia for the good old days when the likes of Moten, Basie and Bird dominated the scene.   I am glad the current K.C. scene is not dominated by people trying to …

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Reunion from Rivers/Holland/Altschul is A Must Hear

Lets get right down to it: Reunion: Live in New York, the new album on Pi Recordings, from Sam Rivers, Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul is an album that you absolutely need to check out.  Recorded May 25, 2007 at Columbia University during WKCR radio's week long tribute to Rivers, this stunning two disc CD …

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Two Killer Bari Sax Albums from Claire Daly and Gary Smulyan

As a saxophonist who primarily plays the baritone I am always on the lookout for great bari players and recordings.  Two of my favorite bari players (Claire Daly and Gary Smulyan) have relatively new albums out.  These excellent new albums will not only appeal to bari-philes such as myself, but to fans of the artists …

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