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Jazz

Land of the Free and The Shape of Jazz to Come

Ornette Coleman was a seminal voice for the modern jazz revolution. Coleman’s focus is more on melody – simultaneous improvisations laid down by multiple instruments.  Ornette’s approach is perhaps aided by his choice to not include piano, without which there is no distinct harmonic enforcement.

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings

In a recent interview, somebody dared to ask the composer, “Is Jazz dead?”.  (He provided an apt and abrupt answer to that question).   I think we need to take a step higher and ask ourselves “What is Jazz?”  And… Continue Reading →

Charles Mingus on Impulse! Records

I entered a jazz program at a small local college without having any sense of the breadth of styles and the personalities that shaped the art form.  As a bass player, I felt inclined towards Mingus at first.  But the… Continue Reading →

Blink and Moses: Alive in the East?

Like the last few recordings, the tracks for the aptly-titled Alive in the East? were laid down in front of an audience, amidst a modest setting (in this particular case, East London’s Total Refreshment Center). Binker Golding (Tenor Sax) and… Continue Reading →

Dinosaur: Wonder Trail

Dinosaur has been a name in the ‘new’ jazz scene for a few years now.  The music speaks for itself, which is good because this collective falls shockingly beneath the radar on the internet.  With a group of compositions by… Continue Reading →

Both Directions At Once – The Lost John Coltrane Album Everybody’s Talking About

When I first heard that a recently discovered John Coltrane was being released, I didn’t have high expectations.  I mean, I’ve heard collectors state emphatically that if Coltrane farted on record, they’d listen.  I eschewed it, assuming that it was… Continue Reading →

Watch This! Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s Volunteered Slavery

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a true jazz character –  A blind multi-instrumentalist, with the unique ability of circular-breathing that allowed him to play endless phrases without coming up for breath.  Politically outspoken with a penchant for theatrical eccentricity, Rahsaan would habitually… Continue Reading →

Navigating Electric Miles’ Live Recordings (1969-1975) – Live-Evil

A bit of a paradox here… Despite the title, not necessarily a “live” album, with half the tracks recorded directly in the Columbia studio, and the remaining tunes being spliced together from different performances, recorded December 1970 at DC’s The… Continue Reading →

Navigating Electric Miles’ Live Recordings (1969-1975) – Agharta and Pangaea

Sly Stone may have been this funky, but he was never this heavy. Bass and drums… Tight! Hard! Guitar and percussion… laying down a heavy groove, just right above. Yamaha organ… Ok, most that is just plain weird. Sax… mother… Continue Reading →

Navigating Electric Miles’ Live Recordings (1969-1975) – Bitches Brew Live

Is it the appropriation and re-appropriation of black and white culture, back and forth, until we’re given something uniquely colorblind?  

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