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Lee Prosser

Lee Prosser

29.01.2011

The Andy Bey Quartet

Published in Concert Reviews
In a world where the term 'jazz singer' has been usurped by a generation of Quiet Storm R&B crooners and cabaret hangers on, the rare chance to be in the presence of true greatness is rare. So the opportunity to see Andy Bey in one of his (tragically) rare live appearances was all the more gratifying.

Though the increasing notoriety that his brilliant albums bring is rendering the labeling of Bey as an 'unsung' master obsolete, the juxtaposition of his monumental gifts and what could be calle

29.01.2011

Pharoah Sanders Live

Published in Concert Reviews
John Coltrane met Pharoah Sanders in 1964, shortly after Coltrane released "A Love Supreme" and "Crescent". Those two albums signaled the end of one Coltrane's hard bop phase and the beginning of the free jazz experimentalism that would mark the rest of Coltrane's career. During Coltrane's last years he was enamored with other saxophonists; Sanders had a blustery growl of a tone that floored Coltrane, but moreover, a beautiful grasp of melody that would serve him well long after Coltrane passed
Years from now, when the work of Cassandra Wilson is discussed among jazz fans, scholars, and critics, two albums will stand out among her canon. The first, "Blue Light 'Til Dawn", her debut on Blue Note, was a breakthrough for the singer. After a tenure at Verve Records that found Wilson drifting further from the experimental jazz-funk of the seminal M-Base collective and sounding increasingly like a Betty Carter clone, producer Craig Street stressed spartan instrumentation, moody arrangements,
An assemblage of quintessential musicianship performed before me last night at a concert in Amherst, Ma. The quintet was Alan Silva on bass (a rarity for him), Marshall Allen on alto sax, Hamid Drake on drums, Kidd Jordan on tenor sax and William Parker also on bass.

Silva began the one set gig with a long introduction playing a lilting rhythmic line, sometimes strumming the strings like he would a guitar, setting the theme, stating the pace. The other players listened. Each one had his eyes

I have been thinking for quite a while since last Wednesday night’s concert at FLYWHEEL in Easthampton, Ma. how to arrive at the words to describe the intriguing music I heard.

There were essentially distinct definable spaces in front of me in which each of the four musicians created their own place to produce their musical lines. Matt Weston’s more than complete drum set was in the back left corner of the platform. Le Quan Ninh’s large bass drum was on the right of the platform, an array of

In the seventies, prior to the "World Music" explosion of the nineties, Brit fusion guitar god John McLaughlin teamed with a trio of Indian musicians to form Shakti in an attempt to make a jazz noise of the music of the Indian sub-continent. The joy of this particular cross-cultural union of musical souls was that McLaughlin and company - violinist L. Shankar and percussionists Zakir Hussain and Vinayakram didn’t seem to give a damn what genre they were tossed into, just as long as they could we
I may never understand the power that creative improvised music but its existence is undeniable. Leading up to a concert by Jemeel Moondoc and William Parker I was not having a good day. It wasn't that everything was going wrong so much as nothing seemed to be going right. I was rushing around all day without much purpose or focus. The concert was set to begin at 8 p.m. and by 7 p.m. I was seriously considering the possibility of not going. Yes I had been looking forward to the concert for a cou
The theater was crowded, packed with a healthy cross-section of humanity. Jazz-heads old & young, many folks Indian or Indian-American, fans of Indian music, well-dressed fusion fans, musical eclectics of all ages, skin hues & economic status-all have come to see/hear what legendary jazz guitarist John McLaughlin had up his sleeve that night, and/or to hear McLaughlin "revisit" a previous musical context: Shakti.

Shakti was a group of McLaughlin's in the mid-to-late 70s. He'd moved away somew

Hold onto your hat jazz fans, San Francisco is quickly becoming one of the hottest jazz scenes in the country thanks to high-profile jazz concerts and festivals, films, educational events and first-class jazz clubs that offer some of the world’s most outstanding jazz performances. San Francisco is not only a beautiful city, but for the diehard jazz enthusiast, a visit promises a whirlwind of venues and activities to make your heart go pitty-pat.

Thanks to serious jazz devotees like Randa
Codifying the performance of improvised music into another language as I am doing here is a very difficult task- - one that requires removing all, sometimes unknowable, obstacles especially of cliche-ridden descriptions that do not respect the creative nature of what was heard. In the long run, I do hope that I honor with words the music I hear. And induce those who read the words to find the music.

The concluding night of the Conway New Music Society’s Fifth Anniversary Concert Series reache