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Concert Reviews (826)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

Some years back, I turned on KUSF, the San Francisco iconoclastic radio station located at the University of San Francisco, to find myself in the middle of an interview with pianist Matthew Shipp. I was so struck by what he said that I went down to Bruno’s, a bar and restaurant on Mission Street which was programming inventive jazz at the time, and checked him out. Ever since then, I’ve been a fan of his challenging music. So I was delighted to see that he would be coming in the
Long recognized as one of the premiere bass players of his era, Harvie S is also an accomplished composer. His most recent release on the Zoho label, Funky Cha, is testament to his prowess in this regard. However, his most recent live performance at the magnificent Kitano Hotel featured brand new material composed over the previous year. After opening the set with a rumba- infused Rhythm-a-ning, Harvie and his group shared six fresh compositions with a captive audience. Their take on the Monk

A Jazz Hot Venue

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Saxophonist Ernest Dawkins in town from Chicago along with his New Horizons Ensemble for two engagements at the Trane Studio, as part of the clubs ongoing artistic extravaganza, Afrikan Millennium & Cultural Arts Fest (Oct 1, to Dec 31, '07) put on a performance of high art. The New Horizons Ensemble consisting of Ernest Dawkins, alto and tenor saxophone, Steve Berry, trombone, Darius Savage, acoustic bass, Isaiah Spencer, drums; and the newest member, (all of twenty years old) trumpeter Mar

Drums Live III

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The stage is set; drums align the stage - stretching from stage right to stage left, colorful, glowing, large sets with glistening chrome hardware, varying size cymbals of all manner of design and lots of percussion accoutrements. At the front of the stage a hi-hat, a snare and a bass drum are set up, spaced evenly apart with a drum stool stationed behind each instrument. The stars of the evening take a seat, not at the impressive full size, mammoth sets, Mark Kelso takes the drum throne behind
Thinking outside the box when the subject of jazz is discussed has become increasingly difficult during the last 20 years, especially so when examining the genre as an American art form. What has transpired in that amount of time has been a transitory attitude having little if any historical significance. In Houston, Texas, Da Camera of Houston an arts organization goes to great lengths to insure that jazz is highlighted as a form of artistic impressionism. For more than fourteen years
A major milestone has been achieved by KHJZ 95.7 "The Wave" in Houston, Texas. The radio station celebrated five successful years of smooth jazz programming with a concert entitled "Wave Day 5" featuring Fourplay, Boney James, Roberta Flack, Michael McDonald and Houston’s own saxophonist Dean James. In that amount of time, KHJZ has annually celebrated their success with a multi-faceted array of stellar musicians in a live setting
Only in Nellie McKay's world does Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" become a song about illegal immigration. "Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above," she sang, gently strumming a ukulele. "Don't fence me in." That's McKay in a nutshell. She's an uncommon blend of bite and sentiment. She's both wise and a wiseass. The young pop-jazz singer performed at San Francisco’s The Independent on the heels of the release of her fine third CD, Obligatory Villager
It’s always a pleasure to see the Big Bill Morganfield Blues Band whenever they perform here in Toronto, Ontario. Whether it’s the Silver Dollar as it was this night and others, or at a one-off blues fest at the Toronto waterfront, outdoors a few years ago, Big Bill is always here to please. Bill’s main asset onstage is that he’s a people person one who likes the audience, and they like him back! Bill really puts his ‘all’ into his guitar playing, and is backed admirably and first clas
David Virelles Quintet & The Penderecki String Quartet Hilario Duran Trio & The Penderecki String Quartet Cuban jazz masters can get classical too, especially when you have a strong classical background, such is the case with Hilario Duran and David Virelles. Duran a pianist who came to prominence in Cuba along side Arturo Sandoval is a living legend and a hero to many of the youth of Cuba, as was so aptly put by his younger countryman David Virelles who made mention during his in
A benefit concert in support of the recent earthquake devastated Peru, to aid in the rebuilding of the church Iglesia de San Clemente in Pisco-Ica Peru. The atmosphere of giving was front and centre at the church of St. Peter’s gathering, musicians of a high caliber giving of their time and talent in order to lend support. Sonia Chan a featured soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Chamber Academy, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra an
On August 7th 2007, I visited Sweet Sounds Downtown as I had on all other Tuesdays. Having seen, heard, and spoken with Yuri Turchyn (violinist) who performed 2 weeks earlier with a group called Arturo, I was looking forward to hearing Grupo Yuri. They did not disappoint. They performed near the train station parking lot on South Street. A sextet consisting of Yuri Turchyn on violin, Al Selert on drums and percussion, Stacy Grant on percussion, Jim Grant on bass, <

Baku Llama Review

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Date: 9/25/2007 Format: CD (Album) Baku Llama is a California-based trio releasing their debut album this fall. They have other releases to their name according to their MySpace page - but this release is what they themselves consider to be their first real release, according to the promotional info. Musically this trio seems to draw their influences from a lot of places. Many of the songs are structured in a way that makes me think that krautrock is a genre they are familiar with, whereas the g
A new record was set for the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival with 45,000 tickets sold for the three days all this in spite of rain which came midway Friday evening. The brief showers didn’t dampen spirits here. Those wanting shelter came into one the several inside venues, including the large Jazz Theater where the concert was televised, joining those who didn't have tickets for the outside Jimmy Lyons Stage. On the stellar program were stars who participated in the first-ever festival in 1958
LMT Connection is one of the best ‘live bands’ around. Their energetic ‘sound’ is captivating to say the least, and always gets the dance floor hoppin’! Their sound is unrelenting funk, R&B and blues with a skill honed from over a decade playing together. They have a weekly Wednesday night gig at Toronto’s top funk and R&B club, The Orbit Room located in the central west ‘Little Italy’ section of town. Leroy Em
Charlie Haden brought the Liberation Music Orchestra to Guelph, the same line up of musicians as featured on their 2005 release of, Not In Our Name(Verve), the only member of the orchestra missing and un-accounted for, musician Ahnee Sharon Freeman, who was replaced by Vincent Chancey on the French horn. Haden announced to the audience that the concert was dedicated to world peace. He had also brought along his Liberation Music Orchestra CD’s and he held each one up and indicated which Am
The second act of a double bill, having just returned to earth after witnessing an Anthony Braxton performance during the first act, featured William Parker Ensemble, who performed a one act suite on "The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield" that seemed like a throwback to another period of time. How fitting that the civil rights movement, free thinking and questioning the motives of the powers that be, can ring as true today as they did during the civil rights movement and the peace marches of the
The National Flute Association, founded in 1973, is the largest flute organization in the world. According to its website, ( "It was founded to encourage a higher standard of artistic excellence for the flute, its performers, and its literature. It has more than 5,500 members from more than 50 countries, including leading soloists, orchestral players, college and university professors, adult amateurs, and students of all ages." The NFA's activities reflect the
What could be groovier, sitting back, sailing on the sparkling blue Balboa Bay in Newport, listening to jazz from some of the world’s best players. Making it even better feasting on delicious food from sumptuous buffet tables nearby. Well, that’s the scene during the Sunday Jazz Brunch, a highlight of each Labor Day Weekend West Coast Jazz Party, now in its 13th year at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Orange County, CA. The cruise is on board the Hornblower Entertainer, which sailed this year fr
The AIM Toronto Orchestra conducted by Anthony Braxton put on an audio sensory show that for the most part sounded out of this world. An 18-member orchestra had been assembled from the rank and file members of The Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto; this organization was founded in late 2004 by Ken Aldcroft, Rob Clutton, Nick Fraser, and Joe Sorbara as a result of meetings with Vancouver guitarist and former New Orchestra Workshop (NOW) Artistic Director, Ron Samworth. In January 2005,
The theme for the 14th annual Guelph Jazz Festival - People Get Ready, The Future of Jazz is Now, held true to that concept and could even have been stated as the future of jazz is among us; it is youthful, energetic, alive, well and ever creative. The festival for those who may not be aware is the penultimate venue in North America for jazz experimentation, exploration and collaboration in performance and composition. Jazz mentors, legends, educators, master musicians and leaders in their fi