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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.

Jacqui Naylor journeyed to all points on her rich musical landscape during a recent show at Yoshi’s in Oakland, Calif. Back in her native Bay Area after extensive touring, Naylor was loose and confident, kicking off the show with the Talking Heads’ "Once in a Lifetime." Her smoky vocals made the song soar as her band smoothly melded the music of Weather Report’s "Birdland" behind her. The song is an example of Naylor's "acoustic smashing," her process of blending a rock song with a jazz tu
I came upon Pat Metheny’s music late in my forties, when my fiancée encouraged me to buy his Secret Story album. From that point, we (and subsequently, our two tiny children) avidly listened to and loved most of his music (except the Zero Tolerance for Silence album, which we just didn’t understand.) We went to his concerts in the U.S. and Europe, and really became FANS. I have always had the impression that he felt happiest being a soloist, or leading a small combo an impression supported by su
JPEC presents the Ingrid Jensen Quintet with special guest Christine Jensen at the Glenn Gould Theatre A piano introduction, trumpet joins in. A haunting sound, a slow drawn out tempo with a beautiful tone - the soothing trumpet sound of Ingrid Jensen cries out for attention. The stage is set for the sisters Jensen to serenade a receptive Toronto audience. The show, care of Jazz Performance & Education Centre is their third of the series and by all accounts is deemed to be a success. The inau
How appropriate that the New Year starts off with a week of Jack DeJohnette at Birdland. Jack DeJohnette’s music has always been about starting anew. And like Birdland, he has a proud history. The element of freshness to his sound is the result of him continually searching for something new. This year, his reconfigured group features guitarist David Fiuczynski (Fuze), someone who has gone down his own musical path in pursuit of a unique voice on the guitar. Having been a fan of his from his d
Looking back at jazz’s rich history and tradition, female vocalists have always had a stand-alone relevance as one of the genre’s most significant influences. Without a doubt, the music of Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Ma Rainey have served as a series of guideposts to light the way for others to follow. But the shoes of those legendary mistresses of song hav

Terra Brasil

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Imagine fourteen gifted and completely dedicated dancers accompanied by the same amount of superb musicians. Imagine one of the most talented modern choreographers and artistic directors of the day and add a masterful Brazilian percussionist and musical director teaming up to transform a cold Toronto winters night into one of the hottest shows around imagine then, Terra Brasil. If you were one of the lucky three hundred or so people in attendance at the show, no need to imagine. The program indi
"Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart." ~ Pablo Casals The intimate Chrome Showroom located inside the Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino provided the setting for a night of masterful musicianship and beautiful poetic music by one of contemporary jazz’s premier performers. Saxophonist Michael Lington, a native of Denmark, made his fifth appearance at this cozy venue. Along with a very distinguished collection of sidemen, they furnished the ap
No excuses Nashville! You have the top shelf, Nashville Jazz Orchestra (NJO) now performing LIVE Big Band Jazz every Tuesday night at the French Quarter Café in East Nashville. First note at 7pm, you catch two mind-blowing sets and be on your way home by 9:30pm. The minimal cover charge of $10.00 and no drink minimum is a perfect value for today’s entertainment dollar, especially if want a sample of what big band music is all about. Once you hear it, be fair warn

Ornette Coleman

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There aren’t many 1960s elders of jazz still performing these days. Pianists McCoy Tyner and Randy Weston come to mind, as does saxophonist Sonny Rollins, but few others come to mind. That’s one of the things that made the appearance by Ornette Coleman and his group at the San Francisco Symphony Hall as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival so compelling. Despite the demise of longtime collaborators such as trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell and Bill
I started my Guelph jazz experience on Friday afternoon the colloquium featured Professor Milford Graves. I ended up arriving early and I caught the tail end of a workshop entitled New Communities of Sound: Improvising Across Borders. The improvisers included Jane Bunnett, Hamid Drake, Jah Youssouf, Abdoulaye Kone, Getatchew Mekuria, Rob Wallace, Alain Derbez, Terrie Hessels and Brad Muirhead. This was an entertaining jam session with an African feel, percussion heavy, some great horn playing an
The Jazz Attack Tour 2009 marched into Las Vegas for a highly energetic musical assault on the aural sensory nerves, both entertainingly pleasing and extremely satisfying. Piloted by a blend of world-renown musicians including master trumpeter Rick Braun, peerless tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot, and charismatic guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler; this version of the perennial crowd favorite concert attraction packed plenty of punch into a 100 minute presentation of great musicianship
I had never witnessed a live Milford Graves performance. I had heard his playing on numerous records and recent CD’s. I knew of his powerful style and frenetic energy. I had listened to his chanting and foreign sounding communications that accompanied his recorded performances. I had always imagined that the wall of sound he created was studio enhanced. Special effects, overdubbing and extra tracks for all these percussive sounds that aren’t normally associated with a drum set. There is nothing
I recently attended an extremely interesting and unusual venue for the Tom Robertson Blues Band. This was an outdoor afternoon annual Family Day 2009 at Canada Post’s huge South Central Letter Processing Plant in Toronto. (It’s the largest mail sorting plant in Canada). This was an ideal sunny day, perfect for listening to ‘da bluz’ outdoors . . . in a beautifully tranquil setting of grass and trees and a nature trail to the south . . . with the beach at Lake Ontario just
There are not many places where Italian jazz fans, who mostly love free jazz, can hear AACM, avant-garde, radical improvisation and the greatest musicians of these ever fresh sounds: the Sant’Anna Arresi festival "Ai Confini fra Sardegna e Jazz", near Cagliari in Sardinia, is one of those few. This is a kind of festival that does not care about how many people attend the concerts, considered that «quality is not measured by figures», as art director Basilio Sulis stated. And if many j
For the past few months it has been my pleasure to attend several blues shows at the downtown Delta Chelsea’s Monarchs Pub. The Delta has done something that no other major hotel chain in Canada has dared to do which is to offer world-class live blues shows every Thursday evening, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. One of the two major attractions to these great blues nights, is the always entertaining, Juno Award-winning blues guitarist Jack de Keyzer. His performances have always been
Piano-bass-drums were the weapons of choice for the highly celebrated trio headed by Ramsey Emanuel Lewis whose performing career alone spans over five decades of recordings, 80 plus recordings, seven Gold records, three Grammys, and the nationally syndicated radio show "The Legends of Jazz." The 74-year-old jazz composer and classical-trained pianist performed August 13th at Orchestra Hall with a surprise for all in attendance an evening of pure blues, Chicago style! Ramsey Lewis, a Chi-T
It was a ‘magical’ night of blues at Toronto’s venerable Massey Hall, when blues guitarist Buddy Guy and his fabulous blues band appeared on stage.Prior to their always enjoyable show, blues diva Shemekia Copeland and her band played a 45-minute set that got the blues fans in attendance warmed up just right for Buddy.Buddy’s show opened with the high-energy "Best Damn Fool" and went right into "Only Nin
Five musicians. The quartet sounded like a full orchestra. Three vocalists. The trio sang for an unheard of three-hour concert at the Artist's Quarter Friday, September 11, 2009. Best of all, the music was all Nat King Cole! When you have the musical library of musical icon Nat King Cole, an evening of music is guaranteed to please. Cole was an international star, and even hosted his own national television program, when our own country was full of racial strife. Pianist Bob Po
"Ella," a fascinating showcase performance at The Guthrie Theatre, is an in-depth look at the life and times of Ella Jane Fitzgerald. Tina Fabrique, on stage for the entire evening as singer and star, truly made this viewer walk away from the hot lights with a tour-de-force performance and a much deeper appreciation of the woman known as the "First Lady of Song." Since its premiere in 2005, "Ella" has shined as a touring show in 18 venues across the United States. It’s a show in which the
Prince Edward County Jazz festival is a different and very special jazz festival. The board of directors and especially Brian Barlow have done an outstanding job of putting together one of the best festivals of straight ahead jazz. They have found a common thread in bringing together Canadian artists with international recognition and bridging young artists with seasoned pros. They have the community involved in a big way - from boutique estate wineries, book stores, restaurants, bars and even a