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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.

Is there anyone that doesn’t know Ornette Coleman is one of the most important jazz musician/composers of the 20th century? For those that don’t, thumbnail sketch: In the late 1950s Coleman developed an alternative method of jazz improvisation, far looser/flexible in terms of harmony and chord progression. His approach was "freer" than other saxophonists yet was based firmly in the blues (the feeling, if not structurally). At the time, some critics, listeners, and musi

Canada Day 2009

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The big show at the Main Stage - Nathan Philips Square featured a performance that will go down as one of my favorite all time concerts. The opening to this memorable occasion started with the singing of "O-Canada" the full house was led through the national anthem by the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival artistic director, Jim Galloway. He played the melody on his soprano saxophone, a swinging version and the crowd sang with pride. The opening act featured Canadian award winning bassist Bra

Pilot Jazz

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The Toronto Jazz Festival is a massive event; on any given night or day for that matter during the ten day festival it is possible to see a varied group of musical acts. As most jazz festivals are now mixing musical styles so to is Toronto Jazz Festival. On June 29th, the Main stage at Nathan Philips Square had lots of activity as they prepared to welcome Kool & The Gang with opening act Harrison Kennedy. I ventured out to the Toronto harbor front, the Fleck Dance Theatre was playing host to

Fern Lindzon

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Fern Lindzon is a Canadian pianist and a vocalist. She exhibits equally accomplished talents on both instruments. I managed to catch her at Chalkers Pub in midtown Toronto, a great up and coming jazz club that has played host to some fantastic jazz folk including vocalist Sheila Jordan. As I walked up the stairs to the 2nd story pub housing the jazz club, billiards room and large outdoor patio - I heard an enchanting melody, "Never Never Land" performed as an instrumental jazz version. Ms. Lindz
Mose Allison took over the Fleck Dance Theatre on Tuesday night as part of the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival. The 81-year-old Mississippi born jazz singer, pianist and composer blessed the audience with his joyful spirit and accomplished easy going singing and piano playing. An unassuming blues based, jazz piano player whose influence is felt through his well known songs - many of them performed by the biggest rock acts. His accompanists, Neil Swainson on acoustic bass and John Sumner
The final day of the Art of Jazz, Global Jazz Village - Italian Style, started off a little late. A combination of bad weather, a little rain and a cold front rolling through town caused a minor delay. Spirits were not dampened, a large gathering of people were in and around the Trinity stage checking out the Cuban element, Anacaona Cuban Big Band an all female orchestra, formed in Havana in the thirties and known as "Las Mulatissimas del Sabor", this glamorous all female orchestra was founded i
The early what, gets the what? The riddle is simply to make a point. The early Parker (Charlie Parker as in the BIRD) gets the Frank Sinatra (as in CHAIRman of the Board). From the first downbeat, 8:30pm on Monday June 1st, until the final notes went silent, Cafe290 was standing room only. Why? The crowd came to hear Big Band Jazz? What are you kidding? No joke. This is not your Grandfather's music. No bubble m
A full day of jazz at the Distillery Historic District beginning bright and early at 12 p.m. The jazz starts with a workshop by Roberta Gambarini, by all accounts a tremendous educational workshop, carried out by Ms. Gambarini with pianist Don Thompson and bassist Neil Swainson in support. A trio performance at an outdoor patio in front of the Boiler House Restaurant, the Women In Jazz stage tucked away under a tent found the Dave Restivo Trio with Alyssa Falk, also a noon time start. The Fermen
The fourth annual Art of Jazz celebration just managed to melodically squeak by this time around. The Toronto Italian community and major sponsor Mario Romano are deserving of thanks for keeping the celebration alive. The free out door shows all had good turn outs in spite of some cooler temperatures rolling in from the north on Sunday. The first show of the celebration took place from 6:30 8:00 pm, Friday June 5th at the outdoor Trinity Stage and featured The Sicilian Jazz Project, this was a h
The Railhead located inside the Boulder Station Casino was the scene of a sold-out soul drenched spectacle when the Sax for Stax tour paid a visit to Las Vegas. The magnificent show featured the pairing of two of contemporary jazz’s elite saxophone players, Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum. These two titans, who have always endeavored to play with abundant heartfelt soul while making solid connections with people’s hearts, provided the ideal tribute for Stax Records, the label whic

Swinging with soul

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On Sunday, May 17th, piano maestro Marcus Roberts performed at the The Dakota Jazz Club. Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, the Dakota is one the best clubs in the Twin Cities to visit for live jazz. Showcasing the talents of nationally renowned jazz pianist, Marcus Roberts, is just one example to their commitment to the culture and jazz community. Roberts opened the set with a Jelly Roll Morton tune entitled "New Orleans Blues " which he played in double octaves up and down the pi
On Tuesday, May 12th, Delfeayo Marsalis appeared with his quintet at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The quintet included: Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Richard Johnson (piano), Marion Felder (drummer), Dean Hewlett (bass), and Mark Gross (saxophone). Marsalis who has a unique improvisational style says that when he is performing in Japan or in South America people often come up and ask... "Why do you not have any words to your music?" He said that he actually had to stop and
In a strange way, violinist/composer/singer/songwriter Jenny Scheinman is something of a throwback to an older American epoch. For as long as America has had borders and divisions, there’ve been people crossing/flouting them with abandon. Bing Crosby, the man that defined pop singing in the first half on the 20th century, recorded Irish ballads, Tin Pan Alley tunes, jazz, Hawaiian songs, and more. The following iconic performers recorded a healthy (or dazzling) variety of styles/genres: Louis Ar
Although I’ve long listened to his music, I’ve never seen Malian guitarist Habib Koite and his band Bamada perform in person. So his performance at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall this evening promises to be a real treat. Habib and Bamada take the stage attired in Malian shirts and pants - ones dyed using plangi and other resist techniques -and they don woolen hats. Habib’s own guitar, his second guitarist, electric bassist, and American trap-set drummer might all be seen as conc
Residing as I do in San Francisco, I’ve long had connected the surname "Redman" with jazz. Joshua’s late father, Dewey, was a well known jazz musician, and I was aware from him through his dates with Ornette Coleman, his membership in the band Old and New Dreams, and his occasional gigs here. Dewey’s star has been eclipsed by his son, Joshua, who is something of an unintentional jazz star. Born in 1969, Joshua Redman was raised as Joshua Shedroff in Berkeley, California by his mother,

Blue Note Seven

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By Theresa Crushshon The Blue Note Seven Blue Note Records, America’s premier jazz label, celebrates their seventieth anniversary with Blue Note Records On Tour featuring: Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Lewis Nash (drums), Steve Wilson (alto saxophone, flute), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Nicholas Payton (trumpet) and Ravi Coltrane (saxophone). Performing Sunday, March 25th at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, the talented Blue Note Seven performed selected

The Dylan Tree

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The Dylan Tree is a band of seasoned pros who only play songs written by folk/blues/roots icon Bob Dylan, and do them to perfection. The band includes guitarists Richard Kahl (Champagne Boys) and Paul Martin (Blushing Brides), bassist Matt Greenberg (The Jitters), drummer Doug Inglis (ex-Ronnie Hawkins; Goddo), and keyboard player Martin Alex Aucoin (The Lin
For some reason, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra always fill me with a profound ambivalence. What they do is always excellent. It is what they leave out that troubles me. So it was March 16th when they appeared at Washington DC's Kennedy Center as part of the Washington Performing Arts Society's 2008/2009 Season. The concert began, curiously, with arrangements of two nursery rhymes, "Old McDonald Had A Farm" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Apparently these were dedicated to
On national tour, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis appeared at Minnesota Orchestra Hall Friday, March 6, 2009 and presented a dynamic show featuring the music of jazz pianist, Thelonious Monk. Monk was one of the most brilliant jazz musicians of all time who was known for his highly syncopated and distinctive percussive style of playing the piano. The amazing line-up of musicians appearing in the big band included: Grammy Award winning Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Freddie H
On March 21st, 2009, Lee Konitz was improvising at Creole Restaurant, Third Avenue at 116th Street in Harlem’s Barrio. Mickey Bass intro’ed the Quartet, as part of his Brownstone Entertainment Complex’s "Jazz Legacy Series," beginning with a joke not worth repeating. Mr. Konitz responded by telling one of his own about a guy at a bar who ordered three scotches...I wish he had announced his first tune instead. Musicians take note: Before we heard the first note he blew gently into the mou