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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.

Paul Taylor is one of jazz's finest saxophonists, yet in cities such as Houston, Texas, he may be one of the genre's best kept secrets. In fact, Paul could be considered as an undercover jazz artist on a secret mission. On August 24th, Paul appeared in concert at Houston's IRIS Jazz Resort, the city's premier jazz venue. For those attending the show, the concert was a mesmerizing experience. His appearance also served to elevate the consciousness of many jazz starved connoisseurs who were unawar
29.01.2011

Epiphanies of Between

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For the closing concert of the season of the Boston Creative Music Alliance, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Joe McPhee and Trio X performed two sets. The members of the Trio are Joe McPhee on brass and reeds, Dominic Duval on electrified string bass and Jay Rosen on drums and percussion. The Trio began with a blast of abstract sound larger and more aggressive than can be imagined coming from three musicians. McPhee had his tenor; he stood in the middle of the slick black stage. Du
29.01.2011

Jazz at Drew

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Once again the 12th Annual Jazz at Drew Benefit Concert proved to be a very prosperous long awaited event of the year in Southern California. Jazz lovers attended the festival over the two-day weekend of October 5th, and 6th at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science in Los Angeles. Jazz at Drew Legacy Music Series and Cultural Marketplace provided the eager jazz fans with plenty of tasteful food and African culture as well as exhibits. The jazz goers could enjoy the grassy area of
29.01.2011

Lenore Raphael Trio

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Lenore Raphael, Chris Colangelo, Tim Pleasant Michael D's Santa Rosa Jazz Club, Camarillo, Ca. September 27-28.. Lenore Raphael..Piano, Chris Colangelo..Bass, Tim Pleasant..Drums. September the 27th. was the anniversary of Bud Powell's birth, and Lenore Raphael's interpretation of the legendary Pianist's music was done with love and affection and swung nicely, despite occasional forays into Monk-isms. Raphael has a very strong style that can become reflective in an instant. Alluding to Mo
Much anticipation preceded the show. Getting an opportunity to celebrate the final night of Elvin Jones’ weeklong Birthday Engagement at the Blue Note is a blessing for any jazz fanatic. He has blazed a path over the last half century that has redefined the most essential aspect of the art form: rhythm. The evening started with a rendition of Hello Brother. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis’ New Orleans heritage was evident on this Louis Armstrong classic. He took the first solo and his eloquent p
For 25 years The String Trio of New York has produced innovative music with emotional ranging going from beautiful to quirky with some occasional dissonance thrown in for good measure.Guitarist James Emery, bassist John Lindberg and violinist Billy Bang made up the original formation but in the years since then a number of violinists, including Charles Burnham and Regina Carter, have rounded out the group. Recently Rob Thomas has come into the violin position and it was the line
29.01.2011

Al Di Meola

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Al Di Meola’s World Sinfonia performed a legendary show at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis which dazzled the capacity audience and won over new fans and pleasantly surprised older ones. The concert was in conjunction with the Sheldon’s hosting of the 3rd Annual Midwest Guitar Show -"A weekend of strings attached," which had luthiers and musicians from the Midwest checking out the latest designs and performers. Apart from the virtuoso music performances and contributions from Al Di Meola an
The wonderful performances at this year’s Kettle Moraine Jazz Festival have proven that this festival is reaching world-class status rapidly.In Riverside Park, located in West Bend, Wisconsin, thousands gathered to listen to great Jazz. A huge tent covers the stage and main seating area, capable of seating 2000. Around the main covered sections are grassy seating locations for lawn chairs, blankets and picnic tables. Surrounding the entire area, artists and restaurants setup shop to keep ever
29.01.2011

The Greatest Groove

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On Saturday, the 14th of September, The Fire in the Valley Festival in collaboration with the Boston Creative Music Alliance moved to the Institute of Contemporary Art Theater venue where over a dozen musicians collected in five groups took to the stage to perform from their hearts, their minds, their souls. I must have taken 50 pages of notes, sequenced with arrows & lines & drawings & words intended to coalesce my experience of six hours of music so that I could write a coherent, truth
On last Monday night, at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA, Branford Marsalis performed with his quartet: Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums, Eric Revis on bass and Joey Calderazzo on piano. Marsalis played both the soprano and tenor saxes. It is not surprising that the hall was packed to hear this quartet. The Marsalis name is almost like a magnet to listeners. I attended because I wanted to hear Branford, whom I believe has an edge to his playing that puts him in a category other th
At first glance, one might take Garmarna to be just another band of alterna-rock 20-somethings, but as the Blues Poet Willie Dixon once observed, you can’t judge that chunk of reading matter by its superficial graphic design. From Sweden, Garmarna are five singers/players who take the traditional folk music of their land’s history and invest/interpret it with modern technology and edgy oomfp. They strive for a balance that treats their heritage with reverence but, thankfully, don’t try to
29.01.2011

Dianne Reeves Quintet

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Dianne Reeves is a vocalist with much more than just a great voice - she is an instrumentalist bearing the torch of her idols and keeping vocal jazz alive and well. Reeves along with her seasoned band, performed a diverse set of material throughout the evening - featuring selections from the Grammy- winner’s latest Blue Note release, "The Calling" (a tribute to Sarah Vaughan), while including varied originals. Ms. Reeves performed 12 powerful selections from her vast recorded history wh
29.01.2011

Hearing Voices

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Drummer Ben Karetnick artfully drew together a quartet of seemingly out of balance proportions: the members of the group could be described with a graph that measured hyperbolic waves of maturity and experience of each individual. Joe McPhee played tenor & soprano saxes and pocket trumpet; Cliff White, a player from the Western Massachusetts area, was on alto & tenor; Joe Fonda, who has worked with Anthony Braxton among numerous other musicians, was on amplified double bass, and Karetnick, also
Exactly a year to the date, Indian tabla master Sandip Burman returned to Milwaukee’s Shank Hall with a new version of his East Meets Jazz group. Last year’s tour (cut short by the events of 9/11) featured a blistering all-star 6-piece ensemble. They navigated the twists and turns of Burman’s Indian music, creating a true fusion of genres. This year, he is taking a scaled down trio of himself, saxophonist Dave Pietro, and guitarist Paul Bollenback on a 40 date jaunt across the country.
29.01.2011

Sfraga Sfings!

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As anyone who’s familiar w/ my review/rants, most jazz singers aren’t among my favorite things. Too many are either stuck in a Great American Songbook/confusing-masochism-with-love time warp, or they are "instrumentalists" who display (way too) much (numbing) technique but seem not to care one whit for the lyrics/content of the song. NYC-based singer Barbara Sfraga is a most notable exception an "exception" in almost all senses of the word. On a humid late-summer Tuesday night, Ms. Sfraga held s
San Sebastián is the perfect atmosphere for seeing jazz. For the past 37 years, the city tucked away in Basque Country of northern Spain, has hosted the Jazz Festival. Many artists, such as BB King, Diana Krall, and Branford Marsalis, have brought their music to this town facing the atlantic ocean, surrounded by mountains. The Festival, recently sponsored by Heinekin, has brought fans and artists alike to this town for an extended weekend of jazz spanning all genres and musical times. Spanish cu
(It may seem odd to many jazz fans that the performance celebrating the release of an album by a somewhat avant-garde fellow would be held at New York City’s most legendary rock & roll club, but there you have it. But not really all that odd, when one considers a good-sized chunk of the current audience at many free jazz performances (in many cities, not just NY) are alternative/punk/avant-rock youths. Anyway, onward ) The subject: jazz violinist /composer Billy Bang. The event: the recent r
Bizar Bazaar is a super group of Bay Area musicians joining forces for a month long project reinterpreting funk/jazz/soul dance hall classics. Every Tuesday night, they come together at the historical Boom Boom Room, San Francisco’s blossoming home base for the area's funk, jazz, and jam scene. Event creator and guitar wizard Michael Bizar (AJ Croce, Wayside, Citrus) is joined by Simon Rochester (!Tang, Tangria) on electric piano and Hammond B3, Murph (Citrus, Freddy Jones Band) on
Arriving for the late show, I was excited at the thought of hearing both Kenny Barron and Regina Carter on the same bill. Although they have performed and recorded together, no musical dialogue was heard between the two on this particular night. Instead they were both featured in their own high-powered ensembles. Kenny Barron instigated the festivities. He wasted no time setting the tempo. As soon as he reached his instrument he took flight. Brazilian rhythms provided an inspiring canvas for
The annual Vision Festival is one of NYC’s premier events for avant-garde/cutting edge jazz and improvised music. Held in a variety of rented venues, it provides a showcase for a dizzying array of improvising musicians, drawing upon performers from local, national and international orbits, often juxtaposing or featuring collaborations between the younger upstarts, established performers and the Grand Old Men (or Women) of creative music. While other festivals have bigger names and established ja