Lee Prosser

Lee Prosser

The Gnawa musicians of Morocco are a fascinating group of players. Their music is not merely meant to entertain, but to heal.

The Gnawa were brought up from sub-Saharan Africa hundreds of years ago in bondage. They are master musicians who believe that everyone has a color and a musical note to which he or she vibrates. During healing ceremonies individuals respond to their chosen color and note. Ultimately the goal of the Gnawa is to play every note perfectly lest a wrong note adversely aff

The concept of blending jazz and Latin music is not a new thing. The two styles have been borrowing each other since the 1920's. Rare, however, is the musician or band that is equally versed in both styles.

When trumpeter and conga player Jerry Gonzalez formed his Fort Apache Band nearly twenty years ago his ability to blend the two styles in equal measure turned heads and has since had a gigantic effect on jazz, one not fully realized until the arrival of Danilo Perez and David Sanchez as b

29.01.2011

Sonny Rollins

Published in Concert Reviews
For many people new to jazz their first exposure to Sonny Rollins was the image of him practicing his saxophone on New York's Williamsburg Bridge in 1958, lovingly documented in Ken Burns' recent "Jazz". No mention was given of the legacy Rollins has built upon since then.

A consummate perfectionist with a well of imagination that is seemingly bottomless, Rollins has stayed on top of his game for decades thanks largely to a rigorous practice routine. As a result, Rollins sounds as vital and

It's never a good sign when you roll up on the theatre where a favorite musician is scheduled to perform and you see something dreadful on the marquee.

No, not "cancelled." Much worse than that, though after a jarring trek over a pothole-riddled interstate a cancelled show would be a major depressant. No, some idiot has actually misspelled the name of one of the performers.

The marquee outside the Royal Oak Theatre in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak announced: "Tonight at 9:00 - Bob Jame

On April 12th, the UMass/Amherst Magic Triangle Series concluded its 12th season with a special performance by Yusef Lateef in a quintet that included Chicago sax man Von Freeman, pianist Alex Marcelo, drummer Kamal Sabir and bass guitarist Tim Dahl.

This was a once in a lifetime concert to honor Dr. Lateef in his 80th year. His musical life has been rich. Much of it has been spent in the UMass area and his vast contributions have been recognized to the extent of a having resolution authored

The name Toots Thielemans is synonymous with jazz harmonica. This is true partly because there are so few practitioners but mostly because of the degree to which he has mastered the instrument. If you have never heard Toots before you may wonder how he does it. It is difficult to imagine jazz harmonica, the instrument not seeming to lend itself to jazz. Until you hear Toots, that is. When he puts the harmonica to his lips, it's magic. He has a deep respect for the music that comes across in his
Last Thursday night at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA. performed a trio including Marco Eneidi on alto, Spirit on percussion and drums, and Jessica Loos doing vocals. This group is creative, well appointed, conceptually rich. And excellent.

Once, in a conversation Morton Feldman was having with another composer about a piece that Feldman was writing for voice and orchestra, I interjected the question to Feldman : "Well, Morty, when does the voice become an instrument?" His reply was: "That is a

After the band vamp (as if for a stripper's entrance) and Birdland's announcement, "The Prince of Hi-De-Ho, Calloway Brooks", a tall lean gent jumped on stage to front the mostly hatted variously attired twelve member ensemble wearing a long white coat to his knees, white high draped pants over black & whites, a pheasant feathered white wide-brimmed hat and matching red deco clipped tie. He's a sight and when he extends his long arms and opens his mustachioed mouth flashes of his Grandfathers' v
29.01.2011

The Phoenix Rises

Published in Concert Reviews
Part of the Impulse Response Series at the iEAR studio at RPI in Troy, New York, a performance with Joe McPhee, Philip Gelb, dancer, Eri Majima, and the group, Nyquist, brought a studio space, heavily laden with black velvet curtains and every other sort of absorptive material, to life.

Both Gelb and McPhee played by themselves to begin the concert and then joined to accompany dancer Majima. Nyquist, which includes Seth Cluett, Scott Smallwood, and Joel Taylor, were also joined by Gelb and M

It's a ritual. Each and every year we await a most longed-for event: Spring, and only secondarily, we wait for it to roll over into Summer in all its temperature-raising glory. And each and every year since I've lived in Vancouver I go through a personal ritual directly related to the weather. I forget what June can be like. That June can be cruelly, unseasonably chilly and even rainy. I think it's a mental block and there's only one thing that could make a jazz fan forget the unpredictability o