Various Artists - Tell Everybody! (21st Century Juke Joint Blues From Easy Eye Sound) (Easy Eye Sound, 2023)
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7M ago
While Dan Auerbach may be most well known for his guitar skills and membership in the longstanding and excellent garage rock band The Black Keys, he is also a deft hand as a record label owner and an in-demand record producer to boot. On this album, he records a compilation of new blues tracks cut at his Easy Eye Sound’s Nashville studio. Inviting a wide range of musicians, from old masters to youngsters paying their dues, they cover different subgenres of the blues tradition. Robert Finley's "Tell Everybody" begins with a classic hill country groove, slow and insinuating, with his raspy voca ..read more
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Kris Davis - Diatom Ribbons Live At The Village Vanguard (Pyroclastic Records, 2023)
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7M ago
Kris Davis is a true success story in today's jazz, a composer and interpreter on the cutting edge, with extraordinary control and vision for her instrument. As a label chief she has taken control of the means of production, carefully documenting her projects and those of like minded musicians. On this concert album she plays piano, prepared piano and arturia microfreak synthesizer along with Terry Lynne Carrington on drums, Val Jeanty on turntables and electronics, Julian Lage on electric guitar and Trevor Dunn on electric bass and double bass. The music is a mix of bold and interesting colo ..read more
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John Zorn - 444 (Tzadik Records, 2023)
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7M ago
John Zorn barrels into his 70s this year at the same high speed he has attacked all of the others, with a number of interesting projects being released in 2023, including this one, which features Zorn compositions being performed by Brian Marsella on electric piano, John Medeski on organ, Kenny Grohowski on drums and percussion, and Matt Hollenberg on electric guitar. This group used to be known as Simulacrum, but with the addition of Marsella a few years ago, the name of the group is now Chaos Magick, with Zorn going so far as to say on his website that this "is among the best things I've ev ..read more
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Wayne Shorter - Zero Gravity (Amazon Studios, 2023)
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8M ago
Wayne Shorter lived a long and extraordinarily life, and this lengthy three-part biographical film, produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Dorsay Alavi, is adept at covering the high points. At over three hours in length, it really is a film befitting someone of Shorter's stature, and it must have thrilled him as he was a film buff. Interviews with his biographer Michelle Mercer provide the narrative scaffolding for the unfolding story, but Shorter is the key to his own story, with remarkable recall from his childhood up to the day he was being recorded. The first episode, "Newark Flash in NYC ..read more
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Bill Dixon With Archie Shepp - 7-Tette and Orchestra Revisited (ezz-thetics records, 2023)
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8M ago
Trumpeter, composer, and educator Bill Dixon’s music has always been something of an enigma to me, but with this logical and well-remastered collection, the veil really began to lift to reveal music that was surprisingly accessible and continually interesting. The first two tracks come from the Archie Shepp-Bill Dixon Quartet album, recorded for Savoy Records in Newark in October 1962. These recordings, "Trio" and "Quartet," find them being joined by Don Moore on bass and Paul Cohen on drums. They make for a very exciting unit with two strong performances that tap into the energy of the raw y ..read more
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Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra - 60 Years (The Village Records, 2023)
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8M ago
The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra was originally founded by pianist and composer Horace Tapscott in the 1960s as something like a band and community arts center, with the goal of supporting black musicians and promoting black culture within their communities. Despite launching the careers of musicians like the transcendent saxophonist Arthur Blythe, the organization gained little attention in the east coast centered jazz firmament, but locally it made and continues to make a huge difference. This album brings together a group of previously unreleased recordings from the band’s lengthy history ..read more
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Walter Bishop Jr. - Bish at the Bank: Live in Baltimore (Reel to Real, 2023)
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9M ago
Walter Bishop Jr. was an excellent bebop based piano player and educator who was active from the 1940s to the 1990s. This album consists of two newly discovered sessions recorded in Baltimore during 1966–67 with Harold Vick on saxophone, Lou McIntosh on bass, and Dick Berk on drums. The first concert, from 1966, is particularly interesting as the band really leans into their instruments, playing with grace and intensity. The first two tracks, "My Secret Love" and "Blues," both bring the heat in measured doses, with Vick’s gutsy saxophone playing and Berk’s desire to keep things cooking meshin ..read more
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Allen Lowe - America: The Rough Cut (ESP-DISK, 2023)
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9M ago
Polymath Allen Lowe writes books, remasters music, issues voluminous historical boxed sets, and more. Thankfully, he still finds time to write and record projects like this album, which features him on tenor and alto saxophones plus some guitar, Ray Suhy on guitar and banjo, Alex Tremblay on bass, and Kresten Osgood on drums. The opener "Damnation" has a punchy and upbeat start with strong electric guitar and drums, plus ripe saxophone over vehement drumming, presenting a raw and cool-sounding band whose collective improvisation is spicy. Slower in tempo, "Cheatin' My Heart" uses impassioned ..read more
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Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker - Live Revisited (ezz-thetics records, 2023)
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9M ago
This very interesting disc taking a capsule look at the evolution of New York City bebop by its greatest practitioners, presenting sections from three concerts, all a few years apart. The disc opens with the famous Town Hall concert from June 22, 1945, one of the first big showcases outside of the clubs on 52nd Street. The band is extraordinary: Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Charlie Parker on alto saxophone, Don Byas on tenor saxophone (covering for a tardy Parker on the first track), Al Haig on piano, Curley Russell on bass, Max Roach on drums, and swing drummer Big Sid Catlett on drums on the ..read more
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Charlie Parker - At Birdland 1950 Revisited (ezz-thetics records, 2023)
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9M ago
Previously issued as Bird and Fats Live at Brdland and cleaned up nicely by the        ezz-thetics audio wizards, this is a tremendous bebop document with the frontline consisting of two of the most star crossed musicians in jazz history. The band consists of Charlie Parker on alto saxophone and Fats Navarro on trumpet, paired with an excellent rhythm section made up of Bud Powell on piano, Curly Russell on bass, and Art Blakey on drums. Navarro, struck with tuberculosis, had weeks left to live, but you'd hardly know it. He plays with punchy vigor throughout, as does Parke ..read more
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