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No new age

Earthsound is for real
Yes, this Boston jazz trio incorporates the sounds of seals, tree frogs, and crickets. Yes, one of them is a working ecologist. Here's why you shouldn't hold that against them.
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 25, 2009


Teachers and students

NEC and Berklee set the jazz stage
Several of this fall's promising jazz performances are clustered around the week of October 18. That marks the 40th-anniversary celebration of the jazz-studies program at New England Conservatory, which, created by Gunther Schuller, established NEC as one of the international twin beacons of jazz education in Boston along with Berklee College of Music.
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 14, 2009


More than guitar

Julian Lage's talent isn't just in his fingers
"I like using songs to change the environment — to get the listener's ear to be a little skewed."
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 08, 2009


Luis Bonilla | I Talking Now

NJCO/Planet Arts (2009)
Sometimes even the fanciest jazz virtuosity can sound routine, if for no other reason than that we've heard it all before.
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 02, 2009


Review: Dr. John and the Neville Brothers at House of Blues

Dr. John and the Neville Brothers, live at the House of Blues on August 28, 2009
Even long-time fans probably didn't expect the generous, inspiring show Dr. John and the Neville Brothers delivered as part of a "Mardi Gras Mambo" tour stop at the House of Blues last Friday.
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 08, 2009


No translation necessary

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, live at the M FA, September 26, 2009
Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys — named for their home town in southwest Louisiana — play music for dancing.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 31, 2009


Street rhythm

Florencia Gonzalez gets ugly . Plus, Dave Holland is sitting pretty.
In the city where Florencia Gonzalez grew up — the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo — every neighborhood has its own candombe group. These are drum outfits that might meet on a Sunday afternoon, a Wednesday night, or particular holidays, depending on neighborhood tradition.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 25, 2009


Covering the bottom end - and the bottom line

Newport Jazz comes back with a bang
The biggest news made by the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals the past two weekends was that they happened at all.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 14, 2009

Matt Wilson Quartet_thumb

Review: Matt Wilson Quartet | That’s Gonna Leave A Mark

Palmetto (2009)
Whatever else is going on in jazz — fractured meters, indie-pop fusions — it's always good to hear a couple of horns burning through the changes over swing cymbals and a hard-walking bass groove.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 03, 2009


Jeremy Udden | Plainville

Fresh Sound New Talent (2009)
Saxophonist and composer Udden (formerly of NEC and the Either/Orchestra) here dives deeper into the jazz-pop connections he began to explore in his 2006 debut as a leader, Torchsongs .
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 29, 2009


Scholarship gigs

Newpoli and Steven Bernstein do their homework
When in 1999 Björn Wennås moved from Sweden to Boston to study jazz guitar, he hardly imagined that he'd one day be playing in an ensemble that specializes in Italian folk music of the 12th to 19th centuries.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 04, 2009


Joy, not jamming

King Sunny Adé and his African Beats, live at the Courtyard at the Museum of Fine Arts, July 15, 2009
In 1992, Nigerian juju master King Sunny Adé and his African Beats played the Park Plaza Hotel ballroom as part of the Boston Globe Jazz & Blues Festival. What I remember most vividly is the hypnotic overlap of undulating guitar lines.
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 17, 2009


Bill Frisell | Disfarmer

Nonesuch (2009)
Guitarist Frisell is one of jazz's great impressionists, and here he has the perfect subject for one of his audio mini-movies: the eccentric Arkansas portrait photographer Michael Disfarmer.
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 15, 2009


Boys' life

Hung and Entourage measure success
The premise for HBO's new half-hour comedy Hung (Sundays at 10 pm) is so over-the-top as to be cringe-worthy: high school basketball coach Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane), divorced and broke, starts whoring himself to ladies on the basis of his giant schlong. I know: ugh.
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 14, 2009


Music as memory

Marco Benevento, live at the Museum of Fine Arts, July 1, 2009
When I first saw him perform, at Newport last year, I slammed pianist Marco Benevento for playing "bombastic, leadfoot, pedal-to-the-metal instrumental rock." But that was long ago in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 07, 2009


Inside out

Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club, Lee Konitz + Minsarah, and Steve Swallow recanting
Charlie Kohlhase's love affair with jazz began with the avant-garde. As a high-school kid in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he found that it was Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago who rocked his world.
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 06, 2009


Interview: Steve Swallow on the Gary Burton Quartet

An interview with Steve Swallow
DO YOU REMEMBER EXACTLY HOW YOU GUYS FIRST GOT TOGETHER? I have a memory. I tend to distrust them, but my recollection is that I met Gary when he called me up and asked me if I would consider playing in Stan Getz's band, which he was already in.
By: JON GARELICK  |  June 30, 2009


Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy | Spirit Moves

Greenleaf Music (2009)
One of the most genial CDs in Douglas's vast discography is also one of his most accomplished.
By: JON GARELICK  |  June 16, 2009


Meet the Beatles!

The Gary Burton Quartet remembers its roots
Swallow says that when he first picked up an electric bass, "My immediate impression was: 'Oh, shit! I'm in deep trouble here!' "
By: JON GARELICK  |  June 17, 2009


Steve Lehman Octet | Travail, Transformation, and Flow

Pi (2009)
Young alto saxophonist/composer Lehman has been earning props both for his playing and his use of "spectral harmony" in his writing — where "attack, decay, and timbre provide the source material for orchestration and musical form."
By: JON GARELICK  |  June 09, 2009


Mixed messages

3play+ do what they wanna; Melody Gardot follows her instincts
Given the sound of its first track (which is also the title of the album), you'd have every reason to think that 3play+'s debut CD is about to plunge you into Bill Frisell–style Americana.
By: JON GARELICK  |  June 02, 2009

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