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Review: Sonny Rollins at Symphony Hall

Sonny Rollins, live at Symphony Hall, April 18, 2010
The lines were around the block for will-call and walk-up ticket purchases at Symphony Hall Sunday night — causing the show to start a half hour after its advertised curtain time. The place was nearly full, the mood celebratory. All good to see in a down economy. But this was the first disappointing Sonny Rollins concert I’ve attended in years.
By: JON GARELICK  |  April 28, 2010



Dave Holland and Tomasz Stanko come to town
You can experience jazz at two different extremes at the Regattabar this month, in visits from the quintets of Dave Holland and Tomasz Stanko.
By: JON GARELICK  |  April 16, 2010


Easy does it

Treme tours New Orleans
Writer/producer Eric Overmyer was quoted in a New York Times Magazine article last month, but it’s worth repeating: “ Treme is not the The Wire .” He went on: “Those who are expecting The Wire or wanting The Wire may be frustrated.”
By: JON GARELICK  |  April 08, 2010


The onliest Sonny

Rollins looks at 80
Sonny Rollins has held the unofficial title of world’s greatest living improviser at least since the early ’70s, following the death of John Coltrane and the second of two extended Rollins sabbaticals from public performance.
By: JON GARELICK  |  April 15, 2010


Interview: Tamler Sommers

Philosophically speaking
One of the most enjoyable by-products of lit mag the Believer ’s many long, unconventional interviews has been the collection A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain , by 39-year-old University of Houston philosophy professor Tamler Sommers.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 25, 2010


Making it sing

Dee Dee does Billie, plus John Stein & Ron Gill
If you come to Dee Dee Bridgewater’s new Billie Holiday tribute disc — or to her two Holiday shows at the Paramount Theatre this weekend — expecting a reverent impersonation, you could be in for a shock. Bridgewater has transformed the music and persona of the jazz icon.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 25, 2010


Ralph Towner/Paolo Fresu | Chiaroscuro

ECM (2010)
For some, these open, airy, acoustic guitar/trumpet duets, couched in typically pristine ECM production, will fall too easily on the ear.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 16, 2010


Interview: Hilary Hahn

No strings
"Just because I play classical music doesn't mean I am classical music."
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 11, 2010


Message points

Christian Scott's political science, Anita Coelho's connections
Instrumental music isn't very dependable at conveying specific non-musical subject matter.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 09, 2010


Sonny, Pat, and all the cats

Names you know and names you should
The primo jazz event of the spring will be SONNY ROLLINS 's concert at Symphony Hall on April 18 ( The great master saxophonist and peerless improviser often hits town in April, and this time it's to kick off his 80th-birthday tour. Whew.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 09, 2010


Jew note

First Annual Boston Jewish Music Festival, plus the Klezmatics
Defining "Jewish" music is pretty much a fool's task — not much easier than defining jazz.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 25, 2010


Netsky notes

The KCB's main man talks Klezmer
Hankus Netsky founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band 30 years ago at New England Conservatory and sparked an American klezmer revival that continues to this day.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 25, 2010


Review; Fred Hersch at Jordan Hall

Fred Hersch, live at Jordan Hall, February 17, 2010
Photos from Fred Hersch's set at Jordan Hall
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 19, 2010


Lionel Loueke | Mwaliko

Blue Note (2010)
Benin-born, Paris-and-Berklee-educated guitarist Loueke knows how to cover a lot of ground and make it all sound of a piece.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 16, 2010


Steampunk and Lima Beans

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and the Bert Seager Trio
The hook for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society — who come to the Regattabar Thursday the 25th — is that they're a "steampunk big band."
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 09, 2010


No connections

Assaf Kehati Quartet at the Regattabar, Hiromi at Scullers, February 5, 2010
There's very little connecting these two shows except that both were jazz and both took place on the same night. So I won't try.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 08, 2010


Myra Melford’s Be Bread | The Whole Tree Gone

Firehouse 12 (2010)
Few jazz players and composers can bring as broad a vocabulary to a single piece as pianist Myra Melford.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 02, 2010


Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at Somerville Theatre

Carolina Chocolate Drops, live at the Somerville Theatre, January 23, 2010
The Carolina Chocolate Drops introduced the penultimate song of their Saturday night Somerville Theatre show as from 2001, "which is about 100 years ago in pop music."
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 29, 2010


No identity crisis

Nando Michelin and Matt Steckler know who they are
If great art and great artists are supposed to contain multitudes, then in music, at least, pianists have the edge: 10 fingers theoretically capable of 10 different simultaneous paths for the music to take. Of course, it's not that simple.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 08, 2010


Mostly Other People Do the Killing | Forty Fort

Hot Cup (2009)
On their fourth CD, the celebrated young jazz quartet with the indie-rock name continue their audacious updating of the genre's old-school avant-garde.
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 21, 2010



Natraj and friends expand their neighborhoods
Nobody likes labels — except maybe critics. And we all want to live by Duke Ellington's measure of quality: beyond category. Beyond names and borders, that is, in a post-racial society. And yet, the word "fusion" — at least in music — has a pejorative connotation, suggesting bland pastiche and commercial opportunism.
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 12, 2010

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