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Jon Garelick

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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


Review: Carmen Consoli at Regattabar

Carmen Consoli, Live at Regattabar, January 7, 2010
How Italian was the crowd at Carmen Consoli's sold-out Regattabar show? The language was everywhere. The couple from Methuen sharing our table were 50 percent, and the Italian husband estimated the room at 90 percent. (I was guessing 85.)
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 08, 2010


Fred Ho and the Green Monster Big Band | Celestial Green Monster

Mutable Music (2010)
A composer who writes a 16-minute big-band piece based on "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" isn't going for subtlety — but then, he probably wouldn't appear nude and painted green on his CD cover, either.
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 06, 2010


Best in their field

An early 2010 harvest
The jazz scene continues to struggle — along with everyone else — through hard times.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 30, 2009


2009: The year in jazz

In and out
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and concerts I wrote about in 2009.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 21, 2009


2009: The year in books

True stories - fact and fiction
Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best books the Phoenix reviewed in 2009.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 22, 2009



John Hollenbeck plays New Year's Eve! Plus, the Rempis/Rosaly duo
When I reach John Hollenbeck by phone, he's on a sojourn typical of the modern itinerant composer — a week-long teaching residency.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 15, 2009


Carla Bley | Carla's Christmas Carols

Watt/ECM (2009)
It's possible to play Christmas carols with humor but not mockery. So, yes, there's a bit of an eggnog buzz in the wah-wah muted horns of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and a soca lilt to "Jingle Bells." But in this case, "humor" means serious-minded but without solemnity or sentimentality.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 16, 2009


The Rolling Stones | Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert

ABKCO (2009)
This live 1969 Madison Square Garden set was released at the band's peak, following Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed , preceding Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street , and recorded a week before the disaster at Altamont.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 09, 2009


Getting the story

Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux sing jazz's many strains
Full-length written histories of jazz can be a slog. Especially since "the story of jazz" (as critic Marshall Stearns titled his 1956 tome) only gets longer and more complicated. Personally, on these prose-narrative trips along the New Orleans–New York axis of musical development, I usually bog down somewhere outside Chicago.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 01, 2009


Miss Tess | Darling, Oh Darling

Self-released (2009)
Boston singer-songwriter Miss Tess has always had the pipes and the taste to carry off her various ventures into country, blues, and multi-hued swing, but Darling, Oh Darling underlines her overall sound.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 02, 2009


Erik Deutsch | Hush Money

Hammer and String
Having played in projects from jam bands to jazz and as a singer-songwriter accompanist, keyboardist Erik Deutsch led an acoustic jazz album for his debut.
By: JON GARELICK  |  November 25, 2009


Mixed media

Ran Blake's Pawnbroker, Sofia Koutsovitis's pan-American roots
Film noir has been a running theme in composer/pianist Ran Blake's work since the beginning of his career — his very first album, The Newest Sound Around (RCA, 1962), with singer Jeanne Lee, began with David Raskin's theme to Otto Preminger's Laura .
By: JON GARELICK  |  November 18, 2009


Live and on record

Darius Jones, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Ben Goldberg’s Go Home
To call Darius Jones’s music avant-garde seems almost beside the point. In its way, it’s older than old — it’s ancient.
By: JON GARELICK  |  November 04, 2009


Henry Threadgill Zooid | This Brings Us To, Volume 1

Pi (2009)
Henry Threadgill has been reinventing his language — and by extension the jazz language — for at least 30 years, beginning with the trio Air in the 1970s.
By: JON GARELICK  |  October 28, 2009


Slow hand

Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s not a bad starting point.
By: JON GARELICK  |  October 21, 2009


Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet | Live at Jazz Standard NYC

DafnisonMusic (2009)
Prieto is one of the supermen drummers of contemporary jazz — Cuban-born, fluent in all idioms, a multitude of patterns flowing through him and into his hands and feet at any given point.
By: JON GARELICK  |  October 14, 2009


Old school, new school

Amanda Carr and Gretchen Parlato do it their way
If fans plan shrewdly next Thursday (October 15), they can hear jazz singing at its best in two completely different styles.
By: JON GARELICK  |  October 08, 2009


Linda Oh Trio | Entry

Linda Oh Trio (2009)
Chinese-Australian bassist Linda Oh (now living in NYC) favors a spare setting on this debut: trumpet, bass, and drums.
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 28, 2009


Coming home

Terri Lyne Carrington gives the BeanTown Jazz Fest the blues
Terri Lyne Carrington gives the BeanTown Jazz Fest the blues
By: JON GARELICK  |  September 25, 2009


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

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