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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


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 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



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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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