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The Australian jazz--improv--jam trio The Necks has been active for quarter century. Consisting of drummer Tony Buck, bassist Lloyd Swanton and keyboardist Chris Abrahams, The Necks' members are all seasoned jazzers who approach the trio's music rather differently. Drawing inspiration from electronica, systems music and rock, the Necks have reshaped the role of the jazz keyboard thus improvising with textures and space rather than just notes and chords. Characteristically, their performances are lengthy and their records often consist of one long composition. The trio is touring Europe and one of the places on their stops was the Skopje Jazz Festival. ...read more
As many of you know, I've discontinued my column here at All About Jazz called the Mort Report." See my final one (number 22), aptly named My Final Mort Report." Clever, what? My reports were mostly autobiographical, as I kind of put myself on automatic pilot and opened the storage lockers of my brain to let the good times and the bad times roll. In retrospect, they sure as hell did. I read some awhile back, as I was kicking testosterone shots cold turkey and would burst into tears at a cricket fart. Reliving some of the shit I used ...read more
The album artwork for Andrew D'Angelo's Norman features the album's namesake, D'Angelo's grandfather, as a young man, seated slyly and serenely. The significance of naming the album Norman" was not only a nod to the fact that D'Angelo bears that as his middle name, but also that the album is dedicated in part to D'Angelo's mother. I really wanted to make a record basically for my mother. Because, I mean, can you imagine what it's like watching your son go through brain cancer?" It's still deeply unsettling, even long since after getting a bill of complete ...read more
Victor Haskins is one of those young musicians who seems to be able to do it all. He's an award-winning trumpeter, composer/arranger and educator/clinician--all at 21 years old. His debut recording, The Truth (32 Bar Records, 2013) received significant well-deserved acclaim. Haskins, a young visionary, has developed ImproviStory, what he describes as a new and emerging form of audience-generated extemporaneous musical improvisation. We caught up with Victor as he prepares to perform ImproviStory at this year's Festival of New Trumpet Music later this month in New York. All About Jazz: Victor, on behalf of All About Jazz, ...read more
As globalization blends cultures and markets more and more everyday, it is only natural that artistic traditions and the artists that study them do the same. Mike Rivard is a leader in this regard, pioneering some of the most unique blends of musical styles and sounds today. Talking to him about his band Club D'elf and his new project, Grand Fatilla, revealed a number of diverse influences that shed some light on the roots of the one of a kind voice he and his many collaborators have been developing. All About Jazz: Where did you go to school? ...read more
We recently caught up with saxophonist, composer/arranger and educator/clinician, Ron Aprea and spoke with him about recent activities and his current recording project--his personal John Lennon/Beatles tribute. All About Jazz: The last half of 2013 and the time so far in 2014 have been quite positive for you. Let me ask you first about Remembering Blakey. It received excellent reviews and media attention. Ron Aprea: We got off to a great start with that project. The reviews were all good and it was also up for Grammy nominations in three categories--Best Jazz Album, Best ...read more
Avishai Cohen is a talented trumpeter, composer, band leader, co-leader and active sideman featured on over 50 records to date. Voted a Rising Star in the 2012 DownBeat Critics Poll, Cohen is also a musician with an individual sound, combining the best of traditional jazz with a modern compositional style. As a player, he demonstrates flexibility, soulfulness, sensitivity and extravaganza. Cohen has performed music since the age of 10, gaining experience with jazz, rock and pop groups while growing up in Tel Aviv. He later moved to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music.read more
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