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The Christian McBride Big Band

A Conversation with Christian
Christian McBride won’t be classified by genre. In September, he released the big band album The Good Feeling, which has received a Grammy nomination. In November, he put out a versatile collection of duets, Conversations With Christian, on which McBride is billed alongside both jazz mainstays and pop icons.
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Chicago Jazz Ensemble

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David Baker Honored at
Birthday Concert

On Jan. 21 in Bloomington, Ind., the roads and sidewalks of the Midwestern education citadel Indiana University were coated with ice.
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Hargrove Returns to Original Format
for Yoshi’s Date

When word goes out that trumpeter Roy Hargrove has been booked for a gig at Yoshi’s San Francisco, there’s a moment of anticipation as the details are unfurled: Will he hit the bandstand as the leader of his big band?
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The Soul Rebels Turn Brass into Gold
On Dec. 7, Metallica’s 30th anniversary festivities got under way at San Francisco’s Fillmore. But as the familiar onslaught of inverted power chords signaled the beginning of the concert, the hard rock legends were nowhere in sight.
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Singer Etta James Dies at 73
Etta James, one of the stellar American music singers of the past half-century, lost her long battle with leukemia, kidney failure and other ailments on Jan. 20.
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Decca

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REVIEWS // EDITORS’ PICKS
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1 BY BOBBY REED
Amy Cervini, Digging Me Digging You (Anzic)
A successful tribute album illuminates the artistry of the performer who recorded it, as well as the artist who is being saluted. Such is the case with Amy Cervini’s third solo album, Digging Me Digging You, an homage to singer and pianist Blossom Dearie (1924–2009). …
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BY AARON COHEN
Jeremy Pelt, Soul (HighNote)
Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has excelled at warm ballads for a while now—his Close To My Heart came out in 2003—but even as his discs emphasize his full tone, they’re also filled with surprises that make them convey more than just emotional yearning. …
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BY BOBBY REED
Steve Turre,
Woody’s Delight
(HighNote)
Trombonist Steve Turre joined Woody Shaw’s quintet in 1981 and made 14 records with him before Shaw died eight years later. Turre learned a great deal during that stint, and his eight original compositions on Woody’s Delight are a heartfelt, fitting tribute to his former mentor. …
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BY FRANK ALKYER
Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts, An Attitude For Gratitude (Palmetto)
Any time you get a chance to hear Matt Wilson play drums—whether he’s a leader or sideman—take it, and be sure to sit front and center. He exemplifies the idea of the artist’s instrument and music being an extension of who they are as a human being. …
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BY HILARY BROWN
Al Di Meola, Morocco Fantasia (Inakustik/Songsurfer)
Since departing from Return To Forever, Al Di Meola has permeated the jazz community with a worldlier type of fusion. The guitarist’s World Sinfonia project has matured into an eclectic, cultural supergroup, and its 2009 Mawazine Festival date might just be an apex for Di Meola as a composer. …
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BY FRANK ALKYER
Otis Taylor,
Contraband
(Telarc)
Otis Taylor has a grand sense of concept, setting, mood and place. He’s a thinking-man’s bluesman with a voice of deep emotion and soul. On Contraband, there’s rawness that might be attributed to Taylor’s own tale of life under difficult conditions. …
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BY BOBBY REED
Maynard Ferguson,
The New Sounds Of Maynard Ferguson/Come Blow Your Horn

(Real Gone Music/ABKCO)
DownBeat Hall of Fame trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (1928–2006) recorded two LPs for the Cameo label in 1963, an era when the popularity of big bands was in decline. …
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BY FRANK ALKYER
Gary Smulyan, Smul’s Paradise (Capri)
On Smul’s Paradise, baritone saxophonist supreme Gary Smulyan finds perfection by dropping his deep, badass sound into the heart of a groove-or-die organ combo. With Mike LeDonne on Hammond B3, Peter Bernstein on guitar and Kenny Washington holding down the drums, …
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BY AARON COHEN
Co Streiff–Russ Johnson Quartet,
In Circles
(Intakt)
Alto and soprano saxophonist Co Streiff, from Zurich, and New York-based trumpeter Russ Johnson have been busy leading sessions, and working as sidemen, consistently for at least a decade, but on this exciting disc, they sound like they’ve internalized a sense of mutual affinity all their own.
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BY AARON COHEN
Black Truth Rhythm Band, Ifetayo (Soundway)
Back in the mid-1970s, when a new slew of Afrocentric artists in the Americas began looking across the Atlantic for musical inspiration, Trinidad was no exception. Singer Oluko Imo’s Black Truth Rhythm Band also looked to his own island for inspiration, as his group’s blend of jazz, funk and soul incorporated a noticeable calypso tinge, steel drums and all. …
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JAZZ SCHOOL // TOOLSHED
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Universal Keys
Yamaha’s new Arius YDP-C71PE console digital piano is geared toward everyone from adult intermediate players to advanced hobbyists. …
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The iRecorder
Tascam’s pocket-sized iM2 stereo mic turns the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch into a high-quality stereo recorder. A pair of condenser microphones plugs into …
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Sweet Rides
Zildjian has added two new rides to its K Constantinople line of cymbals. Developed in conjunction with drummer Adam Nussbaum, the 22-inch K Constantinople Renaissance ride …
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Signature for Soprano
Légère Reeds has introduced a new Signature series synthetic reed for soprano saxophone. Designed to deliver depth and warmth, the Signature series reeds are available …
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Tone Warmer
The Analogizer from Electro-Harmonix is an effects pedal that warms up the harshness of a digitally processed guitar. The pedal provides the organic tone and feel of an analog delay …
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Motema Records

Alfred

American Jazz Museum

ARC

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Small hrCLASSIC INTERVIEW
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Classic by Michael Levin and John S. Wilson // September 9, 1949
No Bop Roots In Jazz: Parker
“Bop is no love-child of jazz,” says Charlie Parker. The creator of bop, in a series of interviews that took more than two weeks, told us he felt that “bop is something entirely separate and apart” from the older tradition; that it drew little from jazz, has no roots in it. The chubby little alto man, who has made himself an international music name in the last five years, added that bop, for the most part, had to be played by small bands.
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