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Vijay Iyer (Photo: Jimmy Katz)

Vijay Iyer Tops 60th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll
Pianist Vijay Iyer won in an unprecedented five categories of the 60th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll, taking honors for Jazz Artist of the Year and top Jazz Album, for his trio’s 2012 disc, Accelerando (ACT). Iyer also was voted the top Pianist, his trio was named the top Jazz Group, and he took honors for Rising Star Composer.
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Stanley Clarke Among the Many Highlights at Montreal Jazz Fest
A free outdoor performance by pop artist Rufus Wainwright and two indoor concerts by veteran singer-songwriter James Taylor helped kick off the 33rd annual Festival International de Jazz de Montreal late last week, boosting attendance figures and raising enthusiasm to predictably high levels. …
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Latin Jazz Grammy Category Reinstated
In April 2011, the Board of Trustees for The Recording Academy enacted a sweeping change by slimming the number of Grammy award categories from 109 to 78, partially by eliminating the gender distinction in some categories. …
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Artists and Fans Gear up for August Festivals
The summer music festival season is in full swing, with numerous fests taking place in August. Fans and artists are gearing up for fun under the sun. Artists in the lineups run the gamut from A (Ambrose Akinmusire) to Z (Miguel Zenón). …
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McPherson Talks Mingus
A memorable night was in store on June 7, the first evening of a weeklong bebop master class at New York’s Jazz Standard, courtesy of the Charles McPherson Quintet. …
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REVIEWS // EDITORS’ PICKS
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1 BY FRANK ALKYER
JD Allen Trio, The Matador And The Bull (Savant)
The JD Allen Trio has a power and pace that is distinct in today’s jazz world. Born from the tradition of the best jazz on the fringe, Allen and company make music that’s searching, searing and personal. …
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BY FRANK ALKYER
Billy Martin/Wil Blades, Shimmy (The Royal Potato Family)
If you’re looking for a top-down-and-drive groove album for the summer, Billy Martin and Wil Blades deliver big time! On Shimmy, the duo’s dance-tastic new recording, Martin and Blades serve up 10 head-bobbing, foot-tapping explorations into exactly how much sound …
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BY BOBBY REED
Bob Mintzer Big Band, For The Moment (MCG Jazz)
Bob Mintzer explores the sounds of Brazil in a big band context on For The Moment, the 19th big band title in his extensive discography. In addition to four original compositions, he offers arrangements of two Brazilian classics: Baden Powell’s “Berimbau” and Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “Corcovado” (aka “Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars”). …
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BY HILARY BROWN
Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio, Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio (Dafnison Music)
Genius is not about perfection: It’s about invention. Drummer Dafnis Prieto’s new, globally inspired trio date is a cultural prophecy, an oracle that presents a broad, awe-inspiring vision of the jazz future. …
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BY AARON COHEN
Gregg Akkerman, The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story (Scarecrow Press)
No less an artist than Tony Bennett once said, “The one I really like, of all the singers in pop and jazz today, is Johnny Hartman.” Bennett wasn’t alone in his praise of this baritone, who never received the widespread acclaim he deserved during his lifetime. (Hartman died in 1983 at age 60.) …
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BY AARON COHEN
Brooklyn Jazz Underground, A Portrait Of Brooklyn (BJU Records)
As much as jazz has always been an art of individual expression, the group and collective dynamic has been equally important. Jazz history is loaded with longstanding cooperative …
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BY BOBBY REED
Mike Stern, All Over The Place (Heads Up/Concord)
All Over The Place is an apt title for an album that includes scorchers with searing electric guitar licks, delicate ballads featuring acoustic nylon-string guitar, intricate sax work from Kenny Garrett, deeply funky electric bass from Victor Wooten and a list of 21 special guests. …
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BY FRANK ALKYER
The Cookers, Believe (Motéma)
With Believe, The Cookers hooked me from the first horn blast on the first tune, “Believe, For It Is True.” This masterpiece alone, composed and arranged by tenor genius Billy Harper, should be enough for jazz fans to buy the whole darn album. …
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BY BOBBY REED
Allan Holdsworth, None Too Soon (MoonJune Records)
Through a long career that has included 20 solo discs—as well as stints in Tempest, Soft Machine, Tony Williams’ Lifetime and Gong—British guitarist Allan Holdsworth has built a dedicated fan base. …
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BY AARON COHEN
Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man In The Universe (XL Recordings)
As one of America’s great soul men, Bobby Womack has transcended more than a series of near-fatal travails. From his youthful roots in gospel, through such classic early 1970s r&b albums as Understanding, he has set new standards …
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JAZZ SCHOOL // TOOLSHED
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Patriotic Percussion
Latin Percussion has unveiled the Americana cajon series. Manufactured entirely in the United States, Americana cajons are constructed using …
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Instant Wireless
Sennheiser has debuted the SKP 300 G3 plug-on transmitter, which quickly converts any conventional cabled microphone into a wireless version. …
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Uke Update
Lâg Guitars has expanded its ukulele lineup. Ukes in Lâg’s 44 series feature a mahogany top, back and sides and are outfitted in a …
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Band Standout
Schilke has made improvements to its ST20 Hagmann Valve Large Bore Symphonic tenor trombone. …
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In Stitches
Levy’s Leathers has released its new stitching design guitar straps. The straps use soft garment leather, foam padding and suede backing. …
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Motema Records

Cannonball

Telluride

Telluride

Telluride

Jody Jazz

Love Productions

American Jazz Museum

ARC

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Small hrCLASSIC INTERVIEW
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Classic by Bill McLarney // May 18, 1967
Roland Kirk: Telling It Like It Is
Since Roland Kirk first burst on the national jazz scene in 1960, he has been the subject of controversy. Most musicians and critics have come to accept his odd instruments and his playing two or three horns simultaneously. But in a world that pigeonholes artists, he has defined categorization.
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