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Chucho Valdés, second from left, at the Oct. 29 concert (Photo: © Manuel Naranjo / Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival)

Barcelona Concert Salutes Bebo Valdés, Features Chucho Valdés
On several occasions before his passing on March 22, virtuoso Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés had requested that, upon his death, a party be thrown where attendees should eat chocolate and drink rum rather than weep.
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Vandoren

Small hr HEADLINESSmall hr DownBeat’s Holiday Roundup
The holidays are a time to celebrate with great gifts. Whether you’re looking for a holiday album for your Aunt Pamela, the perfect stocking stuffer for your Uncle Joe or some awesome musical gear for yourself, DownBeat has got you covered.
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Esperanza Spalding Releases Politically Charged Music Video
Bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding has released a music video with a political theme. The clip for ”We Are America“ is a commentary on the continued detention of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
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Jazzmeia Horn Wins Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition
On Nov. 10, Texas-born vocalist Jazzmeia Horn took first place in the second annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. Horn won the Sassy Award, a $5,000 prize, with her rendition of …
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Chico Hamilton Dies at 92
Chico Hamilton, a prolific drummer and bandleader who was also an important jazz educator, died on Nov. 26 in Manhattan. He was 92.
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REVIEWS // EDITORS’ PICKS
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1 BY FRANK ALKYER
Thelonious Monk, Paris 1969 (Blue Note)
What happens when an artist becomes a legend in his own lifetime? That’s the question raised in the liner notes to Thelonious Monk’s Paris 1969, a new historical CD/DVD package that is a slice of jazz heaven. The music and accompanying film were recorded live at Salle Pleyel in Paris on Dec. 15, 1969, for French television. Monk, 52 years old at the time, was physically and emotionally drained. ...
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1 BY BOBBY REED
Stan Getz Quartet, Live At Montreux 1972 (Eagle Rock)
When tenor saxophonist Stan Getz headed to the Montreux Jazz Festival for a performance (and TV taping) on June 23, 1972, he brought along a talented group of young players with whom he had recently recorded the fusion-flavored album Captain Marvel. Each of his three accompanists is now thought of as a legendary bandleader himself: pianist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Tony Williams. ...
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1 BY FRANK ALKYER
Bobby Watson & The “I Have A Dream” Project, Check Cashing Day (Lafiya)
On Check Cashing Day, saxophonist Bobby Watson is at his best, tackling the issue of inequality in the most positive, powerful and uplifting way possible. This album was recorded in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. ...
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1 BY FRANK ALKYER
Brian Lynch, Unsung Heroes, Vol. 2 (Hollistic MusicWorks)
On the second volume of his Unsung Heroes project, trumpeter Brian Lynch delivers another seriously enjoyable set of previously unrecorded or little-known music from underappreciated trumpet masters. This set is taken from the same recording sessions that yielded Vol. 1, which received a 5-star review in the July 2011 issue of DownBeat. The band and arrangements here are superb. ...
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1 BY BOBBY REED
George Colligan, The Endless Mysteries (Origin)
Pianist and educator George Colligan’s profile continues to rise. He may not be as well known in some circles as his outstanding trio partners on this project—bassist Larry Grenadier and Colligan’s frequent employer, drummer Jack DeJohnette—but he certainly has the chops to hang with them. The Endless Mysteries, Colligan’s 24th album as a leader, contains 10 original compositions, many of which ...
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1 BY DAVIS INMAN
Keith Jarrett, No End (ECM)
In a fruitful year of Keith Jarrett releases on ECM—the label has already issued Hymns/Spheres, Somewhere and Six Sonatas For Violin And Piano and will wrap up the year with a reissue of 1981’s Concerts: Bregenz/München—here is a Jarrett offering out of left field. Recorded in 1986, the two-disc set No End is essentially a solo rock project. ...
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1 BY BOBBY REED
Marty Ehrlich, A Trumpet In The Morning (New World Records)
Ambitious. That’s the word that comes to mind when listening to the new album by Marty Ehrlich’s Large Ensemble. The veteran saxophonist and conductor thinks big here: 75 minutes of music performed by 25 players, including two extended compositions that have running times longer than 20 minutes. The epic title track, which was commissioned by the Sound Vision Orchestra in 2004, is a concerto ...
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1 BY DAVIS INMAN
Bryan Shaw and the Hot Shots, The Bluebird Of Happiness (Arbors)
Los Angeles-based trumpeter Bryan Shaw keeps a surprisingly low profile. It’s been a long time since the release of his last Arbors CD, 2000’s Night Owl, which featured notable players like multi-reedist Scott Robinson, pianist Dave Frishberg and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Shaw’s new album also features some hitters, especially two rising-star hotshots: Israeli-born pianist Ehud Asherie ...
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1 BY DAVIS INMAN
Brass Mask, Spy Boy (Babel)
The debut album from this London-based octet takes New Orleans parade music and mixes it with original jazz compositions. Bandleader Tom Challenger has brought together a talented front line and an airtight rhythm section. Opener “Onnellinen” (Finnish for “happy”) has an earworm melody—a downtempo groove that would work well in a Bonobo or Four Tet song. Challenger supplements 10 of his own compositions ...
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Needle Doctor

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JAZZ SCHOOL // TOOLSHED
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Protection Patch
Rico’s Reserve Mouthpiece Patch is designed for clarinetists and saxophonists who want to protect the surface of their mouthpiece where it makes contact with their teeth. …
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Heavy Hitter
Grover Pro Percussion’s Professional Musical Anvil is capable of producing two distinct pitches plus a third harmonic sonority. …
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Wound in White
La Bella Strings has introduced 7710T White Nylon Tape Wound strings for double bass. …
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Dynamic Phones
AKG’s K812 reference headphones have a new open-back design. Featuring a 53mm driver for a wide …
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Miller’s Pad
The All-N-1 Russ Miller signature practice pad from ProLogix features a variety of interchangeable stick- and brush-playing surfaces. …
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Motema

Cannonball

The University of Chicago Press

Seattle Jazz Experience

Jazz Syntax

American Jazz Museum

ARC

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Small hrCLASSIC INTERVIEW
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Classic by Josef Woodard // 12/1/2003
Poncho Sanchez: ‘Funky Cha Cha Cha’
Poncho Sanchez follows his heart. His heart has guided him over the past 20-plus years to the point where he’s a royalty figure in Latin jazz. The charismatic conguero’s band plays large clubs, throws special concerts in nice halls and works the festival circuit. Sanchez boasts a Grammy, awards for best-selling Latin jazz albums and other outward signs of success.
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