Tag Archives: Jazz

The Joyous Afrobeat-Jazz of Ezra Collective

ezra-collective-1244.jpg

Femi Koleoso, the drummer of jazz-Afrobeat outfit Ezra Collective, was relaxing at his home in London last July when he got an unexpected call from his manager. “She was like, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Quincy Jones wants you lot to play at his birthday party,’” Koleoso recalls. “So I was like, ‘OK, cancel everything. We’re there.’”

Continue reading

The Rich 50-Year History of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Jazz-fest-1244-6

Images courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Burt Steel, John Messina and Michael P Smith

In the 1960s, New Orleans was the site of a fantastic collision of musical sounds and styles. There were the brass bands and kinetic improvisations associated with Louis Armstrong and his cohorts, the deep blues and gospel shouts endemic to the Mississippi Delta, and the nascent rock ‘n’ roll scene, steeped in the city’s R&B heritage. That’s not even getting into the immortal bayou grooves—zydeco, funk, Cajun—which were, and always will be, crucial strands in New Orleans’ cultural DNA. Continue reading

Album of the Day: Mark de Clive-Lowe, “Heritage II”

On this companion to Heritage, which was released in February, keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe further explores the Japanese side of his dual Japanese-New Zealander identity, drawing on the sound of traditional music from the region to flesh out his vibrant jazz compositions. On Heritage II, he harnesses a live band sound and tackles multiple roles himself, handling synths, programming, and “live remixing.”

Continue reading

For Practically Everyone: The Music of FPE Records

FPE

In a medium-sized suburb on the outskirts of Chicago is a record label dedicated to doing things differently. FPE Records is the brainchild of Matt Pakulski, and although Oak Park, Illinois is the label’s home, Pakulski says the label is really in debt to the creative curiosities and experimentations across Chicago’s unique music scene.

Continue reading

The Lasting Legacy of the Art Ensemble of Chicago

In May of 1969, a Chicago-based quartet of radically experimental musicians made two decisions that resonate to this day. 

Continue reading

The Mythology of Telemakus

Telemakus

Photos by Khushal

When 19-year-old Bay Area pianist and producer Telemakus began composing his Calantha series late last year, he had a specific concept in mind. “Calantha is an off-world colony in Blade Runner,” he says. “In each volume, I’m getting closer to the planet. I’m being transported there sonically.”

Continue reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Contemporary Jazz From Japan

RoninArkestraRecording-1244

Ronin Arkestra

American jazz was forbidden in Japan during World War II, when the swing era and the stirrings of proto-bebop were afoot, but listeners embraced it in secret. As the music continued its steady global expansion in the decades that followed, though, Japan’s jazz obsession was anything but hidden. William Minor, in his 2004 book Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within, cites a comment from veteran producer Michael Cuscuna: “Japan almost single-handedly kept the jazz record business going during the late 1970s.” And beyond consumers and fans, Minor elaborates, the country also produced its own wealth of jazz players: those who relocated abroad and flourished, those who remained and nurtured local scenes, and those who went back and forth, doing both. Continue reading

Dwight Trible is a Bridge Between Two Generations of Jazz

Dwight Trible

Photos by Michelle Shiers

Legendary jazz pianist Horace Tapscott first recorded his composition “Mothership” on the 1982 solo album The Tapscott Sessions Vol. 1. He revisited it on his 1996 album Aiee! The Phantom, turning it into a pounding, gospel-y hard bop number alongside trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, alto saxophonist Abraham Burton, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille.

Continue reading