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Alexander M. Stern

Alexander M. Stern

The Blues, a largely African-American musical form born in the American south, has undergone a number of necessary transformations in the century or so since its first appe…
Trombonist Eric Felten has kept some pretty heavy company in the past. His debut disc T-Bop featured an as-yet-unsigned Joshua Redman on tenor saxophone. Gratitud…
Jazz and country music are half-siblings. Both are uniquely American forms. Both derive from folk music associated with people on the cultural fringes (jazz from African-Am…
One of the pleasures of reviewing jazz CDs is coming upon something new and unexpected. Such is the case with Frain/Dunlap’s impressive debut recording, Pull the Shades<…
Last year’s Meant to Be found pianist Ramsey Lewis in the affable company of veteran songstress Nancy Wilson. Their collaboration produced a pleasant and satisfying …
It’s a bad sign when an artist asks a reviewer to "ignore the low rent back-up band" on his CD. It shows a lack of confidence in the finished product. The back-up band whic…
If the study of mythology has taught us anything, it’s that legends have the most meaning when they have an ending. Would the Norse Gods be half as glorious without the knowledge of the final Ragnorok? Would Homer’s Odyssey be the same without the eventual homecoming? This year saw the passing of one of American music’s greatest legends, Ray Charles. I had the opportunity to speak with John Burk, a Vice-President of Concord Records and co-producer of Ray’s final album, Genius Loves Com …
29.01.2011

Blackout Over Albany

Published in Concert Reviews
"Why y’all so quiet?" With these words Stefon Harris broke the silent expectation of the crowd at Albany’s Center for the Performing Arts, colloquially known as The Egg, on Friday, June 6th. As a low chuckle spread through the audience, someone shouted out: "We’re waiting for you!" Harris laughed. "Well, we’re ‘bout to have some fun." Harris emphatically remarked as the five members of Blackout readied their instruments. Fun is an inadequate word for what followed. Put simply, Blac