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Charles Walker

Charles Walker

Ever since Dexter Gordon won an Oscar for his work in Bertrand Tavernier’s ’Round Midnight, the story of American jazz musicians finding rejuvenation under European stage lights has been a mainstream one. A lot of what those musicians actually played over there, however, has been hard to find Stateside, instead trickling in across the decades through traded tapes, bootlegs and shoddy releases (with a few notable exceptions). So, it is with some interest that this grab-bag of live dates, o
Strange timing, this. Almost 25 years after it was originally recorded comes this medium-length conversation between two titans of American improvised music. Fans of jazz’ farther out shores will need little introduction to either of the participants here. But despite their joint (and lazy) labeling as “outcats,” the initial highpoints of their careers – Smith’s sparse and subtle phrasing with the Smith-Braxton-Jenkins trio vs. Blackwell’s upbeat tapdancing underneath the classic Ornette Coleman
Literary critic Harold Bloom’s contentious phrase - "the anxiety of influence" - sulks and stalks behind the majority of modern, young jazz musicians; simply meaning that m…
Sunny southern California hasn’t been known as much of a jazz spot for many years. In the postwar period, of course, it was not only a proving ground for so-called "West Co…
Parallelism is a tempting game for the lazy writer - thus the proliferation of name dropping and "sounds like" references in the average music piece. The problem is that it…
A spiritual - as bassist John Patitucci tries to explain it on his latest Concord release - should be a highly personalized expression of faith in a deeply troubled world. …
The word "home" is one of the most highly-charged in the English language, evoking a range of emotions from trepidation to nostalgia, based on the past circumstances of the…
For several years now, bassist Christian McBride has been dead set on proving true the old axiom that not only does jazz have the ability to broaden the scope and depth of …
No matter how thoughtful or inspired much of modern jazz is (and much of it is, I promise), it is increasingly difficult to find musicians who don’t take themselves too ser…
Out of soul-surrendering late night juke joints and transformed waffle houses comes a sound with more Spirit than serenity, cobbled together, coordined off from upscale ear…
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