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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
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  • Law school creates more than a few challenges. There are hours upon hours of studying, grueling hours interning at law firms, and financial bills that need to find a way to get paid. For many law students the adversity is…
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  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
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  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
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Dave Wayne

Dave Wayne

Sicilian Opening is an extraordinarily pleasant modern jazz offering from the veteran Italian jazz pianist and his highly capable trio. What I admire most about this CD is the trio’s obvious musical chemistry, and their ability to create jazz that – while not on the cutting edge, stylistically – manages to challenge the listener despite being quite accessible and pleasant to listen to. Like the Hungarian-born pianist (and Boston resident) Laszlo Gardony, Bonafede has a strong affinity for Americ
Drummer / composer / arranger Mark Lomax drives a free-leaning tenor sax-fronted power trio with sure hands and graceful instincts on his fifth recording as a leader, The State Of Black America. The Blacksburg, VA native, an active music educator, and drum clinician has also worked with Azar Lawrence, Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, and Marlon Jordan. Lomax' compositions, while firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, give bassist Dean Hulett and tenor saxophonist Edwin Bayard plenty of room for
Trumpeter Ron Miles is one of those musicians who is always doing something that is worth paying attention to. This disc – prosaically titled 3ology With Ron Miles - is no exception. 3ology is a Denver-based saxophone – bass – drums trio that performs groove-based improvised music. Clearly, these three fellows have been playing together for quite some time – they've established a rich and multi-layered rapport, and never fall prey to all the sorts of excesses I associate with free improvisation
Brian Landrus is a talented, young, multi-reedist whose primary horn is the baritone saxophone. Though more attuned to the post-Coltrane sound, his technique and sound on the bari evoke great old school players such as Nick Brignola and Pepper Adams. He's also an extremely capable flutist and clarinetist. I particularly enjoyed his rich, woody bass, clarinet tone. Though clearly a modernist conversant with the more edgy variants of jazz and improvised music, Landrus' debut recording, Forward to
Big City Circus is one of those recordings that defies expectations in more ways than one. Looking at the bass-less trio instrumentation, I assumed this CD was going to be dominated by free-ish or avant-garde type sounds. This turned out not to be the case. Yennoir, best known for his work with Boston's great little big band, The Either/Orchestra, and his trio – while certainly on the quirky side – essentially maintain a reserved, swinging sound throughout “Big City Circus.” Yennoir's sound on t
The first thing I thought when listening to “5000 Poems” the new recording from trombonist / composer Steve Swell and his 'Slammin' the Infinite' band was: “...good old Free Jazz!” This disc instantly transported me back to the late 1960s, when free jazz was really 'The New Thing,' and was really new - fresh and unencumbered by several decades worth of uninformed media baggage. 'Not Their Kind' opens “5000 Poems” with trombone and saxophone essaying a brief theme in a rush of splashy drums and C
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, Rich Halley has flourished into one of the world's very finest jazz tenor saxophonists. Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival is Halley's 11th as a leader, and his second with former Ornette sideman Bobby Bradford. The ace cornetist is a logical choice as a front-line partner – his cool, concise playing contrasts sharply with Halley's heated, note-intensive offerings. And though Halley's sound and approach to the horn clearly comes from the John Col
The seemingly endless parade of very worthwhile jazz recordings by artists I've never heard of continues with the Britton Brothers' debut CD, Uncertain Living. Ben and John Britton play the saxophone and trumpet, respectively, and have made a name for themselves in academic jazz circles while remaining relatively unknown to the jazz-listening public at large. “Uncertain Living” shows that the Brittons and their band are clearly ready for prime time – the playing here is marvelous and the writing
Guitarist and composer John Czajkowski's latest recording,“West ZooOpolis,” is one of the most unlikely projects I've encountered in quite some time. Equal parts progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion, and some other sort of undefined musical sub-genre, “West ZooOpolis” was conceived as a musical overlay to a 52-minute long, pre-recorded drum solo created by German drum virtuoso Marco Minnemann. For those of you who aren't familiar with Minnemann, he is possibly one of the greatest technical drum
Reedman and composer Ken Thomson is one busy dude. Besides his steady gigs with the edgy avant-jazz-rock group Gutbucket and the avant-garde marching band The Asphalt Orchestra and his affiliation with the Bang On A Can project, he's also a member of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, Brad Lubman's 'Signal,' Fire in July, the No Net Trio, and is a co-founder of the Anti-Social Music collective. And that's just a partial list! 'Slow / Fast' is Thomson's latest project, and composing, arranging