Ron Bierman

Ron Bierman

One of the ways jazz has grown is by absorbing the sounds and rhythms of other cultures. African and Latin American music were strong early influences. Today, India is making waves. Since classical Indian music has always included extensive improvisation, it seems it might have happened sooner. However, while spirituals, rumbas and African drums readily appeal to Western ears, Indian raga is a more difficult fit—its scales more exotic, its rhythms more austerely complex. But now, saxophonist R
Brazilian Voyage indeed hits some breezy, swaying Brazilian highlights, but there are stops in Germany, New York and, perhaps, Kentucky. Even the samba-like tracks are more worldly than usual. Brazil's most famous classical composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, is represented by "Trenzinho Do Caipira." It's from his collection Bachianas Brasileiras, which honored the musical style of Bach. All of this could have turned out to be overly intellectual. It didn't. Villa-Lobos' noisy depiction of a little
The Brad Linde Ensemble honors some of the jazz giants who emerged in the middle of the last century, most of them recognized instantly now by single names. This release features styles associated with Miles and Monk. Three of the tunes were on Davis's Birth of the Cool album. Four others, including two originals, are related to the vibe of that famous recording. Rounding out the even dozen are five oft-recorded by Monk, including four of his own. The material is terrific. The arrangements, upda
Big bands haven't been mainstream for decades, but they're still with us. Alex Stewart's Making the Scene, a fascinating discussion of contemporary big-band music, lists 86 groups based in New York City alone--and Stewart says the list is incomplete. Managing a big band is difficult, and they rarely earn their members a living wage. So why are there so many? Well, jazz musicians often dig the sound—and the challenge of sitting alongside knowledgeable peers while reading new charts. Composer/arra
One of the ways jazz has grown is by absorbing the sounds and rhythms of other cultures. African and Latin American music were strong early influences. Today, India is m…
Brazilian Voyage indeed hits some breezy, swaying Brazilian highlights, but there are stops in Germany, New York and, perhaps, Kentucky. Even the samba-like track…
The Brad Linde Ensemble honors some of the jazz giants who emerged in the middle of the last century, most of them recognized instantly now by single names. This release…
Big bands haven't been mainstream for decades, but they're still with us. Alex Stewart's Making the Scene, a fascinating discussion of contemporary big-band music…
This is an entertaining and satisfying set by an unusually good piano trio. Veteran Orrin Evans has played for years with Bobby Watson's group. Here he does five of the …
Dave Rivello wrote and arranged this session's material, and album notes by Bob Brookmeyer, a respected veteran of the big-band wars, give him immediate credibility. Riv…
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