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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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  •  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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  • 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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Since the 1990s, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has been consistently turning heads with a series of releases showcasing his unique playing and compositional voice. Aside from his success as a leader, the Philadelphia native has racked up sideman credits with the likes of Brian Blade, Joshua Redman and Danilo Perez. Since 2003, Rosenwinkel has resided in Europe and currently teaches at the Jazz Institute of Berlin. In 2008, the Portugal-based big band Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos (OJM) invited the g
With his second solo release for Norway’s SOFA record label, percussionist Ingar Zach spawns a strange, yet accessible panorama on this mind-bending studio session recorded in Spain. To augment drums, bells and cymbals, Zach employs a gran cassa, which is a horizontal bass drum, housing a resonating membrane that spawns an array of metrics and tones. He’s a crafty vet however, evidenced by unexpected cymbals hits, frenetic jangling bells and droning extended note backdrops. Zach is a musicall
Well-traveled bassist Michael Formanek and his band-mates, here on The Rub and Spare Change, are accelerators of the new jazz with roots in New York City amid collaborations in the US and abroad for over three decades. An interesting composer and consummate idea man, Formanek highlights his cunning compositional prowess with this debut solo effort for ECM Records. The division of labor in this release equates to a program that builds upon the players’ individual strengths and voices. Formanek
In the early 1970’s, Emerson, Lake & Palmer helped accelerate the burgeoning progressive-rock movement with dazzling technical acumen and a distinct convergence of classical, jazz and fundamental rock basics. They sold millions of LPs, although their elaborate and showy stage antics, at times diminished the band’s relevance. Ultimately, the world took notice and the trio developed a huge following. However, prog and fusion took a downturn in the early 80s to new forms of rock and a prisma
Among the wealth of archival material released during present times, this combo CD+DVD product looms as a rather scintillating entry into the band’s storied discography. The live session denotes never before released material, culled from Germany’s "NDR Jazz Workshop,” recorded in 1973. And as the press release cites, the album marks one of the earliest shows by this incarnation of the band, supplemented by guitarist Gary Boyle (Isotope) and saxophonist Art Themen. Moreover, the accompanying

One of the preeminent soprano saxophonists in modern jazz, Jane Ira Bloom possesses more than just technique.  Few jazz artists are able to project a distinct or personalized sound.  For example, most ardent jazz aficionados would be able to identify her in a Downbeat magazine style blindfold test.  Once again, Bloom imparts memorable compositions, underscored with sinuous developments and a prevalent sense of intrigue.

Adventurous expressionism is a key factor within semi-structured or avant jazz-based endeavors.  With their second quartet outing for Intakt Records, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman cover a gamut of articulately designed modes of interaction.  Introspective, sublime and occasionally foreboding, the quartet engineers a potpourri of delicacies, all executed with a deterministic modality.

The album title may not intimate that there are quite a few intricacies going on under-the-hood. Essentially, venerable jazz guitarist Bruce Arnold reformulates and reengineers customary time signatures with manipulations of standard blues forms. However, from a sky-view, it's an album that is nestled within progressive-jazz stylizations. But Arnold's numerous slants and acute rhythmic permutations generate an irrefutable contrast to the norm.

 It's a bold endeavor to believe you can invoke freshness and vitality into thinly worn standards like "Body and Soul," "All the Things You Are" and "My Funny Valentine." Trumpeter Cuong Vu meets the challenge head-on with imaginative results on Leaps of Faith, a quartet outing with wide-open improvisatory exploration, melding consonant lyricism with chaotic tumult.

Jazznet Denmark did an interview with composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound manipulator, arranger, producer and record label owner and self taught...