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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • 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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  •  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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  • 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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  • 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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Versatile alto saxophonist Pete Robbins enjoys recording his ensembles within the live format. His sixth album as a leader also represents his third consecutive live recording, influenced by his residence and subsequent visits to Copenhagen. Moreover, his European band aka the Transatlantic Quartet, imparts the open-air architectures often evidenced by the Scandinavian progressive-jazz contingents amid slight inferences to the breadth and lightness of folk music. However, Robbins' previous outings lean more towards the high-octane strata, including knotty funk grooves and tricky time signatures. And he's a superb technician, possessing a fertile imagination.

One of the more exciting and inventive improvising artists, Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon's stylistic modus operandi, coupled with massive chops has earned him prominence within global, progressive-jazz circles. He seems comfortable with the flexibility of smaller ensembles, highlighted here with the dual bass-less trio formats, performing with like-minded and revered US and European musicians.

Spanning several decades, progressive-jazz and improvisational icon Anthony Braxton has been no stranger to duet settings amid his large and small ensemble aggregations. Therefore, this 2-CD program recorded live in 1989 is the artist's fruitful collaboration with bassist Buell Neidlinger, noted for his work with Cecil Taylor, Steve Lacy, and educational duties at the New England Conservatory.

Based in Washington D.C., the musicians bring varied experience to the table amid stints with notable free-jazz artists, nouveau rockers, and prominent jazz-based improvisers. The duo's second album is an exploratory, yet affable excursion into parts unknown via the improvisational nature of the program. With fuzz-toned atmospherics, staggered flows and fleeting themes, the music offers a hearty forum for one's imagination to wander. However, there's uncanny logic within the grand schema, often devised on loosely based storylines, linear choruses and blitzing interchanges.

02.03.2012

Luca Luciano

Published in Artist Biographies

"Luca Luciano is a noted Italian clarinettist and composer who now makes his home in London, having developed an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso around the UK and overseas via recordings and concert hall appearances" (Musician Magazine)

 Internationally recognised for his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary clarinet music, extremely appreciated by the International Clarinet association, "Luciano has established himself as the friendly face of contemporary clarinet" according to the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain. His latest album "Partenope" is receiving praises in three continents (BBC Radio, Jazzradio.com, CRN Australia nationwide, in Brazil and South America, RTE national broadcaster of Ireland and radios around Europe) including a number of interviews for the press and on radio. 

In the liners, producer Martin Davidson provides anecdotes, interview quotes and other relevant information surrounding the premise for these vintage tracks, recorded under the leadership of the late soprano saxophone great Steve Lacy.  Spanning previously unreleased and reissued material from 1967 through 1973, Lacy performs with iconoclastic modern jazz artists such as trumpeter Enrico Rava, vibist Karl Berger and others.   And in most instances, the audio processing is quite good as the album offers a comprehensive sampling of Lacy's avant-garde proclivities cast in various ensembles, including eminent synthesizer improviser Richard Teitelbaum who credits Lacy with being his..."first and maybe main improv teacher."  Otherwise, Teitelbaum partnered with Anthony Braxton and other progressive-minded luminaries to extend electronics formats into the freer aspects of jazz and improvisation.

Perhaps one of the more important drummers in global improvisation circles, Tom Rainey's discography as a sideman, for example, could read like a history of postmodern jazz, spanning conventional and nonconforming practices.  He's a fluid drummer who subdivides the rhythmical element into fragments while tap-dancing across the kit, shaded with lyrical qualities and offbeat digressions, as the list goes on.  On this trio date, he aligns with cutting-edge artists Mary Halvorson (guitar) and Ingrid Laubrock (saxophones), for a series of loosely designed improvisational jaunts, where space and counter-maneuvers are but a few of many rewarding attributes evidenced throughout.

With persuasive sonic assaults, ping-ponging stereo effects, and a web-like maze of improvisation, this trio tenders a modern psychedelic soundscape with avant-garde like tendencies. They shade the proceedings with a renegade New York City downtown aura, featuring phased-out guitar parts, booming bass ostinatos, pumping rhythms and dabs of chaos via the slow to medium-tempo grooves.

Volume 3 of influential trumpeter Dave Douglas's "Portable Series" casts yet another perspective of the artist's resiliency and broad vernacular.  The premise behind the three volumes, featuring different ensembles is based on informal gatherings, hearkening back to the olden days where musicians would align for pick-up sessions.  Otherwise, Bad Mango is not simply a high-octane bashing session, but offers a polytonal soundscape, spanning a diverse mix that is a nicely balanced package containing equal parts jazz and world music.  Neither genre supersedes the other, although an indigenous setting is laid out via the percussionists' multifunctional approach to the program.