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Entries from February 2012

Iskra 1903: ISKRA 1903 "Goldsmiths"

Iskra is the name of a group comprised of ingenious British improvising musicians on the very edge what is idiomatically modern. Iskra is Russian for “spark,” and also happens to have been the name of the paper that Lenin edited before the Russian Revolution.

Date: Feb 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Michael Lington: Pure

Here is a disclaimer: Michael Lington plays alto and tenor saxophone, and the saxophone is the dominant instrument of the smooth jazz genre, every bit as much the electric guitar is the dominant instrument of rock ‘n’ roll. This means Lington is trying to stand out in an extremely crowded field. So what is it about Lington that makes him distinctive and unique compared to m: Eric Marienthal , m: Euge Groove , m: Marion Meadows , m: Kim Waters , m: Jeff Kashiwa , m: Boney James , m: Dave Koz , m: Mindi Abair or m: Walter Beasley ? Nothing much, and that is an observation, not a criticism.

Date: Feb 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol. 1

Though it’s graphic design and packaging is markedly different than its immediate predecessor of Grateful Dead archive releases, the initial release in Dave’s Picks follows proudly in the tradition of the recently concluded Road Trips (as well as the original series to which this one’s title refers, Dick’s Picks). Overseen by David Lemieux, chief archivist and co-producer of the previous line, as well as the most recent one-off Grateful Dead titles such as Europe ’72 Vol. 2 (Warner Bros., 2011), the legacy of this iconic band is in the most capable of hands…

Date: Feb 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Undivided: Moves Between Clouds: Live in Warsaw

Polish composer/clarinetist WacA’aw Zimpel is one of the most promising musicians from the European continent. He leads the pan-European-American quintet e: Undivided , collaborates regularly with key musicians from the Chicago scene such as m: Ken Vandermark , m: Tim Daisy and m: Dave Rempis , and is a member of other local outfits…

Date: Feb 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Vito Di Modugno: East Side

Italian organist m: Vito Di Modugno has made a solid name for himself with several well-received Red Records releases that include, Organ Trio Plus Guests (2007), Organ Grooves (2008), Organ Trio, Volume 2 (2009), and now the delightfully swinging East Side. Di Modugno is first among a progressive group of B3 specialists who are charging mainstream jazz with a well-developed vision that is neither too traditional nor overly experimental…

Date: Feb 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

The Who: Quadrophenia

Tommy (MCA, 1969) brought The Who to a mainstream audience and Who’s Next (MCA, 1971) solidified its position in the pantheon of 1960’s-1970’s artists. But it is Quadrophenia (MCA, 1973) that has grown exponentially in importance–not only in the history of the band, but in the history of rock. Quadrophenia is the second rock opera to be authored by guitarist Pete Townshend (the third, if you count the much more abbreviated “A Quick One,” from the 1966 Polydor album of the same name). The author’s self-effacing essay on this Deluxe Edition radiates a clarity of mind derived from the healthy detachment of hindsight and it is from that perspective that he helped prepare this edition, as well as the larger Director’s Cut (Universal, 2011), including vinyl and more demos)

Date: Feb 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Foton Quartet: Zomo Hall

In the manner of a heart-to heart conversation defined by leisurely pace and thoughtful exchange of views, the Polish Foton Quartet navigates its way through a loosely lyrical though unscripted 59-minute program. None of the participants are well-known outside their home country, but that might not stay the case for long, based on their strength as a unit; full of sensitive listening which puts the group first, there is empathy in abundance here. While placement and color of sound is important, they reside within the jazz vernacular, even slipping into tempo at times, slightly melancholic though with barely a trace of the blues.

Date: Feb 17th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews