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One night, one jazz trifecta

Taylor Eigsti, the October Trio, and the BC Quintet
True, there aren't enough paying gigs for musicians, but the live music is out there — and last Wednesday, I had to scramble to make three promising shows.
By JON GARELICK  |  June 29, 2010

Summer treats

Whether classical, jazz, pop, or folk, 'tis the season to get out and enjoy the music
From Andean to zydeco, pick your flavor and there's a summer music festival ready to serve it up.
By CLEA SIMON  |  June 18, 2010

Tony Cennamo (1933-2010)

Boston jazz loses a great
Tony Cennamo is synonymous with jazz radio in Boston. A fixture on WBUR from the early '70s to his last late-night show in 1997, Cennamo — who died on June 8 — was lively, outspoken, even outrageous. But his depth of knowledge was irreproachable.
By JON GARELICK  |  June 16, 2010

Does jazz have a melody problem?

Phil Sargent and Daniel Bennett try a new approach
It seems lately that every other jazz musician I talk to under 40 wants to talk about melody — how it’s the thing they all care about.  
By JON GARELICK  |  June 02, 2010

Covering Lacy

A jazz master’s legacy finds traction
For Josh Sinton, Steve Lacy stood out almost from the beginning.
By JON GARELICK  |  May 24, 2010

Poetic chaos

A Troop of Echoes spend Days In Automation
The melodic noise collective known as A Troop of Echoes will unveil their full-length debut Days In Automation next weekend at AS220, hosting their album release party alongside an impressive gathering of local support.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  May 19, 2010

Deering High musician having a banner year

Up-and-Comers Dept.
You might have caught 18-year-old Dominic Sbrega on NPR’s From the Top last week, playing Mexican folk-dance music on his stand-up bass.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  May 12, 2010

Amazing grace

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival carries on
The morning after I get back from the 41st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, an oil executive is on the radio: “We’re throwing everything we have at it.” Meaning the exploded BP-leased well in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
By JON GARELICK  |  May 04, 2010

Music for the love of it

From the Schemers to the Men of Great Courage, Mark Cutler’s songs have always gotten to ‘that special kind of place’
Whether driving his Men of Great Courage on a tune about a spooky midnight stroll, or gently declaring a deep camaraderie with “We Shall Always Remain Friends,” Cutler’s concocting a soundtrack to the feelings in the room.
By JIM MACNIE  |  May 05, 2010

Review: Sonny Rollins at Symphony Hall

Sonny Rollins, live at Symphony Hall, April 18, 2010
The lines were around the block for will-call and walk-up ticket purchases at Symphony Hall Sunday night — causing the show to start a half hour after its advertised curtain time. The place was nearly full, the mood celebratory. All good to see in a down economy. But this was the first disappointing Sonny Rollins concert I’ve attended in years.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 28, 2010

Pardon the interruption

Quartet of Happiness, Jerry Leake, and Jazz Week
Maybe it was when saxophonist Kelly Roberge, instrument in hand, leapt off the Cambridge YMCA Theatre stage in the middle of a performance by the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra and fled the auditorium — as if in extreme gastro-intestinal distress.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 22, 2010

Foreclosure frontline

Letters to the Boston editor, April 16, 2010
The 72 Hours project, which I and others have been developing in the effort to help those fighting eviction in Boston, uses video projection to bring public awareness to the struggles of those undergoing foreclosure.
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 15, 2010

The onliest Sonny

Rollins looks at 80
Sonny Rollins has held the unofficial title of world’s greatest living improviser at least since the early ’70s, following the death of John Coltrane and the second of two extended Rollins sabbaticals from public performance.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 15, 2010


Dave Holland and Tomasz Stanko come to town
You can experience jazz at two different extremes at the Regattabar this month, in visits from the quintets of Dave Holland and Tomasz Stanko.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 16, 2010

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Making it sing

Dee Dee does Billie, plus John Stein & Ron Gill
If you come to Dee Dee Bridgewater’s new Billie Holiday tribute disc — or to her two Holiday shows at the Paramount Theatre this weekend — expecting a reverent impersonation, you could be in for a shock. Bridgewater has transformed the music and persona of the jazz icon.
By JON GARELICK  |  March 25, 2010


The Worcester Art Museum shows us ‘Who Shot Rock & Roll’
It is May 1966, in the Prelude Club in Harlem, an Atlantic Records release party.
By GREG COOK  |  March 24, 2010

Sonny, Pat, and all the cats

Names you know and names you should
The primo jazz event of the spring will be SONNY ROLLINS 's concert at Symphony Hall on April 18 ( The great master saxophonist and peerless improviser often hits town in April, and this time it's to kick off his 80th-birthday tour. Whew.
By JON GARELICK  |  March 09, 2010

Joe Cuba | El Alcalde Del Barrio

Fania (2010)
Fania kicks off 2010 with what is sure to end up being one of the year's most important archival releases of Latin music.
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  March 09, 2010

Into the groove

Funkatronic kick out the hybrid-fueled jams
The 2010 Best Music Poll nominees announcement is fast approaching, but we do know all of the '09 victors will return to defend their titles, including jazz/funk reigning champs Funkatronic, who are looking for a three-peat.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  April 12, 2010

Review; Fred Hersch at Jordan Hall

Fred Hersch, live at Jordan Hall, February 17, 2010
Photos from Fred Hersch's set at Jordan Hall
By JON GARELICK  |  February 19, 2010

The Souljazz Orchestra | Rising Sun

Strut (2010)
We're living in the middle of a veritable renaissance of "Spiritual Jazz."
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  February 23, 2010

Reeling in the years

John Pizzarelli keeps jazz moving on
Call John Pizzarelli a mensch — he's smart, chatty, and a hot ticket. Hell of a guitarist, too.
By JIM MACNIE  |  February 25, 2010

Old man riffer

T-Model Ford turns 90 . . . or thereabouts
Bluesman James "T-Model" Ford is a survivor, and has been for a very long time.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 25, 2010

Lionel Loueke | Mwaliko

Blue Note (2010)
Benin-born, Paris-and-Berklee-educated guitarist Loueke knows how to cover a lot of ground and make it all sound of a piece.
By JON GARELICK  |  February 16, 2010

Steampunk and Lima Beans

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and the Bert Seager Trio
The hook for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society — who come to the Regattabar Thursday the 25th — is that they're a "steampunk big band."
By JON GARELICK  |  February 09, 2010

No identity crisis

Nando Michelin and Matt Steckler know who they are
If great art and great artists are supposed to contain multitudes, then in music, at least, pianists have the edge: 10 fingers theoretically capable of 10 different simultaneous paths for the music to take. Of course, it's not that simple.
By JON GARELICK  |  February 08, 2010

Basia Bulat | Heart Of My Own

Rough Trade (2010)
Like a Laurel Canyon Billie Holiday or a pixilated Tracy Chapman, Bulat sports a voice rich with vibrato, hearty oomph, and dignified lonesomeness.
By ZETH LUNDY  |  January 27, 2010

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Natraj and friends expand their neighborhoods
Nobody likes labels — except maybe critics. And we all want to live by Duke Ellington's measure of quality: beyond category. Beyond names and borders, that is, in a post-racial society. And yet, the word "fusion" — at least in music — has a pejorative connotation, suggesting bland pastiche and commercial opportunism.
By JON GARELICK  |  January 12, 2010

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