The pianist, composer, conductor and ethnomusicologist Mehmet Ali Sanlikol knows a lot about music from around the world, be that British prog rock or traditional Ottoman music that’s connected to this Bursa, Turkey native’s ancestry. But he fell in love with jazz as a teen
Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor’s deft application of lo-fi electronics to out-jazz has been celebrated here a few times, and Locus, their second release with Northern Spy Records, is another reason to celebrate.
As I listen to pianist Matthew Shipp’s latest release, there’s a part of me that finds it difficult to not be unduly influenced by the knowledge that Shipp thinks that Stanley Crouch is a horse’s ass. That influence is hard to ignore, since one of the qualities of Shipp’s pronouncements is total honesty. A beautiful and rare thing.
The first-call acoustic bass player best known in five words or less as “Branford Marsalis’ bassist since forever” is preparing to release his own led-date In Memory of Things Yet Seen (March 25, 2014, Clean Feed Records).
If there’s a real-world sensibility to this record, a firm grasp on the passion it takes to withstand hard times, you can credit Jim Grant’s resume as a working man. If there’s a remarkable eloquence to his phrasing, look to this Chicago vocalist’s time at the Bloom School of Jazz.
The classically trained, Croatian born pianist Matija Dedic’ certainly wears his Euro-classical heritage on his sleeve, and why not?
John Edwards, who has played with many musicians as well as had his own bands and projects, is an extraordinary bass player. He grew up in Hounslow, west London, with an older brother who played drums. John would listen and think: “I’d like to do that.”
From the same lively, progressive jazz scene in Seattle that’s brought us Paul Rucker, Cuong Vu and the various “tet” bands (Reptet, Triptet and Hardcoretet), Samantha “Sam” Boshnack is the fast-rising star of the bunch.
Nikki Lerner’s Longings isn’t the sad embrace its title seems to indicate. Instead, it’s a journey of understanding, an attempt to make sense of this life’s unknowable complexities — with all of the small triumphs, the sudden pitfalls and the ardent moments associated with such things.
There are thoughtful pianists who play from the brain and passionate pianists who play from the heart. Matthew Shipp’s distinction has been that he’s always been a thoughtful pianist who plays from the heart.