fri 14/08/2020

jazz

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, BBC iPlayer - an intimate, insider's account of his life and music

Miles – where to begin? Some 21st century revisionists find his art fatally tainted by his personal life, and his violent behaviour in relationships. His rasping, epithet-scarred voice, the sound of a snake sloughing off its own skin, able to...

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Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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Album: Shabaka & the Ancestors - We are Sent Here by History

Londoner Shabaka Hutchings's other main groups, The Comet Is Coming and Sons Of Kemet, are pretty modernist. They incorporate dub, post-rock, post punk and rhythm patterns that recall London pirate radio sounds into the playing of his ensembles,...

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Max Raabe, Palast-Orchester, Cadogan Hall review - escapism with irony

Escapism sometimes feels not just useful but necessary. To be carried back, for an evening, to the world of the 1920s/1930s dance band, with foxtrots, pasodobles, crisp starched collars and secco endings, of slick hair and even slicker arrangements...

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Album: Sergio Mendes - In the Key of Joy

Released to coincide with a new documentary on his life by filmmaker John Scheinfeld, In the Key of Joy celebrates the multifaceted genius of Brazilian producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sergio Mendes.Recorded between Brazil and...

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Album: Pat Metheny – From This Place

From This Place (Nonesuch) is a complex, meticulously produced and many-layered album which demands concentrated and repeated listening. In many ways, it is all the better for it. Pat Metheny himself has written an essay or “Album Notes” of no...

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Album: Huey Lewis and the News - Weather

Huey Lewis and the News were an unlikely mid-Eighties phenomenon. Their Sports album was a mega-success for a band already approaching early middle age. Their Fifties feel, given a contemporary polish and boosted by association with cinematic...

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Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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theartsdesk in Brussels - jazz, openness and youth at the start of the cultural year

“Brussels – The Cultural Guide” for 2020 is a very substantial book. It consists of 212 tightly-packed pages in a quite small font. The message is that there is indeed a lot going on culturally in Belgium’s capital city.Whereas the separatist-led...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Claire Martin - Believin’ It

A trio of standout US vocal jazz releases included one of the year’s most hotly anticipated albums, Jazzmeia Horn’s Love and Liberation, which showcased the Dallas-born vocalist’s ever-deepening artistry and songwriter’s ear for detail. Horn’s eight...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Mark Turner Meets Gary Foster

As the attention-jostling hype becomes ever more unashamed, we get further from the music. The myths and the 'message' get louder, to the point where the question of whether the music itself might actually be worth hearing can become secondary. I've...

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CD: Gang Starr - One of the Best Yet

Before the days of stardom on Jay-Z and Kanye’s scale, before Brooklyn became a millionaire’s playground, Gang Starr were deeply influential in hip hop and became pioneers of jazz rap. However, Guru disassociated himself from long-term partner DJ...

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