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All That Jazz #1: Obomsawin, Philion & Knuffke

The first in a series that will alternate irregularly with ‘So Much Guitar,’ a place to talk about the mountain of amazing *jazz*1Whatever meaning that word has these days. happening these days. We are awash in a creative tsunami. Life is good.

Today, a couple of swinging large ensemble bangers and
a delicate serving of chamber jazz from a trio of contemporary masters. read more

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So Much Guitar #3: Ava Mendoza

Photo: Laurent Orseau

Ava Mendoza appeared on my radar with the arrival of William Parker’s Mayan Space Station (Aum Fidelity, 2021). Mendoza’s playing blew my head clean off. A trio outing with bassist Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver, this one calls to mind Sonny Sharrock at his face-melting finest. No mystery why it landed on so many Best of 2021 lists. (Mine included.) read more

Authentically Authentic

I have a review up at Salvation South today about Jake Blount’s latest album The New Faith (Smithsonian Folkways, 2022). As with most albums I review I listened to it repeatedly, along with other releases in Blount’s catalog. I also scoured the intertubes for most of the original versions of the songs he reimagined for the album; I love hearing the source material and comparing it with the new versions. As usual, those tracks led me down other (semi) related rabbit holes, way more than I could fit into a reasonably cogent review. So here’s my psychic overflow from the experience. read more

So Much Guitar #2: Bill Orcutt

One of the coolest surprises of the recent Big Ears Festival lineup for 2023 is the Bill Orcutt Guitar Quartet with Ava Mendoza, Shane Parish, and Wendy Eisenberg performing Orcutt’s new album, Music for Four Guitars (Palilalia Records). I’ve been listening to this fantastic set on repeat for about a month now and I never imagined it would be performed live. read more

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