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Ralph Towner/Paolo Fresu | Chiaroscuro

ECM (2010)
For some, these open, airy, acoustic guitar/trumpet duets, couched in typically pristine ECM production, will fall too easily on the ear.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 16, 2010


Interview: Hilary Hahn

No strings
"Just because I play classical music doesn't mean I am classical music."
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 11, 2010


Message points

Christian Scott's political science, Anita Coelho's connections
Instrumental music isn't very dependable at conveying specific non-musical subject matter.
By: JON GARELICK  |  March 09, 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


Jew note

First Annual Boston Jewish Music Festival, plus the Klezmatics
Defining "Jewish" music is pretty much a fool's task — not much easier than defining jazz.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 25, 2010


Netsky notes

The KCB's main man talks Klezmer
Hankus Netsky founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band 30 years ago at New England Conservatory and sparked an American klezmer revival that continues to this day.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 25, 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


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 connections

Assaf Kehati Quartet at the Regattabar, Hiromi at Scullers, February 5, 2010
There's very little connecting these two shows except that both were jazz and both took place on the same night. So I won't try.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 08, 2010


Myra Melford’s Be Bread | The Whole Tree Gone

Firehouse 12 (2010)
Few jazz players and composers can bring as broad a vocabulary to a single piece as pianist Myra Melford.
By: JON GARELICK  |  February 02, 2010


Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops at Somerville Theatre

Carolina Chocolate Drops, live at the Somerville Theatre, January 23, 2010
The Carolina Chocolate Drops introduced the penultimate song of their Saturday night Somerville Theatre show as from 2001, "which is about 100 years ago in pop music."
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 29, 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


Mostly Other People Do the Killing | Forty Fort

Hot Cup (2009)
On their fourth CD, the celebrated young jazz quartet with the indie-rock name continue their audacious updating of the genre's old-school avant-garde.
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 21, 2010



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


Review: Carmen Consoli at Regattabar

Carmen Consoli, Live at Regattabar, January 7, 2010
How Italian was the crowd at Carmen Consoli's sold-out Regattabar show? The language was everywhere. The couple from Methuen sharing our table were 50 percent, and the Italian husband estimated the room at 90 percent. (I was guessing 85.)
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 08, 2010


Fred Ho and the Green Monster Big Band | Celestial Green Monster

Mutable Music (2010)
A composer who writes a 16-minute big-band piece based on "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" isn't going for subtlety — but then, he probably wouldn't appear nude and painted green on his CD cover, either.
By: JON GARELICK  |  January 06, 2010


Best in their field

An early 2010 harvest
The jazz scene continues to struggle — along with everyone else — through hard times.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 30, 2009


2009: The year in jazz

In and out
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and concerts I wrote about in 2009.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 21, 2009


2009: The year in books

True stories - fact and fiction
Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best books the Phoenix reviewed in 2009.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 22, 2009



John Hollenbeck plays New Year's Eve! Plus, the Rempis/Rosaly duo
When I reach John Hollenbeck by phone, he's on a sojourn typical of the modern itinerant composer — a week-long teaching residency.
By: JON GARELICK  |  December 15, 2009

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