Jun
19
2013

A Life in Song: Cassandra Wilson

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As a child in the 1960s the very fist album that Cassandra Wilson owned was by the Monkees, after she had fallen in love with their TV show. It contained Last Train To Clarksville, which, three decades later, she would transform from frothy pop into something radically reimagined and brooding. It exemplifies a knack she […]

Jun
17
2013

Marius Neset CD

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Birds (Edition/Planet) The planet crawls with exciting improvisers, but those who are equally accomplished composers are rare. Several of them record for Dave Stapleton’s UK-based Edition label, including Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset, whose title track for this album is one of many highlights. Forty years ago Dave Holland released a masterpiece called Conference Of The […]

Jun
16
2013

Chucho Valdes & the Afro-Cuban Messengers

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Concert Hall, June 12 Had Cuba never been invented the world’s stock of brilliant improvising pianists would substantially shrink. Following the likes of Omar Sosa and Roberto Fonseca through Sydney came Chucho Valdes, among the most influential of all. Where many older jazz leaders who surround themselves with younger players can seem like big fish […]