How do you pay tribute to a true original? That’s the question at the heart of Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor , a fascinating new album — produced by avant-garde mastermind John Zorn — on which six adventurous jazz pianists honor Taylor, the perennially radical, school-unto-himself dynamo of the keys who died in April at age 89 . At around 11 minutes into “Unveiling Urban Pointillism,” one of the disc’s six solo pieces, the Cuban-born Aruán Ortiz makes his way into a remarkable passage, abstract yet focused. He keeps up a busy, restless pitter-patter in the high register, sprinkling in ear-catching clusters of sustained notes — the sonic equivalent of rain drizzling on a roof. Ortiz isn’t mimicking Taylor. But at the same time, the episode seems inescapably post-Cecil, unthinkable without the example of genre-transcending imagination and intense physicality the elder musician set during his monumental 60-plus-year career. Related Reviews Newport Jazz … [Read more...] about Review: Piano Collective Winged Serpents Honors Late Jazz Maverick Cecil Taylor
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For this writer, the quintessential moment of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival came in transit. A quick stroll on Saturday afternoon took me from the main stage, where Laurie Anderson was wrapping up a set of luminous, exploratory string-trio free improv, to one of the smaller tents, where octogenarian Memphis piano master Harold Mabern, saxophonist Eric Alexander & Co. were busy muscling through a set of exquisite old-school hardbop. The transition was disorienting in the best way possible — an illustration of just how broad this legendary fest’s concept of jazz still is. Thanks to its upscale beach-town setting, the Rhode Island festival might still have an air of old-money gentility. But on the ground, the event feels populist and homegrown, thanks to hand-painted welcome signs (“We’re all here together and it’s festival time!”), a sea of lawn chairs and coolers, and of course the legendary main-stage view of the water, where a whole other audience can be seen taking in the … [Read more...] about Newport Jazz Festival 2018: 14 Best Things We Saw
“I feel like there are more reasons to be excited about improvised music today than at any time during my 41 years on the planet,” the jazz critic Nate Chinen tells Rolling Stone . He has a point, and you don’t need to be a diehard fan of the genre to appreciate it. Crossover stars such as Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding are receiving generous mainstream attention, alongside innovators like pianist Vijay Iyer and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Meanwhile, Thundercat, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and others are seamlessly fusing hip-hop, R&B and electronica with their jazz mastery, introducing elements of a century-old art form to new audiences. And five nights a week on national television, Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste showcases his ebullient New Orleans spirit alongside Stephen Colbert. In short, the contemporary jazz scene is bursting with promise — but how did we get here? See Also Review: Kamasi Washington's New … [Read more...] about What’s Behind the New Jazz Resurgence?
Chicago will return to Broadway just in time for its 25th anniversary: The musical is set to reopen at the Ambassador Theatre on Tuesday, September 14. The Kander-Ebb-Fosse musical becomes the third Broadway production to set its reopening since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that theaters could reopen in September at 100% capacity. Producers Barry & Fran Weissler announced today that tickets are now on sale for the Tony Award-winning Chicago . As with The Phantom of the Opera and Six – the two musicals that announced their Fall returns earlier this week – the reopening of Chicago is subject to the approval of the NY State Department of Health and the Governor. In their announcement today, the Weisslers noted, “The approval of the Department of Health and the Governor will be based on the continuing growth of the fully vaccinated population, coupled with an ongoing decline in total Covid 19 cases and positivity rates. The Department of … [Read more...] about ‘Chicago’ Announces Broadway Return: September Reopening Sets Stage For Revival’s 25th Anniversary
The deadly coronavirus pandemic has plagued the entertainment industry since last year and again the Hindi film industry has come to a halt, given the huge spike in COVID-19 cases due to the second wave of infections. Last year, during the lockdown, Aditya Chopra lent his support to thousands of daily wage earners of the film industry by crediting money directly into their bank accounts. The biggest production house of India, Yash Raj Films, has again decided to come forward in this moment of need and is launching the 'Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative' to provide support to thousands of daily workers in the film industry. Aditya Chopra has taken cognizance of the massive socio-economic and humanitarian crisis that the daily workers of the industry are currently facing and The Yash Chopra Foundation - is rolling out the 'Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative' so that thousands of daily wage earners can tide over these turbulent and highly unpredictable times. … [Read more...] about Aditya Chopra Launches ‘Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative’ To Provide Support To The Industry’s Daily Wage Earners