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2011 Stories by Jim Macnie

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  • Brad Mehldau Trio

    published December 21, 2011

    The pianist’s Live in Marciac was an inch away from making my Best of 2011 list: His inherent drama works well in a solo setting. But... More >>

  • Dan Tepfer

    published December 14, 2011

    In a ballsy move that resounds with an unabashed yen for balance, the insightful pianist concocts a freeprov ditty for each of Bach’s most... More >>

  • Mat Wilson's Christmas Tree-O

    published December 14, 2011

    The giddy nature of the drummer’s spin on holiday tunes mars neither their musical essences nor their provocative possibilities.... More >>

  • Aaron Goldberg Trio

    published December 14, 2011

    On the new Yes!, as part of a collective trio with old pals, the pianist reminds us how agile his maneuvers really are. This light... More >>

  • Ingrid Laubrock's Anti-House

    published December 7, 2011

    The gnarled swoops of the saxophonist’s tenor can be a smidge off-putting—her communion with dissonance is deep—but the nuanced... More >>

  • Taylor Ho Bynum

    published December 7, 2011

    I’m a sucker for forlorn blends of horns sighing dramatically while a shitstorm of rhythm explodes underneath. Bynum’s rather expert... More >>

  • Harris Eisenstadt

    published November 30, 2011

    Some say Canada Day II is one of the year’s best albums, and they might be right: The way in which the impulse to freedom nudges... More >>

  • Dave Douglas

    published November 30, 2011

    Myriad interests have always defined this intrepid trumpeter, and his four-night stand at the Jazz Standard spotlights a different band each... More >>

  • John Scofield

    published November 16, 2011

    Finesse leaps from the stage when the guitarist’s piano quartet raises the roof. Sco’s intrepid nature is a clarion call, and his... More >>

  • Rez Abbasi

    published November 16, 2011

    The tunes on the new Suno Suno have a labyrinth vibe, continuously amending their architectural stance and providing new paths for the... More >>

  • Greg Ward's Phonic Juggernaut

    published November 9, 2011

    Damion Reid’s fierce drum pummel guides saxophonist Greg Ward on the pliable yet pushy, recently released Thirsty Ear record, but it’s... More >>

  • 'John Coltrane's Ascension'

    published November 9, 2011

    Consider this show a dessert for the Impulse! main course that took place last spring, when various iconic discs on the jazz imprint were essayed... More >>

  • Jim Hall Quartet

    published November 9, 2011

    Hall is a string whisperer, coaxing his guitar into compliance and making it do things that other improvisers can’t, imbuing misty passages... More >>

  • Mat Maneri

    published November 9, 2011

    In the past two months, three musicians have felt the need to tell me that Mat Maneri is the heaviest improviser around. It's tough to say for... More >>

  • Ergo

    published November 9, 2011

    Trombonist Brett Sroka’s dreamy trio makes small, incremental moves sound profound, mixing together some ominous keyboard tinkle, a bit of... More >>

  • Mingus Big Band

    published November 9, 2011

    This group has been delivering the raucous beauty of the maestro's book for decades now, making sure that plenty of whomp accompanies the... More >>

  • Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors

    published November 2, 2011

    Elaborate cross-hatching marks much of the bassist-composer’s engaging work, His modern jazz pieces threading a handful of melodies and at... More >>

  • Bill McHenry

    published November 2, 2011

    Moving between barrages of notes machine-gunned at his audience and poetically placed series of ellipses lobbed into the crowd, the tenor... More >>

  • Chick Corea

    published October 26, 2011

    Enjoying a full career in jazz usually means having a finger in many pies, and for the last half-century, the veteran pianist has been all about... More >>

  • Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band

    published October 26, 2011

    The mighty Philly pianist leads one of the most hard-hitting large ensembles around, full of old-school swagger and new school solos. Tonight's... More >>

  • Kurt Elling

    published October 19, 2011

    The esteemed jazz singer’s vocals are as pliable as his interests; from R&B to beat poetry, he’s applied himself to an array of music... More >>

  • Rudresh Mahanthappa

    published October 19, 2011

    Fierceness has always been central to saxophonist Mahanthappa's work, the thrust of his alto both sleek and ornery, so Samdhi, a plugged-in... More >>

  • Anthony Braxton

    published September 28, 2011

    This four-night fest at the experimental music bastion’s new BK HQ is exactly the kind of program that both tickles insiders and entices... More >>

  • Sifter+Bizingas

    published September 28, 2011

    Cornetist Kirk Knuffke curates an entire month of improv action at the cozy Gowanus hang, and tonight is a chance to hear his graceful tumult... More >>

  • Wynton Marsalis

    published September 28, 2011

    The kind of swagger that marks the trumpeter’s work comes in part from his informality, even when the music feels a tad uptight. Marsalis... More >>

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