Jazz-beyond-rock: Tony Williams addressing today’s emergency

Spectrum Road -- electric guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman -- playing high energy, high volume music at the Blue Note (NYC) this weekend inspired by the jazz-rock amalgam the late, great Tony Williams created 40 years ago, seems utterly cutting edge. Or is it just my old ears, getting deaf to quieter subtleties? … [Read more...]

Big fun news: Santana weds Blackman, Herbie & Wayne play

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The rare notable jazz wedding to celebrate: Beyond-jazz, rock & Latin guitarist Carlos Santana to drummer Cindy Blackman, who's had a great recording year, issuing Another Lifetime, her smashing tribute to the late Tony Williams) and driving Organ Monk, Greg Lewis's trio album that made my top 10.Santana's best albums after the first one always have had a outward reach -- Abraxis, Caravanserai, his spiritualized rave up Love, Devotion and Surrender with John McLaughlin and organist Larry (Khalid Yasin) … [Read more...]

Miles’ beyond jazz, today and tomorrow

Miles Davis is still at it -- in Prospect Park, the Highline Ballroom, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carefusion Jazz Festival's Carnegie Hall concerts, also overflowing the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as per my City Arts - New York column and enriching the glorious Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (June 25 - July 5).  Though he died of exacerbated living at age 65 in 1991, the influence of Miles' trumpet and his breakthrough "directions in music" vibrates through urbane international cultural as strongly now as ever. … [Read more...]