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Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy: Let Your Light Shine On

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy: Let Your Light Shine On

Nicola Conte is an Italian musician known for his seductive mix of acid jazz and bossa nova. Available in vinyl, CD, or download form, his latest release finds him performing groove-oriented spiritual jazz (think Lonnie Liston Smith or the Strata East label) in the company of African, European, and American musicians. With song titles like “Cosmic Peace,” “Mystic Revelation of the Gods,” “Space Dimensions,” and “Essence of the Sun,” you might expect the record to sound cosmic—and while the music does have a mystical vibe, it will also engage your lower chakras thanks to a rhythm section that includes, along …… Read the full article

Grant Green on Resonance

By | November 30th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Grant Green on Resonance

After establishing an industry rep as the premier archival jazz label on the scene today through a string of previously unheard recordings by such jazz giants as Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Larry Young, and Stan Getz, Resonance Records has upped the ante with its recent issue of two deluxe packages by guitar great Grant Green. Funk in France is actually two recordings in one—The Round House: Live at la Maison de la Radio in Paris, recorded with Green’s working trio on October 26, 1969; and Haute Funk: Live at the Antibes Jazz Festival, which captured Green’s organ quartet …… Read the full article

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A Roon Primer

By | November 19th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , |

A Roon Primer

What Is Roon? Roon is a music playback and management software suite for digital audio components. There are many such products on the market, including iTunes and JRiver’s Media Center, but what makes Roon special is the unmatched comprehensiveness of its user interface and, believe it or not, its sound. This primer will cover some of the more salient features of Roon’s UI, as well as how to implement Roon in your system. I’ll also describe why and in what ways Roon affects a system’s sound.… Read the full article

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Eddie Henderson: Be Cool

By | November 9th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Eddie Henderson: Be Cool

A member of Herbie Hancock’s early 70s Mwandishi sextet, trumpeter Eddie Henderson revels in his acoustic hard bop roots on Be Cool. Leading a dream team of pianist Kenny Barron, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, bassist Essiet Essiet, and drummer Mike Clark, Henderson interprets classics like Woody Shaw’s surging “The Moontrane,” Miles Davis’ jaunty “Fran Dance,” and John Coltrane’s hauntingly beautiful “Naima” in this 2-LP vinyl set that’s also available on CD. Barron’s soul-jazz groover “Smoke Screen” has the leader and Harrison tossing off bristling solos over a funk groove.… Read the full article

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Newvelle Records Launches Season Three

By | October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Newvelle Records Launches Season Three

The notion that time flies definitely applies to Newvelle Records, a subscription-based vinyl-only jazz label. It seems we’d just discovered a new record company that stood out for its high production standards musically, sonically, and visually, and now Season Three is upon us. And while this year’s six new releases will be our main focus here, assessing Newvelle’s discography to date makes some sense as box sets for Seasons One and Two remain on sale. With sessions led by Rufus Reid, Jack DeJohnette, and Don Friedman, Newvelle has sometimes featured players who first made their mark on the jazz world …… Read the full article

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Ornette Coleman’s The Atlantic Years

By | October 1st, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Ornette Coleman’s The Atlantic Years

Today, when we hear the first notes of “Lonely Woman,” the first track on the first album Ornette Coleman made for Atlantic Records, very little about the composition, now a classic, or the way it’s played—by Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, cornet; Charlie Haden, bass; Billy Higgins, drums—sounds all that avant-garde. If everything is relative, our musical judgments are no exception. We’ve had nearly 60 years, since “Lonely Woman” opened The Shape of Jazz to Come, to assimilate far more radical schemes of improvisation, both solo and collective.… Read the full article

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Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back to the Sunset

By | September 27th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back to the Sunset

Cuban-born drummer-composer Dafnis Priesto has plied his impressive polyrhythmic skills primarily in small group settings. On this ambitious project, the multi-directional force of nature directs a dynamic 17-piece ensemble from behind the kit with typical power and precision while showcasing a bevy of killer NYC soloists. Prieto dedicates each of his nine exhilarating compositions to important mentors and inspirations throughout his career. The group comes out smoking on the churning clave-fueled descarga “Una Vez Mas,” which has trumpeter Lynch stretching into the stratosphere over pianist Manuel Valera’s insistent comping and against a percolating Afro-Carribean undercurrent from Venezuelan percussionist Roberto Quintero.… Read the full article

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Louis Armstrong: The Standard Oil Sessions

By | September 7th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Louis Armstrong: The Standard Oil Sessions

Everyone knows that Louis Armstrong was the first great jazz soloist and that almost everything he recorded during the 1920s achieves an astonishing level of near-ecstatic creativity, a level that has never been surpassed and rarely equaled by anyone. But it’s easy to fall into thinking that he didn’t challenge himself in the decades that followed, being satisfied to more or less coast. Real fans have always known that Armstrong could and did deliver superb jazz all along the way, no matter the setting, but perhaps it takes hearing music that has never been issued before to really make the …… Read the full article

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Keith Jarrett: After the Fall

By | September 5th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Keith Jarrett: After the Fall

This 1998 document of Keith Jarrett’s Standards Trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette came after the pianist’s two-year recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A 2-CD set, it shows Jarrett in good humor and with an urge to swing. During the 15-minute ice-breaker that kicks off his comeback concert, “The Masquerade Is Over,” you can tell Jarrett’s having fun as he nonchalantly drops in quotes from Jack Benny’s theme song (“Love in Bloom”), “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” and “Jeepers Creepers.” He also delivers blazing renditions of Charlie Parker’s “Scrapple from the Apple,” Bud Powell’s “Bouncing with …… Read the full article

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Sleeping Cats Meets QCA

By | August 10th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

Sleeping Cats Meets QCA

Spring Grove Avenue is a street in Cincinnati, Ohio, that, due to its wide lanes, light traffic, and limited stoplights, makes for a leisurely drive. It’s also a picturesque thoroughfare flanked with large old factories and warehouses, highlighting what was once a concentration of industry, with new urban redevelopment looking to reconnect with those roots. Located on Spring Grove Avenue, and emblematic of its past and present, Queen City Albums (QCA) is a business that has for almost 70 years manufactured recorded music in formats including LPs, cassettes, and CDs.… Read the full article

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