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Tag: Jazz

Kimbra’s Ring of Gold

Kimbra’s Ring of Gold

This 21-year-old singer has “it.” Plain Gold Ring Explosively controlled jazz. Volcanic scat and soul. She bobs and weaves and falls victim to the depths of her emotional possession, as all great artists do. But she rises from those depths and expresses the journey upward and outward, without losing her courage or her conviction. Aside from her wonderful voice, running parallel with it, she moves in interesting, idiosyncratic ways to her own song. A refreshing change from all too many…

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The Physiology of Jazz

The Physiology of Jazz

She’s a dervish on the piano. She dances with it, tweaks and cajoles the notes, the rhythm, the beat. There are few performers with such a developed and idiosyncratic relationship with their musical instrument, and few who exhibit so much joy in performance. She makes music, the act of making music, physical, kinetic, electric. NPR has a story and a good video up on its website showing her extraordinary technique. Born in Japan in 1979, Hiromi later studied at the…

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Witness to Genesis

Witness to Genesis

 First to see. Like Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman. 1933. Debut to beat the band. To be there. To be not square there. Ella singing scat with Dizzy in the 40s. Using her voice like a horn, playing with it, like a mad cat running up and down a tree. Running up and down and all over town. Billie wrote a lot of songs. A lot of people don’t know that. Or care. They just want to hear her sing….

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Being in Time

Being in Time

For those of you north of the border, for those of you planning to take a trip to Canada soon, Desi Di Nardo has a poetic treat in store. On Wednesday, May 13th, she will be holding a workshop/reading at 7:00pm. The location is: The McNally Robinson Bookstore Don Mills Road at Lawrence Avenue East 12 Marie Labatte Road Toronto, Ontario M3C 3R6 (416) 384-0084 From the bookstore’s announcement: Desi Di Nardo is an author and poet living in Toronto…

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Freedom to Swing

Freedom to Swing

While doing some research for a new novel, I stumbled on a fascinating story. WWII, Occupied France, and Django Reinhardt, one of the great Jazz guitarists of his era. Many elements make the story fascinating, but perhaps the most unusual aspect of the whole thing is that Reinhardt was a gypsy. The Nazis included the Roma in with other minority groups it sought to destroy, killing hundreds of thousands of them before their reign of terror ended. According to Michael…

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Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng

One of my favorite recent discoveries is the music of Vienna Teng. I love the name. She chose it. It fits. A Taiwanese-American singer/songwriter from California, Vienna has a gorgeous, angelic voice that exudes intelligent sweetness, but is never saccharine. She has called her music “Chamber Folk”, which rings true. Influenced by Classical, Jazz, Folk and Pop, Vienna Teng sings on the edge of discovery. She flies higher, but doesn’t overreach. When she is not singing, just talking, she sounds…

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Kandinsky’s Synesthesia

Kandinsky’s Synesthesia

Kandinsky heard colors. They sang to him. His notes were colors, his colors notes. I see Jazz in the air, Bebop tickling the cerebral cortex, trailing after the watcher and the painter and the singer in all of us. I see blue notes, sharps and flats, choruses and improvs. The sun kisses that music and carries it through space and time. And there’s something not quite right, or unfinished, and waiting. There’s something ready to come into view on the…

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