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A Cushicle

Bands with regular engagements are easy to take for granted–until I saw A Cushicle again last month, I’d been telling myself “I’ll just catch them next week” for more than a year. But such engagements are perfect for jazz: the musicians get the time and space to develop a deep rapport. This trio of guitarist […]

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Ab Baars

Dutch reedist Ab Baars knows how to play the sly games that his country’s senior jazzmen–especially Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink–have made a stock-in-trade. As a longtime member of Mengelberg’s ICP Orchestra he’s developed an instinctual ability to turn on a dime, and his occasionally comic decisions–like dropping a surprising snort or sourly intoned quote […]

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Adam Lane Quartet with John Tchicai

Young bicoastal bassist Adam Lane has been collaborating with his mentors since he first worked with the great Danish saxophonist John Tchicai in the latter’s California-based quartet Infinitesimal Flash two years ago. With his new album, Fo(u)r Being(s) (CIMP), Lane can put two more notches in his fiddle–trumpeter Paul Smoker and drummer Barry Altschul join […]

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Alex Blake

Over the last three decades, bassist Alex Blake has worked with musicians of all stripes–Sun Ra, Dizzy Gillespie, the Manhattan Transfer, Billy Cobham, even Jimmy Buffet. In the 90s he developed his most important musical partnership, becoming a key player in Randy Weston’s groups. In the early 70s Weston lived in Tangiers, where he explored […]