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Makaya McCraven doubly decodes Blue Note classics with Deciphering the Message live shows

Drummer Makaya McCraven has always been a bit of a rabble-rouser. He mixes audio from his live gigs with studio overdubs in intricately layered tracks that feel like jazz approached with a DJ’s sensibility. Like McCraven’s 2020 Gil Scott-Heron tribute, We’re New Again (XL Recordings), last year’s Deciphering the Message remixes snippets from a source […]

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Quin Kirchner merges eclectic sounds into transcendent jazz on The Shadows and the Light

The Shadows and the Light, the new album from Chicago drummer Quin Kirchner, is an eclectic collection of freewheeling studio performances with a diverse range of sounds. On its second track, “Batá Chop,” the album features influences of West African batá drum and traces of Afro-Cuban drumming (which Kirchner learned as a teenager while studying […]

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Chicago reedists Jason Stein and Greg Ward front a dynamic collective with New York’s Eric Revis and Jim Black

Bass clarinetist Jason Stein spent a good chunk of last year and most of 2016 playing large theaters and basketball arenas with his scrappy trio Locksmith Isidore as the opening act for his half-sister, comedian and actor Amy Schumer. Since then he’s gone back to playing more modest stages, but his latest music is bigger […]