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Music, Hear This Myra Melford: Show Preview

Myra Melford: Show Preview

There's epic adventure in the works in Oakland this weekend with two consecutive nights of world-class jazz improvisation. First up: drummer Han Bennink, Dutch pioneer of the "free music" movement of the 1960s, and celebrated pianist Myra Melford, a 2013…
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Music, Hear This Aaron Novik: Show Preview

Aaron Novik: Show Preview

S.F.-based clarinetist and composer Aaron Novik is like a musician from Boomer times. Not because his music sounds like 1960s rock, but because, like the greats of that generation — including the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and Bob Dylan —…
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Music, The Dead C's harsh reality

The Dead C's harsh reality

Infamous New Zealand noise-rock trio the Dead C certainly isn't for everybody. Some music fans find the band's chaotic lo-fi din unlistenable, while others derive hypnotic bliss from the clamorous dirges created by Bruce Russell, Michael Morley, and Robbie Yeats.…
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Calendar, Night&Day Museum-Quality Jazz

Museum-Quality Jazz

The de Young Museum launches its 2008 Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young program in style, teaming up with Intersection for the Arts to present an ambitious showcase for eight commissioned compositions from an impressive range of local…
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Music, Reviewed Andrew Hill/Nels Cline

Andrew Hill/Nels Cline

Pianist-composer Andrew Hill has been actively extending the jazz tradition on nearly three dozen recordings since 1960. It may be Wilco guitarist Nels Cline's latest disc that invigorates Hill's cachet among younger-generation fans of adventurous music, though. Cline's New Monastery…
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News, Feature SF Music Awards 2001

SF Music Awards 2001

It was a strange experience putting this show together in the midst of so much turmoil. The timing was all wrong. I found myself sending out congratulations to nominated musicians at a time when offering congratulations could not be more…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Over the past decade, globally minded U.S. improvisers have embraced Eastern European folk music as their primary influence, borrowing the snaky melodies of klezmer and the back-country fire of the Balkan Gypsy traditions. New York jazz leaders such as John…
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Music, Finger-picking Good

Finger-picking Good

When shopping for a Duck Baker album, it can be hard to know which section of the record store to look in. On one record he collaborates with traditional folk singer Molly Andrews, while on another he arranges the songs…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Maybe it happened when he hit the big four-oh last summer, or perhaps it was merely the natural evolution of a creative life taken seriously. Whatever the impetus, it's clear from three exceptional new albums issued in the past year…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

The great creative artists embrace the totality of existence -- joy and sorrow, passion and powerlessness, life and death. In his masterwork Duino Elegies, celebrated German poet Rainer Maria Rilke posits his conclusive statement on humanity's complex relationship with the…
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Music,

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Steve Lacy The clarity and integrity of saxophonist Steve Lacy's vision as a jazz composer/improviser have inspired fans and musicians alike for more than four decades. Eminent Bay Area reedmen Larry Ochs, Dan Plonsey, and Ben Goldberg explain why: "What…
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Music,

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Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant Bassist Trevor Dunn has lived a double life, both as demented thrasher (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) and upright jazz improviser (Ben Goldberg, Graham Connah's Sour Note Seven). The two sides of his personality are reconciled on Debutantes &…
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Music,

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Elliot Humberto Kavee Even hard-core fans tend to hit the john during drum solos at jazz shows. And why not? Some drummers mistake virtuosic self-aggrandizement for an engaging percussion language. It takes a mighty combination of mad skills and vision…
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Music,

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Klezmer Mania! From New York City nightclubs and movie theaters to San Francisco recital halls and backyard parties, the serpentine melodies and infectious rhythms of klezmer are everywhere. But how did an Eastern European Jewish instrumental music rooted in 1,000…
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Music,

Hear This

Ben Goldberg's Brainchild Brainchild's modus operandi is simple in theory, yet considerably difficult to execute with success. Basically, Ben Goldberg enlists about a dozen available musicians with the biggest "ears" who he thinks will be able to play sympathetically with…
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Graham Connah's NoPorkestra & Chorus Anyone who's seen jazz pianist Graham Connah in concert is familiar with his fun-loving fascination with language. From droll, between-song wisecracks to clever album titles (like his palindromic debut, Snaps Erupt at Pure Spans, and…
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Music,

Recordings

John Coltrane The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Rhino/Atlantic) I'm a bit amazed at my own reaction to this momentous, seven-CD masterwork. Instead of musing about the innovative spirit of the early '60s, the sessions that make up this…
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