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Further Explorations Review with Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian

Bill Evans was one of the most tragic, and gifted, Jazz musicians of our time.  He was a drug addict for decades and he finally died of his disease in 1980.  One of his friends said that Bill’s death was “the longest suicide in history.”  Bill’s keen sense of melody and rhythm inspired generations of Jazz pianists — and Chick Corea knows he owes a lot of his sound and style to Bill Evans.  Chick’s newest album dropped this week — Further Explorations — and it is a riff on Bill Evan’s trendsetting album, “Explorations.”  Chick uses Bill’s sidemen Eddie Gomez on bass and Paul Motian on drums.  Sadly, Paul died in November 2011.  He was 80.

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The History of Jazz on the iPad Review

We learn through experience.  Sometimes the experience is direct.  Other times, we experience the experiences of others through immersive reading and learning.  “The History of Jazz” is a terrific iPad app that, for under $10.00USD, will give you a wonderful new way to learn about the makings of Jazz.

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The Joss Stone LP1 Review

In the bloody wake of Amy Winehouse‘s predictable death, we are salved and rejuvenated by Joss Stone’s newest album, LP1, that dropped yesterday.  LP1 proves what a real musical Jazz and Blues and Soul talent sounds like.

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No Sympathy for Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is dead.  Is anyone surprised?  Or did we all sense the inevitability of it all across the arc of her short, and tortured, wasted, life?  Does it matter that she’s now a member of the 27 Club?  Or that she becomes yet another exemplar of the Mozart Syndrome?

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Pat Metheny's What's It All About Review

Pat Metheny is a magnificent musician who just happened to make his fame by playing a rousing Jazz guitar.  Metheny’s long career in Jazz has been vibrant and punching.  He always takes you on a rapid, breathless, journey and then plunks you back to earth.  Metheny’s new album — What’s It All About — dropped today, and the album consists of a curious, non-Jazzy, covers of several classics.

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Eddie Lang: The Father of Jazz Guitar Review

Eddie Lang is the greatest Jazz guitar player you have probably never heard of before today.  Eddie Lang died in 1933 at the age of 30 after a botched tonsillectomy that Bing Crosby urged him to have so Eddie could have speaking roles, in addition to playing the guitar, in Bing’s movies.  Today, a new Eddie Lang album dropped — The Father of Jazz Guitar — and it is a delightful experience to hear Eddie’s archtop guitar sound so round and rich and full and warm 80 years after he first recorded the songs.

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The Ibanez AF125AMB Artcore Custom Review

UPDATE: May 20, 2011 — After a week of playing this guitar every day for at least three hours, it’s starting to warm up and loosen up a bit.  The wood is “coming in” and the sound reverberation is much more pleasing and enjoyable now.  This is, in large, a relief and I am starting to like the creamy Jazz sounds oozing from this box.

As I move my Blues guitar playing deeper into Jazz territory, I decided I wanted to dip my fingers into a more complex Jazz box — a traditional archtop — to see if I could more easily replicate that classic Jazz guitar sound.  I know you can play Jazz on any guitar, and my ’57 Les Paul Black Beauty and my ’56 Les Paul Goldtop both sound great playing Dave Brubeck and Wes Montgomery, but I wanted to get into Joe Pass, Tal Farlow and Jim Hall hollow body territory.  I decided on the Ibanez AF125AMB Artcore Custom and the price was right at $900.00USD after a $100 instant rebate from SamAsh.com.  I was set.

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