New Release Review: The Uppercut: Matthew Shipp Mat Walerian Duo – “Live at Okuden” (ESP-Disk’)

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Forming a duo in jazz can amount to a daunting task. There’s simply no hiding; with arrangements so sparse, possibility is boundless and subtleties are fully exposed. This formless atmosphere requires able musicians who can immerse themselves in their instruments and in turn, feed off each other to eventually flourish on a singular wavelength. The innovators of the jazz duo — Anthony Braxton and Max Roach, Bill Evans and Jim Hall, Dave Holland and Sam Rivers — reaped these artistic benefits and effectively solidified the format’s legacy within jazz, passing the gifts of unrefined improvisation on to new generations. Continue reading “New Release Review: The Uppercut: Matthew Shipp Mat Walerian Duo – “Live at Okuden” (ESP-Disk’)”

Reissue Review: Van Morrison – “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” (Sony Legacy)

 

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Within music, there are certain live albums that are universally praised for mirroring the unrefined fervor of a concert. The Band’s “The Last Waltz,” The Who’s “Live at Leeds,” the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense,” Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison,” and Cheap Trick’s “At Budokan” come to mind immediately. However, hidden under the towering stature of the aforementioned albums lies Van Morrison’s first live album released in 1974 entitled, “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” –- an effort that embodies the phrase “criminally underrated.” Continue reading “Reissue Review: Van Morrison – “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” (Sony Legacy)”