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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

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January 23, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Cafe Racer celebrates five years of far-out jazz | Concert preview

Neil Welch (Nathan Vass)

Neil Welch (Nathan Vass)

The late baritone saxophonist Andrew Carrico, who died tragically young in 2012, used to describe his sound as “somewhere between a cry and a roar.” The musicians who gathered with him at the University District hangout Cafe Racer appropriately adopted those words as the title of their festival, which celebrates the kind of unpredictable, elbows-out jazz (and beyond) played at the cafe’s Racer Sessions. The fifth edition of the festival is this weekend.


Comments | More in Festivals, Jazz | Topics: Cafe Racer, Cry & Roar, Heatwarmer

January 15, 2015 at 11:47 AM

Jazz Connect & Winter Jazzfest – a New York state of mind | Festival review

Christian McBride keynote 1, Jazz Connect, NYC 1-15

“Lighten up,” said Christian McBride during his keynote address at the Jazz Connect conference in New York. (Jeff Tamarkin / JazzTimes)

When bassist Christian McBride, host of the new National Public Radio show “Jazz Night in America,” was 9, his father played him the musically challenging John Coltrane album “Live in Seattle,” recorded in 1965 at the Penthouse, a long-gone Pioneer Square jazz club.

“Did I like it?” McBride asked rhetorically during his keynote address at the Jazz Connect conference in New York last week. “No. But when I was 11, I went back to listen again. By the time I was 14, I was in.”


Comments | More in Jazz | Topics: 'Jazz Night in America', Christian McBride, Jazz at Lincoln Center

January 12, 2015 at 3:27 PM

Meghan Trainor debut album ‘Title’ goes beyond that bass | New Recordings

Meghan Trainor, ‘Title’ (Epic) The playful, catchy hip-hop/doo-wop hit “All About That Bass” (cowritten by Nashville songwriter Kevin Kadish) was nearly impossible to escape (or resist) last year. The song reached No. 1 and spent many weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, disrupting the relentless trajectory of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” The song…


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Meghan Trainor, New Recordings, Title

January 6, 2015 at 5:03 AM

A sparkling release from one of West Africa’s greats | New Recordings

Kassé Mady Diabaté, ‘Kiriké’ (Six Degrees)

This splendid, sparkling album featuring one of Mali’s great griots, whose family name will be familiar to anyone with even a casual interest in West African music, finds Kassé Mady Diabaté in the studio with an all-star cast: Ballaké Sissoko, kora (harp); Makan Tounkara, ngoni (lute); Lansiné Kouyaté, balafon (marimba); and — unusually — French cellist Vincent Segal.


Comments | More in World | Topics: Ballake Sissoko, Kasse Mady Diabate, Kirike

January 2, 2015 at 5:02 AM

Mark Hummel takes a flyer with Bluebird Records | Concert preview

If you love Chicago blues, you are no stranger to B.B. King’s “Sweet Little Angel” and Muddy Waters’ “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.”

But did you know that these songs, popularized as electric blues in the ’50s, go back to the acoustic ’30s?

Harmonica professor Mark Hummel does, and he’s prepared some soulful lesson plans on the subject for his annual Blues Harmonica Blowout, which hits Jazz Alley next week.


Comments | More in Blues | Topics: Billy Boy Arnold, Blues Harmonica Blowout, Charlie Baty

December 30, 2014 at 5:20 AM

Planes on Paper lands a new EP | New Recordings

Planes on Paper, ‘The Ruins’ (EP, self-released) Planes on Paper, a year-old Yakima folk duo consisting of Navid Eliot (guitar, vocals) and Jen Borst (vocals), is releasing its second EP just in time for gigs at Leavenworth’s Timbrrr Winter Music Festival (Jan. 9-10) and a shindig with Shelby Earl and others at the Columbia…


Comments | More in Folk | Topics: "The Ruins", New Recordings, Planes on Paper

December 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

The Roots: From ‘The Tonight Show’ to the Showbox

The Roots. Photo courtesy of Bearded Gentlemen Music. The Roots, a group that has managed to thrive at the heart of hip-hop while freely satirizing its stupidities, is riding the kind of high, narrow ridge that protest groups of the ’60s traversed after gaining major media access. Sure, the band plays to a huge TV audience…


Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Showbox, The Roots

December 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Bumbershoot to partner with Showbox Presents/AEG Live

Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times One Reel, which presents Seattle’s annual arts festival, Bumbershoot, announced Friday that it has entered into a partnership with Showbox Presents/AEG Live, promoters of music at the Showbox, KeyArena and other venues around the country. The new partnership will offer nonprofit One Reel sorely needed financial support, as the…


Comments | More in Festivals, General news | Topics: AEG Live, Bumbershoot, One Reel

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