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

Topic: Earshot Jazz Festival

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October 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Acclaimed jazz journeymen Lovano and Douglas grace Earshot jazz fest

Only a handful of journeymen jazz players consistently win magazine polls of both critics and readers. Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas are longtime members of that club.

Both are coming to the Earshot Jazz Festival in the rarely-seen collaborative group Sound Prints, on Saturday, Oct. 18. It should the highlight of the four-week annual spree.

Lovano and Douglas have carved out a territory that could arguably be called a new mainstream — between roots revivalism and head-exploding experimentalism. No matter how far out they go — into dissonance, free-improvisation, tangential forms or extended instrumental techniques — their music is still blues-drenched, swinging jazz.

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Comments | Topics: Dave Douglas, Earshot Jazz Festival, Joe Lovano

October 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

17 highlights of the four weeks of Earshot jazz fest

Sound Prints, the collaboration between saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas, is only one of many highlights on this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival, a marathon that runs more than four weeks. Though it’s difficult to keep up a festive spirit that long, so it’s better to think of it as a concert series with peaks and valleys. The players are not exactly household names, but they are right in the wheelhouse of today’s jazz scene. Here are some highlights.

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Comments | More in Jazz | Topics: Earshot Jazz Festival

October 2, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Keith Jarrett surpasses all expectations | Concert review

(Sven Thielmann)

(Sven Thielmann)

Apart from a first, revelatory encounter with Keith Jarrett in the ’70s — and that probably doesn’t count, since it was comparable to a first date with a future spouse — Tuesday night’s performance by Jarrett and his trio at Benaroya Hall surpassed anything I’ve heard in 40 years by this extraordinary pianist.

When he’s really on, Jarrett has a way of drawing listeners into his compressed realm of concentration, where the notes seem to fall like crystals in a snow globe.

Even when he was probing intensely, or flying over the keys at top speed, Jarrett’s playing had a clarity and lightness, the egolessness he famously strives for but does not always achieve. Nothing felt forced — there was little gospelish vamping — and he got in and out of his ideas quickly, as if to say, “Well, there is it is. Hope you like it.”

Boy, did we ever. The jubilant crowd cheered the trio back for an unusual four encores, which suggested that the 30-year-old trio was playing very well, indeed.

As always, Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette offered a mix of standards, bebop and originals in a variety of tempos, with some melodies heavily disguised. Include in that group the opening ballad, “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” which began with a long, cross-handed rumble over knocking drums, melted into swing time and a bass solo, glanced by the melody, then vamped out.

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Comments | More in Festivals, Jazz | Topics: Earshot Jazz Festival, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

September 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Keith Jarrett kicks off 7 weeks of Earshot

(Sven Thielmann) The Earshot Jazz Festival, which lasts a whopping seven weeks this year, gets under way Tuesday at Benaroya Hall with headliner Keith Jarrett. The famously creative (and notoriously fussy) pianist — jazz’s own Glenn Gould — appears with his trio, which features former Cornish College instructor Gary Peacock (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums). Jarrett played on…

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Comments | More in Festivals, Jazz | Topics: Earshot Jazz Festival, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette