Nick Bewsey

Straight-Ahead Swooning: Michael Blum's Guitar Jazz

Mar 13, 2015

The up-and-coming Michael Blum makes an impressive and vital debut with Initiation, and a persuasive case for straight-ahead guitar jazz. While this precocious 20-year-old New Hampshire native has forged an accessible modern sound with a rooted connection to jazz masters like Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, and early George Benson, Blum embraces an intimacy with his material and dispatches a thoughtful set list with the surprising sureness of a more experienced musician.

Michael Blum plays "Castle Rock"

Red Garland Live: A Time-Machine Discovery

Feb 16, 2015

Pianist Red Garland (1923-1984) was an integral member of the Miles Davis Quintet and a key collaborator with John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, at a time when those leaders were swelling in popularity during the late ’50s and early ’60s. A hard-bop player, Garland also led his own bands mostly for the Prestige and Galaxy labels, with many of his recordings still available.

The first sound you hear on Beautiful Life is a home recording of Ana Marquez-Greene singing “Saludos” at a Christmas celebration in Puerto Rico with her mother, Nelba, and her father, Jimmy, playing saxophone in the background, - a year before her death at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. She was six years old.

Why Ron Carter is the Ace of Bass

Dec 11, 2014

As a cultural institution, the Blue Note in NYC's Greenwich Village is surprisingly small. It’s a long, shotgun room with a snug stage set midway down against the left wall - the jazz club’s glowing blue neon logo centered as a backdrop. Tables line up front in tight formation and fan out to the left and right with as many patrons squeezed into place as the room can hold.

Since it's always about the music, there’s a collective understanding why you’re there. And last February, it was all about the man of the hour—the one and only, bassist Ron Carter.

Autumn 2014 Jazz Picks: Check Them Out!

Nov 19, 2014

Nick Bewsey from ICON Magazine has some great jazz CDs to tell you about from Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, and Alicia Olatuja.

Rotem Sivan is one reason why listening to jazz is so rewarding. And without a doubt, Sivan's new release, For Emotional Use Only, is one of the great guitar albums in recent memory. Affable in the extreme, this Israeli-born, New York-based musician evokes the better balladry of Pat Metheny and relaxed swing of Kenny Burrell, two obvious inspirations, yet his confident playing style and refreshing compositions marry that astute sense of swing with unabashed romanticism.

Till Bronner

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, and Bill Stewart's Ramshackle Serenade is a great album title for this splendid trio, the supplest and sharpest-tuned organ/guitar/drum trio making music today.

Their endurance as a unit—they’ve been recording together for many years and share more than a dozen recordings—has never been more pronounced or sophisticated.

ICON Suggests: Jimmy Cobb, The Original Mob

Aug 21, 2014

Drummer Jimmy Cobb, an historically important musician who duly received an NEA Jazz Master award in 2009, needs no introduction. If his only connection to jazz was through Miles Davis and playing on Kind Of Blue in 1959, his reputation would still be assured.

An exceptionally gifted musician and leader, trumpeter Sean Jones has an accomplished track record. As a young man, he turned to jazz after hearing John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. But it was the music of Miles Davis that pushed Jones toward his destiny as a player with the capacity to lead the pack.

June Jazz Picks from ICON Magazine

Jun 24, 2014

Here's Nick Bewsey from ICON Magazine with a bunch of great jazz CDs to tell you about.

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