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You were expecting . . . Justin Bieber? It was Spalding's victory over Bieber (and a few other people) in the Best New Artist category at the Grammys that threw everyone for a loop this year — most likely herself included. It was the headline story coming out of that event. So you could hardly expect the 26-year-old singer, bassist, and composer not to take this — her home category — in the town where she made her name early on as a prodigy at Berklee. This was also the year she followed up her pop-leaning 2008 homonymous major label debut with the yet more challenging Chamber Music Society (Heads Up). Here is Spalding melding her bass — and her singing voice — into elaborate, beguiling arrangements for string quartet. It is easy on the ear without being easy, and she filled Sanders Theatre with people eager to hear it live. They didn't go home disappointed.

2. The Bad Plus
3. Jason Moran
4. Joe Lovano

Latest Articles

good mornin old sport

Mornin' Old Sport launch our pop-up video series with jazz-inspired '20s country

Sound on the streets
Allston's Mornin' Old Sport play jazz-inspired country songs, brimming with three-part harmonies and a rare chemistry amongst the group's four members.
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 10, 2011
ART takes on Porgy and Bess 2

Reimagining Porgy and Bess

The A.R.T. takes on the Gershwins' classic and prep it for Broadway
In the new production at the American Repertory Theater, directed by Diane Paulus, Messrs. Heyward and Gershwin have been reworked by two actual African-Americans: two-time Obie Award winner Diedre L. Murray and Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 10, 2011

James Farm take jazz into songs

Plus: A Newport Jazz Fest sampler
Typical of the festival's — and jazz's — rich crosscurrents these days is the collective quartet James Farm. This is a band with unassailable jazz bona fides.
By JON GARELICK  |  August 03, 2011

Some must-see acts at this weekend’s Newport Jazz Festival

Horns of plenty
To kick off the 2011 edition of the NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL , MICHAEL FEINSTEIN harks to the Voice's classic 1958 date, essaying a handful of Tin Pan Alley chestnuts in his own bravura-flecked style.
By JIM MACNIE  |  August 03, 2011

Amy Winehouse, 1983–2011

In Memoriam
While we all await the inevitable "Last Days of Amy Winehouse" report from Rolling Stone , let's take a breather and remember the voice. It was slow, smoky, insinuating, sweet-and-sour, and seemed to conjure a handful of jazz-and-soul divas in a syllable...  
By JON GARELICK  |  July 28, 2011
farinacci list

Dominick Farinacci's hometown arias

Hello Cleveland!
Farinacci releases the new, romantically-themed Dawn of Goodbye (E1) on July 26 and comes to the Regattabar on August 3.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 20, 2011
Assaf Kehati - Flowers and Other Stories

Assaf Kehati Quartet | Flowers and Other Stories

AKJazz (2011)
The Boston-based Israeli guitarist Assaf Kehati and his quartet know how to straddle the great divide.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 12, 2011
Assaf Kehati - Flowers and Other Stories

Assaf Kehati Quartet | Flowers and Other Stories

AKJazz (2011)
The Boston-based Israeli guitarist Assaf Kehati and his quartet know how to straddle the great divide.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 12, 2011
jazz music Mark McGrain

Mark McGrain takes Plunge, music ensues

Contrapuntally speaking
Trying to find continuities in the strains of jazz history can be a dizzying, foolish, irresistible head game. Original as it is, this stuff all comes from somewhere, right?
By JON GARELICK  |  June 27, 2011
'Black Up' by Shabazz Palaces

Shabazz Palaces | Black Up

Sub Pop (2011)
The musical reincarnation of Ishmael Butler, the elusive Seattle rapper who makes up one-third of the semi-popular '90s jazz-rap act Digable Planets under the name Butterfly, is a lot to unpack.
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  June 09, 2011
jazz supergroup The Cookers in Boston

The Cookers' book

A "supergroup" maintains the standard
When does a one-off gimmick turn into a "real" band? On the face of it, the Cookers, who come to Scullers next Thursday, June 16, could easily have become a gimmick that outlived its usefulness — a handful of wily veterans egged on by a couple of younger cats as a way to trade on the collective power of their names and score some gigs.
By JON GARELICK  |  June 09, 2011

Richard Nelson's big deal

In cool Pursuit
While it's seemingly becoming commonplace for one musician to play 13 different parts or instruments on a studio album, it's getting pretty rare to hear an album featuring 13 musicians all playing at the same time.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 08, 2011
giant list

Plainville, James Farm, and the Infrared Band

Old and new dreams
When Antoine Batiste is looking for a guitarist, the one thing he doesn't want to hear is "white boys with bad hair playin' them cowboy keys."  
By JON GARELICK  |  May 26, 2011

Photos: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | April 27–May 6, 2011
Big Freedia, Creole Wild West, Danny Barnes, Dr. John, Dave Bartholomew, Pine Leaf Boys, Tom Jones, Washboard Chaz and Zion Harmonizers perform live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival from April 27–May 6, 2011.
By JON GARELICK  |  May 18, 2011
JCA orchestra performs during Jazz week in Boston

Eric Jackson and Jazz Week

Good waves
When he headed for BU from his home town of Camden, New Jersey, in 1968, Eric Jackson thought his ultimate destination was medical school and a career in psychiatry. But as a jazz fan from an early age — and the son of a fairly renowned jazz DJ — he found himself on the closed-circuit BU student station, WTBU.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 26, 2011
guitarist Julian Lage

Floating heavyweights

Club d'Elf, Julian Lage, Jérôme Sabbagh, and Michael Feinberg
Club d'Elf, Julian Lage, Jérôme Sabbagh, and Michael Feinberg
By JON GARELICK  |  April 13, 2011

Photos: ''The Art of Jazz'' at Cuban Revolution

"The Art of Jazz" | Cuban Revolution | March 31, 2011
Mike Rollins, Eric Bloom and Paul Williams perform at "The Art of Jazz" at Cuban Revolution Restaurant and Bar on March 31, 2011.
By TOM ROCK  |  April 05, 2011
musician Yanni

The word from Yanni

A conference call with the man himself
We should all be so lucky as to live the Life of Yanni: While the rest of us concern ourselves with mundane day-to-day trials and tribulations wrapped within a greater shell of global anxiety, Yanni has been able to fashion a musical identity where he can pursue genre-defying instrumental music for the gratification of a dedicated worldwide following.  
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 06, 2011

Tal Gamlieli Quartet at Lily Pad

Lily Pad | March 3, 2011
Sometimes it's all a matter of making complex things simple. Or revealing the complex depths beneath simple surfaces.
By JON GARELICK  |  March 04, 2011
Jason Palmer

Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch, Dan Tepfer, Jason Palmer, and Donny McCaslin front a busy week

Pleasures, simple and otherwise
Brad Mehldau, Fred Hersch, Dan Tepfer, Jason Palmer, and Donny McCaslin front a busy week
By JON GARELICK  |  March 02, 2011

Dennis Taylor | Steppin' Up

Kizybosh (2011)
The set-up is familiar and unpretentious: a saxophone-fronted organ trio playing blues 'n' roots.
By JON GARELICK  |  February 23, 2011

Young and not so old

Noah Preminger is effin great; plus, dynamic duos live
Noah Preminger is 25 years old. But close your eyes when he's playing - or talking - and you might think you're hearing a gruff jazz sage with 40 years on the road.
By JON GARELICK  |  February 16, 2011

Turning on Turner

Letters to the Boston editor, February 11, 2011
I was grooving on your January 28 issue, including the  Student Survival Guide , until I got to " 50 Concerts To See Before Finals Week ."
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 17, 2011

Faust | Something Dirty

Bureau B Records (2011)
Faust are like the anti-Who: only the rhythm section remains.
By GARRETT MARTIN  |  February 09, 2011

Review: Viktor Ullmann's The Emperor of Atlantis

Boston Lyric Opera pulls out the stops
The Boston Lyric Opera, with Boston Classical Orchestra music director Steven Lipsitt and a company of singers and designers largely new to Boston, has given us a memorable production of the opera that composer Viktor Ullmann and poet Petr Kien created in 1943 at the Terezín concentration camp, The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Quits .
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 03, 2011

Dan Capaldi steps out from behind the kit

On the Level
In addition to plenty of other projects, Dan Capaldi has played drums now for two of Portland's most important bands of the last five years: the brightly burning Cambiata and the still-on-the-rise Holy Boys Danger Club.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 26, 2011

The education of Grace Kelly

Hat tricks
Legendary 79-year-old alto-saxophonist Phil Woods laughs indignantly when I ask him how he knew 18-year-old alto-saxophonist Grace Kelly was special. "Come on, when you hear it, you know what it is! I've been doing this for 65 years!" Pressed for particulars, he at first says, "Her maturity." Then he demurs. "It's not any one thing. She's got the whole kit."
By JON GARELICK  |  January 19, 2011

Bass Box | Mother Box

Local vocals
The debut full-length from Bass Box is worth a listen if only for its originality. I can't remember an album that explores as much of the contemporary musical canon — rock, pop, folk, jazz, R&B, gypsy, tango — all without use of the drums.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 20, 2011

artist: Tricia Rose, Brown University’s hip-hop scholar, discusses rap’s creative crisis

Keeping it unreal
Some 40 years in, rap is nothing less than a cultural juggernaut. But it has not lost its power to provoke.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 19, 2011

Joe Lovano Us Five | Bird Songs

 Blue Note (2011)
It's worth taking Lovano's word that this is not a Charlie Parker "tribute" album.
By JON GARELICK  |  January 11, 2011

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