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New England Conservatory of Music

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Fall Jazz Preview: Blindfold test

A search for this fall’s must-see jazz revealed a lot of overlapping personnel — Jim Hobbs, Allan Chase, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum. Hey, you wanted to know what’s good , right?
 Trying new flavors in the new season
By JON GARELICK  |  September 17, 2010
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Does jazz have a melody problem?

It seems lately that every other jazz musician I talk to under 40 wants to talk about melody — how it’s the thing they all care about.  
Phil Sargent and Daniel Bennett try a new approach
By JON GARELICK  |  June 04, 2010
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Covering Lacy

For Josh Sinton, Steve Lacy stood out almost from the beginning.
A jazz master’s legacy finds traction
By JON GARELICK  |  May 21, 2010
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Pardon the interruption

Maybe it was when saxophonist Kelly Roberge, instrument in hand, leapt off the Cambridge YMCA Theatre stage in the middle of a performance by the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra and fled the auditorium — as if in extreme gastro-intestinal distress.
Quartet of Happiness, Jerry Leake, and Jazz Week
By JON GARELICK  |  April 23, 2010
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What's new

The timely highlight of Gil Rose’s latest BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project) concert, “Strings Attached,” was a new/old piece (2004, revised 2009) for two string orchestras by Scott Wheeler now called Crazy Weather — the new title taken from a John
BMOP, and the Christian Wolff festival
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 26, 2010
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Netsky notes

Hankus Netsky founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band 30 years ago at New England Conservatory and sparked an American klezmer revival that continues to this day.
The KCB's main man talks Klezmer
By JON GARELICK  |  February 26, 2010


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Review; Fred Hersch at Jordan Hall

Photos from Fred Hersch's set at Jordan Hall
Fred Hersch, live at Jordan Hall, February 17, 2010
By JON GARELICK  |  February 26, 2010
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Steampunk and Lima Beans

The hook for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society — who come to the Regattabar Thursday the 25th — is that they're a "steampunk big band."
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and the Bert Seager Trio
By JON GARELICK  |  February 12, 2010
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Stopping time

BSO music director James Levine has returned to Symphony Hall for the first time since October, when back surgery put him out of commission.
The BSO, Peter Maxwell Davies, BCMS, BMOP, Mark Morris, and Christian Tetzlaff
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 05, 2010
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5 for '10

I love baby bands, and I hope the ones I mention here don't mind my calling them that.
New locals to love right away
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  January 22, 2010
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Best in their field

The jazz scene continues to struggle — along with everyone else — through hard times.
An early 2010 harvest
By JON GARELICK  |  January 01, 2010


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2009: The year in jazz

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and concerts I wrote about in 2009.
In and out
By JON GARELICK  |  December 25, 2009
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Group hug

Things aren’t always what they’re called — we know that flying fish don’t fly and starfish aren’t even fish.
The crooked folk of Cuddle Magic
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  December 18, 2009
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Open spaces

In my review of the memorable Brahms performances Sir Simon Rattle led with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the Celebrity Series of Boston last month, I should have mentioned that one decision responsible for the beauty and spaciousness of the or
The BSO's Brahms, Ben Zander's Wagner, Collage New Music, and the BEMF's Handel
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 04, 2009
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Mixed media

Film noir has been a running theme in composer/pianist Ran Blake's work since the beginning of his career — his very first album, The Newest Sound Around (RCA, 1962), with singer Jeanne Lee, began with David Raskin's theme to Otto Preminger's Laura .
Ran Blake's Pawnbroker, Sofia Koutsovitis's pan-American roots
By JON GARELICK  |  November 20, 2009
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Slow hand

In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s
Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
By JON GARELICK  |  October 23, 2009


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Slow hand

In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s
Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
By JON GARELICK  |  October 23, 2009
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The roar of the crowd

I wasn’t there, but the opening-night dissatisfaction with the Met’s new Tosca was widely reported.
‘Opening Night at Symphony,’ Russell Sherman, the Discovery Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and the Bostonians
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 02, 2009
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Baroque and beyond

Ten-best lists usually come at the end of the season, but this year the Phoenix has asked its critics to provide a calendar of 10 events that, at least on paper, might wind up on an end-of-season Top 10. Boston, in case you didn't know it, is a great
Betting on the best this fall
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 18, 2009
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Teachers and students

Several of this fall's promising jazz performances are clustered around the week of October 18. That marks the 40th-anniversary celebration of the jazz-studies program at New England Conservatory, which, created by Gunther Schuller, established NEC as
NEC and Berklee set the jazz stage
By JON GARELICK  |  September 18, 2009
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More than guitar

"I like using songs to change the environment — to get the listener's ear to be a little skewed."
Julian Lage's talent isn't just in his fingers
By JON GARELICK  |  September 11, 2009


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Technical difficulties

Last week, Tristan da Cunha and I brainstormed some strategies by which they might finally hit the big time. Like, getting a charismatic frontman.
The trouble with Tristan da Cunha
By MATT PARISH  |  June 26, 2009
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Dancing in a new direction

The 100th birthday of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes prompted the expected centennial tributes in Boston: a "Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1909–1929: Twenty Years That Changed the World of Art" symposium and exhibition at Harvard University in April, and
Notes from 'Ballets Russes 2009'
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 29, 2009
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Inventing the Future

Has Boston found the new Eric Clapton? A shimmying, face-contorting successor to Yngwie Malmsteen? Not exactly.
At MIT's fabled Media Lab, some will change the world with robots and computers, others with . . . Wii guitars
By ABIGAIL JONES  |  May 15, 2009
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Mad love

The destructive power of jealousy makes a good subject for opera.
John Harbison's Winter's Tale, Dvorák's Rusalka, Hans Graf with the BSO, Mark Morris's music
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 24, 2009
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Modern vintages

Boston bands Lake Street Dive and Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade are different, but with a lot in common.
Lake Street Dive and Miss Tess go their own ways
By JON GARELICK  |  March 24, 2009


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Resurrections

Back in pre-history (1964), a brilliant young Brit, a cellist (student of Benjamin Britten) and conductor, came to town and shook up the local classical-music scene.
The BPO celebrates its 30th, and the Cantata Singers continue their Britten year
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 19, 2009
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Accidental purist

In one of Karlheinz Stockhausen's weirdest creations, the ensemble is instructed to "play a sound with the certainty that you have an infinite amount of time and space." Stephen Drury doesn't mind that so much. But fasting for four days? "No."
Stephen Drury takes on Stockhausen
By MATT PARISH  |  February 18, 2009
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Puccini goes punk

Perched on the lid of a lace-draped baby grand, a bobblehead quivers along with Christine Teeters's vibrato as she powers through a Tuesday-night voice lesson in the Steinway Piano Building on Boylston Street.
Faced with diminishing mainstream opportunities, Boston's young opera singers are going small and making the repertoire their own
By SARA FAITH ALTERMAN  |  January 21, 2009
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Ring in the new

If 2009 lives up to the grace and power of some of the concerts that began it, we can look forward to a vintage year.
Haydn trios, Kirchner's 90th-birthday concert, Cantata Singers' Britten, Teatro Lirico's Aida
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 20, 2009