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Sarah Marie Young - 'Little Candy Heart'

Alex Marianyi
Staff Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

I met Sarah Marie Young when we were both students at Columbia College Chicago, and she was already pretty awesome. Over the last few years, she hasn't shown any signs of slowing down as she's gone on to win the 2011 Shure Montreux Vocal Competition and played some of my favorite venues here in Chicago, such as the Chicago Jazz Festival and Schuba's. With her new album Little Candy Heart coming out on Dutch label SnipRecords in October 2014, she continues her evolution and upward trajectory.

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Matt Ulery - 'In The Ivory'

Alex Marianyi
Staff Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

With new thoughts constantly coursing through his head and the many tangents resulting from seemingly foreign but actually quite astute connections, conversation with Chicago bassist and "editor of ideas" (composer) Matt Ulery can sometimes feel like you’re being drawn into entirely different levels of consciousness. Though I do highly recommend it, sitting with him at a bar in Chicago’s Wicker Park is not required to get that feeling. You can be drawn into Ulery’s unique plane of existence just by listening to his upcoming jazz-classical crossover1 double-album, In The Ivory.

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2014 Chicago Jazz Festival RE-view

Alex Marianyi
Staff Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

I’M SO SORRY I CHEATED ON YOU LAST LABOR DAY, CHICAGO JAZZ FEST. I KNOW YOU WERE EXCITED TO SHOW ME YOUR NEW PLACE. WILL YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?! How about I tell everyone how much fun I had with you this past weekend?

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2014 Chicago Jazz Festival Preview

Alex Marianyi
Staff Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

The crowds at the Chicago Jazz Festival are always the best. The central location at the beautiful Millennium Park and free admission make for a wonderfully diverse crowd coming from all racial backgrounds, age groups, and neighborhoods, all sorts of Chicagoans (and others just visiting for the festival) spending Labor Day weekend together for almost four decades.

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Dave Douglas & Uri Caine - 'Present Joys'

Alex Marianyi
Staff Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

As per usual, Dave Douglas created an album that only he at only this point in his career could have made. All the killer Dave Douglas things are there: the excellent song choices that play to the strengths of the musicians, the soft but by no means weak tone, and the intelligence. I felt smarter after listening to Present Joys. Along with pianist Uri Caine, Douglas' approach on this record sounds like Nas on Illmatic or the Grateful Dead at their live shows. He opens a channel into the middle of his musicianship and just lets it all flow out without anything superfluous or presumptuous.