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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.

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On "Why I Don't Like Jazz"

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

If you are in any way involved in the jazz community in America, you've probably read this blog post: Why Americans Don't Like Jazz. Now, I don't normally give too much weight to opinion posts written in 2003 about jazz that have no verifiable, relevant, or comprehensive data to support the author's position. However, the apparent popularity of this amongst jazz supporters of all kinds has pushed me to take a look.