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For Your Consideration: Phronesis' 'Walking Dark'

Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
Staff Writer
mra337[at]nyu.edu / @mcrantunes

Much jazz music that has been at the very forefront of acclaim recently has been totally clean. The most recent albums to point to would be Robert Glasper’s Black Radio, a super-produced listen, an album with its audio tracks manipulated and equalised to a powerful whole, and Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society, a record making use of a large, fully synchronised, well-rehearsed band. And why should it not be so? The clean provides the listener with that glossy effect of perfection represented in sound. Walking Dark, the most recent album by Phronesis, released everywhere by Edition Records, is not imperfect, but it is opposite to that perception; it is a celebration of hot music, rather than cool, clean, and controlled music.

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For Your Consideration: Henry Cole and the Afro-Beat Collective's 'Roots Before Branches'

Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
Staff Writer
mra337@nyu.edu / @mcrantunes

Oftentimes we forget just to what extent music is a cultural phenomenon. And although jazz is known for pushing whatever limits culture might impose, it has always served as a platform to bring forward the beauty of whatever musical tradition. From Stan Getz in Brazil (Getz/Gilberto) to Dee Dee Bridgewater in West Africa (Red Earth: A Malian Journey), jazz has been used in conjunction with regional musical languages. And since the days of Dizzy Gillepsie and Chano Pozzo, Latin jazz has had a huge place in the realm of jazz, as has Africa, with the likes of musicians like Fela Kuti. And it is in this global context that Henry Cole—perhaps best known as the Puerto Rican drummer in Grammy nominee Miguel Zenon’s Alma Adentro – A Puerto Rican Songbook—set to work on an exciting new project, Henry Cole & the Afro-Beat Collective, which will be debuting its interesting fusion of Latin jazz and Afro-beat with Roots Before Branches on the 13th of March, 2012.

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Nextbop's Best Albums of 2011: Marc Antunes' Everything Else Picks

Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
Staff Writer
mra337 [at] nyu.edu / @mcrantunes

The Nextbop staff is compiling its lists of the best albums of 2011 in jazz and all other genres. We’ll release our mass lists during the last week of December but we want to make sure everyone’s individual lists have the chance to shine.

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Between Tradition and Innovation

Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
Staff Writer
mra337 [at] nyu.edu / @mcrantunes

Christian Scott’s Yesterday You Said Tomorrow is one of those landmark albums that will be remembered in future generations as a cultural monument. This is so because it is a cultural monument in the literal sense of the term, summing up a cultural heritage. And it’s easy to be excited about his three new albums coming out in 2012. The run over the 28th and 29th of October the quintet performing at the Harlem Stage in New York City demonstrated once again Scott’s forward looking perspective on music which is still solidly and harmoniously grounded in tradition.

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Nextbop's Best Albums of 2011: Marc Antunes' Jazz Picks

Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
Staff Writer
mra337 [at] nyu.edu / @mcrantunes

The Nextbop staff is compiling its lists of the best albums of 2011 in jazz and all other genres. We’ll release our mass lists during the last week of December but we want to make sure everyone’s individual lists have the chance to shine.