Tag Archives: jazz

At Wall Street Journal on Promises by Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points and the LSO

MUSIC REVIEW ‘Promises’ by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The London Symphony Orchestra Review: Across Genres and Generations A collaboration between the 80-year-old jazz saxophonist and the 34-year-old electronic producer results in an austere yet stunning album By Martin JohnsonApril 7, … Continue reading

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Vertical Search: My Work at NPR

Sometimes a life changing moment happens and you know it immediately. That’s what it was like one morning in April 2020, when I awoke to an email from an editor at NPR. He wanted to know if I’d like to … Continue reading

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At WSJ on the great Code Girl recording, Artlessly Falling

Well, better late than never. I liked this piece and love the recording. MUSIC REVIEW ‘Artlessly Falling’ by Code Girl Review: Crooning Couplets Guitarist Mary Halvorson branches out from her hallmark improvisation on an album that melds her poems and … Continue reading

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More Writing: NPR Music

Last April, I awoke to a strange email. It was from an editor at NPR. He wanted to know if I was available and interested in writing for them. I went back to bed and woke up again. I thought … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Exploding Star Orchestra’s Superb Dimensional Stardust

‘Dimensional Stardust’ by Rob Mazurek Review: Futuristic Big-Band Sounds The cornetist and composer leads his Exploding Star Orchestra on an album that deftly incorporates electronics into its rich, contrapuntal arrangements. By Martin JohnsonNov. 30, 2020 2:15 pm ET Some of the … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Rez Abassi’s Django Shift

‘Django-shift’ by Rez Abbasi Review: Retuning a Guitar Legacy An album from the forward-thinking guitarist offers muscular new renditions of the music of early jazz great Django Reinhardt. Michael Sarin, Rez Abbasi and Neil Alexander PHOTO: KIRAN AHLUWALIA By Martin Johnson Sept. … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Data Lords, the superb new disc from the Maria Schneider Orchestra

MUSIC REVIEW ‘Data Lords’ Review: On Gigabytes and Garden Sights Maria Schneider leads a big band on a two-disc release that explores the dominance of the digital world and the quest to preserve natural space. By Martin JohnsonAug. 3, 2020 4:01 … Continue reading

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If Pitchfork reviewed a 34th Joni song…

A few weeks ago, Pitchfork published a nifty tribute to Joni Mitchell by having several stunningly good writers review 33 songs of the legendary singer/songwriter in a package led by an essay from NPR’s Ann Powers, who is at work … Continue reading

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From the Archives: In 2013 at WSJ on Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project

I’m delighted that this Jazz Standard gig has become an annual celebration of Gil’s music. Big Band’s Moment, Relived Anew The Gil Evans Project Will Perform at the Jazz Standard By Martin Johnson May 12, 2013 10:34 p.m. ET Ryan … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Vanessa Rubin’s The Dream is You

MUSIC REVIEW ‘The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron’ Review: A Tribute to the Romanticist of the Bebop Movement Vocalist Vanessa Rubin honors Tadd Dameron with an album that highlights his compositional genius. Vocalist Vanessa Rubin PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER DRUKKER/VANESSA RUBIN … Continue reading

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