Author Archives: Chris Karcher

Electricity, Miles and Byrd

Electricity was in the air when trumpeters Miles Davis and Donald Byrd heard a buzz. Miles was first to noticeably respond to the stimulus with his 1968 release, In A Silent Way. Though George Benson had appeared on one cut … Continue reading

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A World of Glass

|It was a presentation Glass gave while I was a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design that altered the trajectory of my intellectual pursuits.| A recent rereading of his 2015 biography, Words Without Music: A Memoir, served … Continue reading

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Bill Bruford

As a founding member of the rock band YES, drummer Bill Bruford subsequently went on to a sophisticated engagement with straight ahead and several of its iterations through his evolving jazz group Earthworks. Yet on his way to becoming a … Continue reading

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Does it taste like jazz or classical?

In a room full of people, are you part of a gang or alone in a crowd? The distinction between jazz and classical musicians, players, and composers, to their respective tasks, offers up an interesting question. The jazz musician has … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Grachan Moncur III

The name Grachan Moncur III floats mostly unremarked through the music of post-bop jazz, not unlike his opening notes on the title cut of his second album as a leader, Some Other Stuff. Despite walk-on roles in biographies of Dizzy … Continue reading

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Yes, jazz can be fun, too.

At one point there were a half-dozen women from the audience were dancing with the two professional dancers who were part of the show. A couple of little kids were also playing along on a tambourine and mariachis. Punctuating all … Continue reading

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What does the audience want?

The fourth time I caught the SF Jazz Collective in concert, it was one of the best. Opening with a medley of classics from Wayne Shorter and McCoy Tyner, and including a powerful arrangement of “Crystal Silence” for the entire … Continue reading

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“Where was the improvisation?”

There is a note below about the Souza show, and the Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith’s performance was a beautiful run of long, deep grooves (both at the Carver in San Antonio). And now we’ve seen Peter White, an early heavyweight … Continue reading

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