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New England Conservatory of Music

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Fall Jazz Preview: Blindfold test

 Trying new flavors in the new season
A search for this fall’s must-see jazz revealed a lot of overlapping personnel — Jim Hobbs, Allan Chase, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum. Hey, you wanted to know what’s good , right?
By JON GARELICK  |  September 16, 2010
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Does jazz have a melody problem?

Phil Sargent and Daniel Bennett try a new approach
It seems lately that every other jazz musician I talk to under 40 wants to talk about melody — how it’s the thing they all care about.  
By JON GARELICK  |  June 02, 2010
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Covering Lacy

A jazz master’s legacy finds traction
For Josh Sinton, Steve Lacy stood out almost from the beginning.
By JON GARELICK  |  May 24, 2010
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Pardon the interruption

Quartet of Happiness, Jerry Leake, and Jazz Week
Maybe it was when saxophonist Kelly Roberge, instrument in hand, leapt off the Cambridge YMCA Theatre stage in the middle of a performance by the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra and fled the auditorium — as if in extreme gastro-intestinal distress.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 22, 2010
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What's new

BMOP, and the Christian Wolff festival
The timely highlight of Gil Rose’s latest BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project) concert, “Strings Attached,” was a new/old piece (2004, revised 2009) for two string orchestras by Scott Wheeler now called Crazy Weather — the new title taken from a John Ashbery poem that begins, “It’s this crazy weather we’ve been having.”
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 23, 2010
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Netsky notes

The KCB's main man talks Klezmer
Hankus Netsky founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band 30 years ago at New England Conservatory and sparked an American klezmer revival that continues to this day.
By JON GARELICK  |  February 25, 2010
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Review; Fred Hersch at Jordan Hall

Fred Hersch, live at Jordan Hall, February 17, 2010
Photos from Fred Hersch's set at Jordan Hall
By JON GARELICK  |  February 19, 2010
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Steampunk and Lima Beans

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and the Bert Seager Trio
The hook for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society — who come to the Regattabar Thursday the 25th — is that they're a "steampunk big band."
By JON GARELICK  |  February 09, 2010
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Stopping time

The BSO, Peter Maxwell Davies, BCMS, BMOP, Mark Morris, and Christian Tetzlaff
BSO music director James Levine has returned to Symphony Hall for the first time since October, when back surgery put him out of commission.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 02, 2010
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5 for '10

New locals to love right away
I love baby bands, and I hope the ones I mention here don't mind my calling them that.
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  January 22, 2010
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Best in their field

An early 2010 harvest
The jazz scene continues to struggle — along with everyone else — through hard times.
By JON GARELICK  |  December 30, 2009
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2009: The year in jazz

In and out
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and concerts I wrote about in 2009.
By JON GARELICK  |  December 21, 2009
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Group hug

The crooked folk of Cuddle Magic
Things aren’t always what they’re called — we know that flying fish don’t fly and starfish aren’t even fish.
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  December 15, 2009
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Open spaces

The BSO's Brahms, Ben Zander's Wagner, Collage New Music, and the BEMF's Handel
In my review of the memorable Brahms performances Sir Simon Rattle led with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the Celebrity Series of Boston last month, I should have mentioned that one decision responsible for the beauty and spaciousness of the orchestral sound was the placement of the first and second violin sections on opposite sides of the stage.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 02, 2009
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Mixed media

Ran Blake's Pawnbroker, Sofia Koutsovitis's pan-American roots
Film noir has been a running theme in composer/pianist Ran Blake's work since the beginning of his career — his very first album, The Newest Sound Around (RCA, 1962), with singer Jeanne Lee, began with David Raskin's theme to Otto Preminger's Laura .
By JON GARELICK  |  November 18, 2009
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Slow hand

Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s not a bad starting point.
By JON GARELICK  |  October 21, 2009
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Slow hand

Jeremy Udden’s rocky jazz path
In his Village Voice review of Jeremy Udden’s Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent), Jim Macnie recalled how a friend of his tried to file it as “jazz for Wilco fans.” As Macnie explained, that’s not the whole story with Udden or Plainville , but it’s not a bad starting point.
By JON GARELICK  |  October 21, 2009
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The roar of the crowd

‘Opening Night at Symphony,’ Russell Sherman, the Discovery Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and the Bostonians
I wasn’t there, but the opening-night dissatisfaction with the Met’s new Tosca was widely reported.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 13, 2009
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Baroque and beyond

Betting on the best this fall
Ten-best lists usually come at the end of the season, but this year the Phoenix has asked its critics to provide a calendar of 10 events that, at least on paper, might wind up on an end-of-season Top 10. Boston, in case you didn't know it, is a great city for classical music, so it's not easy to keep the list short. But here goes.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 14, 2009
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Teachers and students

NEC and Berklee set the jazz stage
Several of this fall's promising jazz performances are clustered around the week of October 18. That marks the 40th-anniversary celebration of the jazz-studies program at New England Conservatory, which, created by Gunther Schuller, established NEC as one of the international twin beacons of jazz education in Boston along with Berklee College of Music.
By JON GARELICK  |  September 14, 2009
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More than guitar

Julian Lage's talent isn't just in his fingers
"I like using songs to change the environment — to get the listener's ear to be a little skewed."
By JON GARELICK  |  September 08, 2009
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Technical difficulties

The trouble with Tristan da Cunha
Last week, Tristan da Cunha and I brainstormed some strategies by which they might finally hit the big time. Like, getting a charismatic frontman.
By MATT PARISH  |  June 23, 2009
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Dancing in a new direction

Notes from 'Ballets Russes 2009'
The 100th birthday of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes prompted the expected centennial tributes in Boston: a "Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1909–1929: Twenty Years That Changed the World of Art" symposium and exhibition at Harvard University in April, and a "Ballets Russes 2009" festival this month.
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 14, 2010
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Inventing the Future

At MIT's fabled Media Lab, some will change the world with robots and computers, others with . . . Wii guitars
Has Boston found the new Eric Clapton? A shimmying, face-contorting successor to Yngwie Malmsteen? Not exactly.
By ABIGAIL JONES  |  May 13, 2009
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Mad love

John Harbison's Winter's Tale, Dvorák's Rusalka, Hans Graf with the BSO, Mark Morris's music
The destructive power of jealousy makes a good subject for opera.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 24, 2009
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Modern vintage

Lake Street Dive and Miss Tess go their own ways
Boston bands Lake Street Dive and Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade are different, but with a lot in common.
By JON GARELICK  |  April 08, 2009
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Resurrections

The BPO celebrates its 30th, and the Cantata Singers continue their Britten year
Back in pre-history (1964), a brilliant young Brit, a cellist (student of Benjamin Britten) and conductor, came to town and shook up the local classical-music scene.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 19, 2009
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Accidental purist

Stephen Drury takes on Stockhausen
In one of Karlheinz Stockhausen's weirdest creations, the ensemble is instructed to "play a sound with the certainty that you have an infinite amount of time and space." Stephen Drury doesn't mind that so much. But fasting for four days? "No."
By MATT PARISH  |  February 18, 2009
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Puccini goes punk

Faced with diminishing mainstream opportunities, Boston's young opera singers are going small and making the repertoire their own
Perched on the lid of a lace-draped baby grand, a bobblehead quivers along with Christine Teeters's vibrato as she powers through a Tuesday-night voice lesson in the Steinway Piano Building on Boylston Street.
By SARA FAITH ALTERMAN  |  January 23, 2009
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Ring in the new

Haydn trios, Kirchner's 90th-birthday concert, Cantata Singers' Britten, Teatro Lirico's Aida
If 2009 lives up to the grace and power of some of the concerts that began it, we can look forward to a vintage year.
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 20, 2009

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