Larry Blumenfeld on jazz and other sounds

Fred Hersch, At Home at the Vanguard

I try not to miss pianist Fred Hersch when he performs at the Village Vanguard. Hersch shapes the sound of his piano with care and fine calibration, which is doubly rewarded by the club’s… More ›

photo by Martin Zemin

At Haystack, Summer 2016

I’m still unpacking from my recent trip to Deer Isle, Maine. The clothes are long out of suitcases, and all that. Still, with newspaper deadlines and daily life rushing back in I haven’t yet made… More ›

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Remembering Bobby Hutcherson

Like so many listeners, I first discovered the brilliance and originality of vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson though “Out to Lunch,” the 1964 album by alto saxophonist, flutist and bass… More ›

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O’Farrill 3.0: Adam Steps Out

It came as no surprise to me when Adam O’Farrill placed in the top three at the Thelonious Monk Institute International Trumpet Competition two years ago, at the tender age of 19. I’d seen… More ›

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NEA Names 2017 Jazz Masters

There are still events that force me to check my cynicism at the door. The annual NEA Jazz Masters Awards counts among them. I may sometimes disagree with the choices of recipients, but never with… More ›

Dee Dee Bridgewater. Photo by Mark Higashino/ Dr. Lonnie Smith. Photo by Mathieu Bitton/ Dick Hyman. Photo by Bob Haggart Jr./ David Holland. Photo by Ulli Gruber/ Ira Gitler. Photo by Frances McLaughlin-Gill/

Carla Bley at 80

As a pianist, Carla Bley plays exactly the right amount of notes. Needless to say they’re also the right note choices, except when they are gorgeously and intentionally wrong. Her hands seem to… More ›

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When Esperanza Met Emily

  A few facts were striking after Esperanza Spalding took the stage of Brooklyn’s BRIC House in early March. Gone was the bassist and singer’s soft cloud of an Afro, tamed now into long… More ›

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