Alex Skolnick's Planetary Coalition Breaks All the Rules

Categories: Jazz, Metal

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Photo by Tom Couture
Brooklynite Alex Skolnick is best known as the lead guitarist of thrash outfit Testament and the jazz group Alex Skolnick Trio. But his latest project, Planetary Coalition, represents a radically new direction, as it unites 27 musicians from around the globe onto an album of world music. Tuesday night, over a dozen of these musicians will perform with Skolnick at Meridian23 for the official record release show.

"You're not supposed to do a project like this," says Skolnick of industry expectations for chart-toppers like himself. "I'm supposed to be the guy from Testament."

See also: Testament's Alex Skolnick Went From Geek to Guitar God

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Sonny Rollins Fans Go Ballistic About New Yorker Article

Categories: Jazz

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YouTube screencap of Rollins' webcast
Sonny Rollins Monday night
The New Yorker's "Shouts & Murmurs" column, which is satirical and runs every week in the magazine, is usually pretty funny. The online version? Not so much.

Last week saw an entry called "Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words." But it was not written by Rollins, it was written by Onion scribe Django Gold. It was satire, but nobody got it, and there was a shitstorm.

That's because: A) It wasn't funny and B) Jazz fans are generally kind of humorless.

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Getting Naked With Charlie "Bird" Parker at the Wildest Party in L.A. History

Categories: Jazz

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Courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection
Charlie Parker, the party animal, on sax
Charlie "Bird" Parker has been called the greatest saxophonist who ever lived, a jazz legend who not only spearheaded the bebop movement but also laid the foundations of modern jazz.

He was also a party animal.

In 1952, Los Angeles would play host to one of Parker's wildest exploits. The New York-based musician was in L.A. for some club gigs, even as his health was rapidly declining -- fat, and alternately strung out on heroin or in the throes of withdrawal, he nursed his pain with alcohol binges. He went hard until the end. When Parker died in 1955 from a bleeding ulcer and liver disease, the coroner estimated his body to be between 50 and 60 years of age. He was 34.

See also: Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Scott Soderberg
Geri Allen

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in July.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Luciano Rossetti
Charles Gayle
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in June.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Shervin Lainez
Marc Ribot
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in May.

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The 10 Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month (Jazz Appreciation Month Edition)

Categories: Jazz

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Photo: Carolyn Wachnicki
Anthony Braxton
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in April, otherwise known as Jazz Appreciation Month! Read more about JAM and the JazzApril campaign.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Chris Speed, tenor saxophone; Jim Black, drums
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in March.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Arturo O'Farrill

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in February.

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The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

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Krzysztof Machowina
Henry Threadgill

Winter Jazzfest
It grows and grows. The 10th anniversary Winter Jazzfest spans five nights (Jan. 7-11), nine venues and over 90 bands. There'll be three standalone concerts and two back-to-back marathons (6pm-4am) with hugely impressive lineups. A quick glimpse reveals the names Gary Bartz, Darcy James Argue, Chris Lightcap, Matthew Shipp, Tim Berne, Aruán Ortiz, Town Hall headliners Robert Glasper and Jason Moran (plus guests), on and on. By now the vast aesthetic range is a given, but the particulars come as a surprise every year. Forced to choose a definitive set, we'd go with Henry Threadgill in his WJF debut. The great alto saxophonist/flutist/composer leads his Ensemble Double-Up in the premiere of "Old Locks and Irregular Verbs," honoring the late Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris (Jan. 11).

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