Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – January 2020

Has Winter Jazzfest peaked? When I was out exploring the annual weekend marathon (105 performances spread across 11 venues), it felt significantly less manic and…
Phil Freeman | January 20, 2020 - 1:19 pm

2010s In Review

The 20 Best Jazz Albums Of The 2010s

Where jazz is concerned, the 2010s could be divided almost precisely in half: BK (Before Kamasi) and AK (After Kamasi). The burly LA saxophonist's triple…
Phil Freeman | January 9, 2020 - 8:53 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2019

Henry Threadgill, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2015 album In For A Penny, In For A Pound, has reunited his band Zooid after…
Phil Freeman | December 20, 2019 - 11:10 am

2019 In Review

The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2019

This wasn’t a year of radical transformation in the world of jazz. There was no single breakout star, and no explosion like the sudden realization…
Phil Freeman | December 9, 2019 - 3:00 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – November 2019

People often talk about particular jazz labels having an aesthetic, a through-line that encompasses most if not all of their releases. Very few labels have…
Phil Freeman | November 21, 2019 - 2:31 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – October 2019

Let me tell you about an amazing band you’ve probably never heard. Over the past few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with the George Adams/Don Pullen…
Phil Freeman | October 25, 2019 - 1:18 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2019

There's always one more thing in the vault, it seems. This month, a previously unreleased John Coltrane session will appear, and much like last year's…
Phil Freeman | September 20, 2019 - 10:35 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2019

One of the most fascinating things about avant-garde jazz and improvised music is the methods people use to impose structure, while still allowing plenty of…
Phil Freeman | August 23, 2019 - 12:36 pm

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Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – July 2019

Turbaned organist Dr. Lonnie Smith performs at the Jazz Standard a couple of times a year, it seems. I like some of his recent albums,…
Phil Freeman | July 19, 2019 - 10:23 am

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Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2019

There's a hip-hop scene in Nashville, but it would be a stretch to say that that's what the city is known for, right? When you…
Phil Freeman | June 26, 2019 - 11:47 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2019

Ahmad Jamal will turn 89 on July 2, and he doesn't perform live very often anymore. So when the opportunity to see him play at…
Phil Freeman | May 24, 2019 - 12:33 pm

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Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2019

Earlier this month, I saw a show that wasn't just a great night of live music, it was a model that other musicians, clubs and…
Phil Freeman | April 26, 2019 - 1:53 pm

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Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – March 2019

Shabaka Hutchings is very tall. I'm gonna guess at least 6'5" and maybe 6'6". I'm 6'2", and he loomed over me when we met last…
Phil Freeman | March 22, 2019 - 11:03 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – February 2019

Hey, remember the Grammy Awards? Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, all that stuff? I didn't watch -- hell, I haven't even heard any of…
Phil Freeman | February 22, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – January 2019

It's goddamn January and jazz artists are trying to smother me already. I got sent two 12-CD sets this month.
Phil Freeman | January 28, 2019 - 11:19 am
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