Concert Reviews

CONCERT JOURNAL: Spring 2022

Now appearing in abbreviated form due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Jazz History Online’s Concert Journal continues to cover the finest jazz concerts from the Eastern US. Thomas Cunniffe is your guide to the wide variety of jazz performed from Boston to DC.

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AUTUMN IN NEW YORK…AND OTHER PLACES (November 12-21, 2021)

In mid-November 2021, Thomas Cunniffe and a long-time friend from Colorado attended a series of 7 concerts spread over 10 days. The experience illustrated the culture deeply embedded in the Northeastern US. In this extended Concert Review, Cunniffe discusses all of the concerts in the tour.

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CONCERT JOURNAL Autumn, 2021

Jazz History Online’s new feature, Concert Journal, offers capsule reviews of performances from various locations up and down the Atlantic seaboard. This regularly updated column is part of JHO’s new focus on live performance. Thomas Cunniffe acts as reviewer and guide.

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THE SOUNDS OF CHICAGO

After a busy summer covering jazz concerts on the East Coast, Jazz History Online’s Thomas Cunniffe traveled to Chicago and caught performances by several of the Windy City’s finest local musicians…plus one notable alumni, Herbie Hancock. In this special essay review, Cunniffe discusses each concert, as well as a special memorial for the late Penny Tyler.

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CONCERT JOURNAL (Spring/Summer 2021)

Jazz History Online’s new feature, Concert Journal, offers capsule reviews of performances from various locations up and down the Atlantic seaboard. This regularly updated column is part of JHO’s new focus on live performance. Thomas Cunniffe acts as reviewer and guide.

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THE SWINGLES AT POPEJOY HALL, ALBUQUERQUE, NM (December 19, 2019)

In a holiday-themed concert at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, The Swingles proved once again that they are without equals among vocal groups. While the group was able to overcome the temporary loss of one member when they sang in Lakewood Colorado last March, their concert in Albuquerque found the entire group present and in splendid voice. In this concert review, Thomas Cunniffe reports that while The Swingles are still in transition, they are at the top of their game performing a wide variety of arrangements (including some dating back to the group’s early years)

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CHICK COREA/CHRISTIAN McBRIDE/BRIAN BLADE AT MACKY AUDITORIUM (Boulder; October 9, 2019)

The supertrio of Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade has so much musical experience that their concert performances can–and frequently do–go in many different directions. At a recent performance at Macky Auditorium, the group used compositions by jazz giants to illustrate its expansion of the trio style. However, “Trilogy 2”, the double CD documenting the group’s last world tour, offers a freer approach and a (mostly) different repertoire. Thomas Cunniffe reviews both the concert and the CD in this special combined review.

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VAIL JAZZ PARTY (August 29-September 2, 2019)

The 25th Vail Jazz Party featured its usual mix of returning and new artists, several new recurring performances, a new venue for the Party’s most popular event, and an energetic festival staff that is building on the Vail legacy to create new and exciting additions to the existing festival. Thomas Cunniffe’s review is accompanied with photos from several fine photographers.

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ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY AT VAIL SQUARE (July 25, 2019)

For Ann Hampton Callaway, her “Jazz Goes to the Movies” concerts are more than just misty-eyed trips down memory lane. As she explained to the audience at Vail Square on July 25, 2019, the music explores dreams, both as wish fulfillment and as a salve for a troubled world. In an 18-song, two-act show, she […]

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CYRILLE AIMÉE AT THE SOILED DOVE, DENVER (June 6, 2019)

The Soiled Dove, a 300-seat club in East Denver was transformed into an intimate cabaret on June 6, 2019, as Cyrille Aimée presented her jazzy interpretations of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway songs. Thomas Cunniffe was there, and in this Concert Review, he reports that the music’s presentation varied considerably from her recent CD, as Cyrille used a reduced instrumentation (piano and bass) and added detailed introductions of the songs.

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