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Author Archives: Michael J. West

Jazz Workshop: CD Review: Daniel Smith – The Swingin’ Bassoon

Despite some obstacles, The Swingin’ Bassoon displays a deeply gifted, thoughtful, and emotive musician in Daniel Smith. Read More »

The Curse of Lester Bangs’ Influence

His continuing influence is perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to rock criticism. Read More »

Jazz Workshop: Max Roach (1924 – 2007) – A Revised Retrospective

I suggest that Max Roach is as pivotal a figure as Miles, and like him, a musician who shaped the major developments of his time. Read More »

Jazz Workshop: The ’90s and “Smooth Jazz”

What's up with 'em, anyway? Read More »

Jazz Workshop: Out of Context

The test of a truly viable and durable piece of music is whether it can be translated into a different musical language than its source. Read More »

Jazz Workshop: In Defense of Fusion, Part 2 – On the Rock Side

What these musicians know is what the rest of the jazz world should have seen 30 years ago. Read More »

Is It Really About Good vs. Evil?

I don't think so. Read More »

Jazz Workshop: In Defense of Fusion, Part 1 – The Case for John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin might be THE key figure in the first era of jazz fusion. Here's why. Read More »

Music Review: Billy Bang Quintet with Frank Lowe – Above & Beyond: An Evening in Grand Rapids

If these old friends had to say goodbye, there was no more more glorious way to do it than Above & Beyond. Read More »

Welcome To The Jazz Workshop

A new jazz feature begins at Blogcritics. Read More »