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Bennie Maupin: Early Reflections

The return of Bennie Maupin to somewhat regular recording, beginning with his first Cryptogramophone release Penumbra in 2006, is one of jazz music’s more welcome stories of the past few years. Maupin, widely known for his work with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock through the late 1960s and well into the 1970s, is a strong tenor saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and also plays soprano sax and flute. In addition, he is a top-notch composer, and his 1975 ECM release The Jewel In the Lotus, has long been considered a classic recording (ECM just reissued the album for the first time on CD last year).

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Afrofuturistic cover of the Crossings album

The Afrofuturism of Robert Springett and Herbie Hancock

The Art of the Album

Beginning in 1972, Herbie Hancock teamed up with artist Robert Springett to produce a series of albums with a vision rooted in Afrofuturism. Although the term would not be officially coined until 1993, it’s pretty clear that a number of musicians, including Sun Ra, Hancock, Lee “Scratch ” Perry, Afrika Bambaataa and George Clinton were onto the vibe much earlier.

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Joni Mitchell’s Career Retrospective Travelogue

Joni Mitchell’s career has been a long one, with many twists and turns. It was effectively brought to a close by her 2015 brain aneurysm, from which she continues to rehabilitate. 2019 has seen the celebration of Mitchell’s 75th birthday by a stellar group of songwriters and performers. In 2002 Mitchell released Travelogue, a retrospective of songs from throughout Mitchell’s career arranged and orchestrated by Vince Mendoza and produced by Mitchell and Larry Klein. This article discusses Travelogue in the context of Joni Mitchell’s career and its place as ‘Mitchell’s last album’, as she told Rolling Stone in 2002.

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