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contemporary jazz

The Claudia Quintet

The Claudia Quintet is proof positive that the pessimists were wrong: jazz is not dead, despite being embalmed by major labels and confined by the narrow-minded to dead-ends. The stunningly original and lyrical works of this NY based ensemble, led by composer/drummer John Hollenbeck, reveal breathtaking new vistas for jazz beyond genre walls. In compositions that meld mental challenge with charm, captivating audiences with austere beauty or propulsive grooves, jazz breaks through its rigid shell, recombines with a myriad of other musics, and is reborn in a transcendent new form.

Read more about The Claudia Quintet on Last.fm.

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Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham, born May 16, 1944 in Panama, is one of the world's most influential drummers, best known for his jazz fusion in the 1970s, with John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, where he pioneered a powerful style of drumming with jazz, rock and funk influences. He is the first drummer to unseat Buddy Rich in the Down Beat music polls. Cobham has played and recorded with hundreds of top musicians, including Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Coryell, and Horace Silver; and is famous for his explosive, fast, spectacular playing.

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Tim Berne

Tim Berne (born 1954) is an American jazz saxophone player and composer. Though Berne was a music fan, he had no interest in playing a musical instrument until he was in college, when he purchased an alto saxophone. He was more interested in rhythm and blues music--Stax records releases and Aretha Franklin, especially--until he heard a recording by Julius Hemphill. Hemphill was known for his integration of soul music and funk with free jazz. Berne moved to New York City in 1974. There Berne took lessons from Hemphill, and later recorded with him.

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Bob James

Bob James (born December 25, 1939) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz keyboardist. Though he has recorded a couple of straight jazz albums, most of his recordings contain "pop-jazz" which is a type of instrumental pop music. Bob James was an important figure in turning 1970s fusion jazz more commercial. For their album One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981.

Read more about Bob James on Last.fm.

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Marc Ducret

Marc Ducret was born in Paris, France in 1957, and began his professional career as a self-taught musician in 1975, playing with dance bands, folklore groups and singers and doing a lot of studio work. Interested in a very wide range of styles and instruments (acoustic and electric 12-string guitars, oud, fretless and baritone guitars), Ducret was a member of the first National Jazz Orchestra in France in 1986, and also led his own trio which gave many concerts and performed in numerous festivals in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Africa, India, and Japan.

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