Blog Profile / JazzWax

Filed Under:Music / Jazz
Posts on Regator:2034
Posts / Week:4.2
Archived Since:March 31, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Chico Hamilton: Broadway, 1960

yesterdayMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

As a drummer and leader, Chico Hamilton was vastly important in the evolution of small-group jazz in the 1950s and '60s. Unfortunately, he is nearly forgotten today. Hamilton was a member of the seminal Gerry Mulligan Quartet in the early...       Related Stories Bob Whitlock (1931-2015)  

Jay Cameron: Sax Band, 1955

2 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Saxophone bands hold a special place among jazz fans. Reeds playing melody and harmony in unison is tremendously exciting, whether they are alone or as lead instruments in a band. As reeds, they assume a vocal harmony group feel, which...        

Charles Mingus: Changes One

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

One of my favorite Charles Mingus albums is Changes One, recorded for Atlantic Records at the tail end of December 1974. There something about the recording that exceeds even Mingus's routinely high composing standards and sensitivity. The album is moody,...        

Sonny Rollins & Monk

4 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins didn't record much with pianist Thelonious Monk, but what they did record together remains remarkable. It's a shame they weren't brought together for several albums or recorded live, but the timing was never quite right. By...       Related Stories Thelonious Monk: Movie Music Interview: Denny Zeitlin 5 Albums That Cast a Spell  

Peter, Paul and Andy

6 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed James Patterson, the country's bestselling author of adult fiction, for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). What you may not know about Jim: His father didn't give...        

Video: Maynard Ferguson

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In the fall of 1969, Maynard Ferguson toured Europe with a great book of arrangements and a clutch of American players, adding top local musicians along the way. On Nov. 29, he was in Vienna at the Konzerthaus, a formal...       Related Stories Maynard Ferguson: Fox Hunt  

Hank Mobley: Roll Call

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Starting with Soul Station, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley embarked on a powerful series of recordings for Blue Note in the 1960s. His sixteen releases recorded during the decade tapped into virtually every musical trend, including bossa nova, boogaloo, funk and...       Related Stories Lee Morgan: The Rajah  

Baden Powell: Tristeza on Guitar

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In the States, guitarist Baden Powell remains one of the least known bossa nova pioneers of the late 1950s and 1960s. Rather than play the smoothed-out, laid-back samba popularized by João Gilberto, Luiz Bonfá, Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menescal, João Donato...        

Rolf Ericson & American Stars

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

If you check the personnel of Charlie Barnet's band in 1949—the killer one with arrangements by Bobby Sherwood, Manny Albam, Pete Rugolo, Gil Fuller, Dave Matthews and Johnny Richards—you'll find a guy named Rolf Ericson in the trumpet section. Ericson...        

Bud Shank and Three Trombones

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Bud Shank was among the most recorded West Coast jazz reed players. He was on more than 600 known sessions, according to Tom Lord's Jazz Discography. Heard most often on alto saxophone, Bud began his recording career in 1947 with...       Related Stories RIAS Big Band: Kenton Tribute Bud Shank: Shorty Rogers, 1954  

Kareem, Alan and Dion

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

He's 7-foot 2 and loves jazz. In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for my "House Call" column (go here). We talked about growing up in the Inwood section of Manhattan (where I grew up), listening...        

Videos: Diahann Carroll

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Diahann Carroll is best known as an African-American actress who appeared in movies in the 1950s and then on TV in the'60s and beyond—most notably on Julia and Dynasty. Julia aired on NBC from 1968 to 1971 and starred Carroll...    ...

Hampton Hawes: All Night Long

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

I've never been a huge fan of pianist Hampton Hawes. His keyboard attacks on many leadership trio albums are frantic, uneven and overly concerned with speed and percussive impact than harnessed intensity. The result is a jarring listen often followed...       Related Stories Hampton Hawes: All Night 5 Albums That Cast a Spell Video: Jimmy Giuffre Trio  

Red Garland: First Trio LP

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Pianist Red Garland's first leadership recording came during Miles Davis's May 1956 session for an album that would be called Workin'. Under pressure to record enough material for two albums to meet half his remaining obligation to Prestige Records, Davis...       Related Stories Red Garland: Halleloo-Y'-All Miles Davis: Musings of Miles More From Zoot's Tribute: '86  

Thelonious Monk: Movie Music

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Pianist Thelonious Monk recorded only one movie soundtrack in his career—for the French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (The Dangerous Laisons), directed by Roger Vadim in 1959. The film was about a married couple who help each other have extramarital...       Related Stories Red Garland: Halleloo-Y'-All Interview: Denny Zeitlin Video: Bobby Jaspar, 1958  

Art Pepper Quartet: Nov. 1956

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

The second half of 1956 was a highly successful recording period for alto saxophonist Art Pepper. His streak began in July of that year when he appeared on Short Rogers' The Big Shorty Rogers Express (RCA). Prior to July, Pepper...       Related Stories Art Pepper: West Coast, 1980 French Twist: Art Pepper + 11 Dolo Coker: California Hard  

Priyanka, Randy and Rahsaan

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

This week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed actress Priyanka Chopra, who starts in TV's Quantico, appears as the villain in the film Baywatch and has made more than 50 films in India (go here) [photo above of Priyanka...       Related Stories Rahsaan Roland Kirk: 1967  

Why Buddy Holly Mattered

3 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Most people know that Buddy Holly died in an air crash in February 1959. They also know that the crash and its aftermath were the inspiration for Don McLean's 1971 hit The Day the Music Died. Still a mystery to...        

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper at 50

3 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Fifty years ago today, Capitol Records released the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the U.S. Two months later, my Aunt Mary gave me the album for my birthday. Astonishingly, nothing from the album was released as a...       Related Stories The George Martin Touch  

Jazz Feel in New York Film

3 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Jazz was so potent in the 1950s that young experimental filmmakers in New York were inspired to express the music's improvisational feel in their work. In researching the subject recently, I came across four filmmakers who used used the city...        

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