Pianist Steve Kuhn, born in 1938, is celebrating his birthday. Let’s celebrate with him as he, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Billy Drummond play Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation.” Kuhn’s unaccompanied introduction explores a harmonic...Show More Summary
Before I tell you what I'm writing about today, listen to this... That's trombonist Al Grey soloing on Quincy Jones's arrangement of Makin' Whoopie. The song appears on the album Sinatra at the Sands, featuring the Count Basie Orchestra live... Related Stories Count Basie: Europe, 1972 + '76 Count Basie: Europe, 1972 Count Basie: High Voltage
This evening, pianists Roger Kellaway (US) and Peter Beets (Netherlands) are collaborating at New York City’s Sheen Center. It’s part of the Jazz On Bleecker Street series. Their concert is scheduled to include a medley of pieces written by the British nobleman Paul McCartney. Here is an earlier encounter of the pianists playing works by […]
Precious little is known about Oscar Dennard. A gifted pianist with octopus hands and superb time, Dennard made far too few recordings and wasn't alive long enough to be fully appreciated or routinely interviewed. Now, with the release of The...
Jazz is the only form of American music that comes with a built-in film noir. As a nocturnal sub-culture, jazz has its own language, its own style and its own cynical way of looking at the world. Along the way,... Related Stories Lee Morgan: The Rajah
The bit is equivalent to the unit shannon, a basic unit of information in computing and digital communications, named after Claude Shannon, and may therefore be physically implemented with a two-state device. These values are most commonly represented as either a 0 or 1. The term bit is a portmanteau of binary digit, in information theory. […]
Cuneiform is an independent label recording music that is out of the mainstream. The Claudia Quartet, Wadada Leo Smith and Thinking Plague are on the Cuneiform roster, and it has groups with even wider orbits—Bent Knee from Boston, for instance, the Norwegian quintet I.P.A., the British jazz-punk rock group called Led Bib, and Naima, a […]
Chuck Berry, a singing electric blues guitarist with a remarkably limber stage presence who pioneered rock 'n' roll and single-handedly put the saxophone out of business as a lead R&B instrument in 1955, died on March 18. He was 90....
In the northern hemisphere, it is the first day of spring. In our corner of the Pacific Northwest, the season dawned grey, cloudy and looking as if any minute the sky might open up with rain rather than sunshine. We’re compensating with a photograph that expresses hope. Coming out of a relentlessly snowy winter around […]
On Thursday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., pianists Roger Kellaway and Peter Beets will be appearing together as a duet at New York's Sheen Center as part of producer Pat Philips' Jazz on Bleecker Street concert series. They will be... Related Stories Interview: Marcos Valle
Today is all about things that move forward, and fast. Rainbow Island come first. Their name, potentially inspired by the 1989 Amiga platform is apt. This drum and synth music definitely sounds like a good candidate to soundtrack the prances and jaunts of a Bubby and Bobby of Bubble Bobble fame, as they traverse a […]
At the Jazz At Porquerolles Festival on the French Riviera in 2011, Charles Lloyd and his remarkable quartet of the period turned their attention to one of Brian Wilson’s songs. Wilson first recorded the piece as a single in 1966 and later used it in the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds. Lloyd toured with the […]
In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Joel Grey for my "House Call" column on growing up in Cleveland (go here). His father was a saxophonist and clarinetist who played with local society bands and then moved the...
For every sunny pop hit of the mid-1960s and early '70s, there were dozens of other vocal groups that recorded similarly upbeat singles. For instance, you certainly know the Mamas and the Papas California Dreamin', Gary Puckett and the Union...
In the 1950s and early '60s, virtually every city in the country had a top jazz or R&B organist. If you were a club owner, the organ's ability to impersonate the tonality of virtually any instrument meant you could hire...
McGhee, one of the essential bop trumpeters, plays “Lover Man,” accompanied by Richard Davis, bass; Ted Dunbar, guitar; and Roy Haynes, drums; at Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights In Jazz” tribute to Charlie Parker in April, 1973, in New York. McGhee makes the introduction.
Tommy LiPuma, a five-time Grammy winning pop and jazz record producer whose passion for music and musicians resulted in career-changing albums for a range of artists, including Randy Newman, George Benson, Bill Evans, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney and Diana Krall,... Related Stories Claus Ogerman (1930-2016) Jazz Legends, in Their Words
Das Capital: The Songwriting Genius of Luke Haines is a curious beast. It’s a part-swan song to Haines’ 90s indie group, The Auteurs, a part-bridge to his new solo career, and a not-quite greatest hits. But most of all, it was a scam. Hut Records, the Virgin subsidiary that Haines spent the 90s signed to, was […]
Right at the peak of his recording career, when The Song Is Paris (Impulse) was released in 1962, Jackie Paris felt the jazz earth crumble beneath his feet. In the late 1940s and '50s, he had been among New York's... Related Stories Chubby Jackson: Entitled to You
Bob Porter, Soul Jazz: Jazz In The Black Community, 1945-1975, Xlibris Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics. Bob Porter’s new book guides you there. For decades, Porter has disseminated the jazz basics by way of records he has produced, liner notes he has written, and radio programs he has hosted. He is […]