Today we bring you excellent dance music from (relatively) new label Potions Music NYC. They’ve put out a split featuring previous 20JFG postees Chandeliers and the subject of today’s post, Songs for Gods. Boss has that synth + mournful vocal + techy funk thing that Jessy Lanza absolutely fucking nailed on last year’s Oh No. Which […]
The finest jazz vocal treatment of the Gershwin songbook was recorded by Chris Connor between February and April 1957. The double album for Atlantic Records was called Chris Connor Sings The George Gershwin Almanac of Song. The personnel varied over... Related Stories Henry Mancini: Lola Albright West Coast Jazz: Early Sounds Videos: Shorty Rogers, '80s
It is an open secret long acknowledged nearly everywhere: the best jazz musicians in other parts of the world are in a league with top players from the United States. Evidence of that excellence—if further evidence was needed—surfaced this summer in Prague when visiting American trumpeters Marcus Printup and Greg Gisbert sat in with pianist […]
The new self-titled cd on Posi-Tone Records "Ralph Bowen" features the distinctively muscular tone of the saxophonist with a quartet that includes pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Kenny Davis and playing the drums is Cliff Almond. Except for...Show More Summary
Back in the 1950s, pop singers played a vital role in the fabric of our society. Unlike today, where many pop stars leverage dark fantasies and psychological dramas in songs to connect with audiences, singers 60 years ago were songbirds... Related Stories Jo and Rosey: Two New CDs Rosemary, Pete and Jeri Half-Dozen Rosemary Clooneys
Jeroen de Valk: Chet Baker, His Life And Music (Aspekt) de Valk has revised his 2000 biography of the trumpeter. The new version includes a comprehensive index that is helpful to readers. It has a selection of new photographs of Baker on the bandstand, with family, and in times of trouble growing out of the […]
Between March 28 and April 2 in 1983, Chet Baker appeared at the Canteen in London. By then, the club's space at 4 Great Queen St. in Covent Garden was something of a landmark. From 1979 to 1981, it was... Related Stories Chet Baker at the Moonlight Chet Baker: La Voce Chet Baker: Cold Trumpet
Back in July, I posted on singer Georgia Mancio's exquisite new album, Songbook. On the album, Georgia was joined by pianist Alan Broadbent, who wrote all of the songs and invited Georgia to write each song's lyric. In the days... Related Stories Alan Broadbent: Developing Story
The Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival ran six days and was packed with so much music that there was no chance of hearing it all. Here are brief impressions of a few more performances. Gilbert Holmström New Sextet In the Per Helsas Gard courtyard, the 80-year-old tenor saxophonist led five younger musicians in pieces that drew […]
At the Ystads Konstmuseum, the Carsten Dahl Experience was, indeed, an experience. After launching his career as a drummer, Dahl taught himself piano in the early 1980s and quickly developed formidable technique that was on full display with his quartet of fellow Danes. At the beginning of his concert, the pianist reached inside the instrument […]
This week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed Otto Penzler, mystery-fiction editor and owner of New York's Mysterious Bookshop, for my "House Call" column in the paper's Mansion section (go here). Penzler's childhood was quite harrowing. In the late...
Yesterday I posted about Bev Kelly, a hip jazz singer from Chicago who recorded in the 1950s. Today, another swinging Chicago jazz club singer (and guitarist) from the same period—Frank D'Rone. To read my two-part interview with Frank go here... Related Stories John Williams: Rainbows
Catching up is a noble ambition, but the quantity of music at the Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival and the tight scheduling make it all but impossible to be comprehensive. My notebook is overflowing with impressions. Here are brief reports on a few performances. The festival’s opening concert was by the New York band The Rad […]
As the world tries to reboot the show Nuclear Armageddon (which we hoped had been put on hiatus in the early 90s) we can’t help but search out some sort of anaesthetising soundtrack. Yet where once we found glorious escape in the brutal — a voyeur to imaginary catastrophe — now it feels like prepping. […]
A couple of days ago I heard from singer Bev Kelly. If you're unfamiliar with Bev, dig my two-part interview with her from 2013 (here and here). In the 1950s, Bev was one of the hippest jazz vocalists in Chicago's...
Bassist Tom Brigandi recorded just two albums as a leader. Both albums are exceptional. From my online research, I know he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1981. I also know that he played with... Related Stories Mike LeDonne: That Feelin' Harry Allen: The Candy Men Jan Lundgren: Styne and Young
Aging beauty is still beautiful. Jazz greats lucky enough to grow old tended to develop new techniques for expressing how they felt when they played. Their honesty and sensitivity remained intact but both were more pensive and thoughtful. What they...
Joy In An Ancient Ystad Church Swedish bassist Hans Backenroth and Danish guitarist Jacob Fischer played in the 11th century Klosterkyrkan, not far from Ystad’s center. Among the most experienced European jazz artists, they found ways of dealing with the acoustical challenge created by the church’s recesses and stone surfaces famous for causing sound delays […]
It's unclear who gave Johnny "Hammond" Smith his middle name. In all likelihood, it was Smith himself, to distinguish himself from Johnny Smith, the well-known jazz guitarist. "Hammond" Smith was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1933 and began recording on...
This week, we infiltrated the cybernetic vault where Blue Tapes hoard their musical secrets. So delighted were we by the richness of wares on display – abstract mementoes from a dislocated tradition, hits from our tribal future fresh off the time travel machine, tender fillets sliced off the cortex of the collective brain – that […]