There were only seven musicians on Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth in February 1961. But as Creed Taylor, the album's producer, told me in an interview in 2008, the extraordinary way Nelson arranged the septet enabled them... Related Stories Oliver Nelson: Fantabulous
Tommy Smith, Embodying The Light: A Dedication To John Coltrane (Spartacus Records) Fifty years ago in the aftermath of John Coltrane’s death, it would have seemed unlikely that a definitive tribute to the saxophone master would someday come from a Scottish tenor player. Yet, so universal is Coltrane’s presence in jazz and so deeply has […]
Bill Mays and I have frequently been asked whether our History Of Jazz Piano project would ever be available to the public. After a good deal of discussion, attention to detail and audio remastering, the answer is yes. The concert is now a free download on Bill’s website. We have performed the History three times […]
Jerry Lewis, whose geeky, high-strung brand of humor starting in the late 1940s made him a national sensation and early TV star while still in his 20s and whose seemingly ad-libbed routines as a befuddled jerk in '60s films influenced...
Youandewan’s exceptional There is No Right Time is another of those albums that passed us by when it came out last year. No matter. You already know that time and space dissolve in 20JFG, removing the noise of the now and clearing our vision, allowing us to see eternal, beautiful patterns that recur over the […]
There are several jazz pieces called “Eclipse.” Tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, the Japanese group called Kyoto Jazz Massive, and the Mexican singer Bere Contreras, among others, have performed or recorded compositions with that name. The best known “Eclipse,” though, remains the one that Charles Mingus first recorded in the 1950s and revived for a 1972 […]
Three brand new designs now available from Jazz from Gallery 41. Utilizing photographs I've taken over the past four decades there is "Saxophone Colossus" / Sonny Rollins, "Buhaina's Delight" / Art Blakey and also "New Directions" / Jack DeJohnette. Show More Summary
This week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed two of the original Hollies—lead singer-guitarist Allan Clarke and drummer Bobby Elliott—and lyricist Roger Cook (go here). This time around, the song I explored was Long Cool Woman (in a Black...
What better way to end the week than with videos of Stan Getz and Stan Kenton. Here are two videos of both artists in Holland. Getz blows Pretty City and Kenton's orchestra plays Opus in Pastels... Here's Stan Getz with... Related Stories Five Stan Getz Videos Four Stan Getz Videos + 1 Four Stan Getz Videos
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...