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PDX Jazz Festival: Heath Bros, Jackson, Ulmer

16 hours agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Jimmy Heath is 90 years old. His kid brother Albert (Tootie) is 80. They don’t act—or sound—their ages. For their concert at the Portland Jazz Festival, the Heath Brothers were billed as paying tribute to Dizzy Gillespie in the 100th anniversary year of his birth. Indeed, they played in the bebop tradition that Gillespie and […]

Prez-ident's Day: Lester Young

19 hours agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

One of finest recorded versions of One O'Clock Jump features Count Basie at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. It's on the album Count Basie at Newport (Verve) and includes powerhouse solos by tenor saxophonists Lester ("Prez") Young and Illinois Jacquet,...        

Anyone who had a heart

Last week, we told you about Alessandro Alessandroni, Morricone collaborator and whistler, soundtrack and library music composer extraordinaire, central figure in Italy’s 1960s and 1970s scene. Today we bring you Prisma Sonoro, apparently his personal favourite, an album which we haven’t managed to stop listening since we stumbled upon it a few weeks ago. Prisma […]

2017 Portland Festival Report No. 1

yesterdayMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

The Branford Marsallis Quartet and singer Kurt Elling combined in the first major concert of the 2017 Portland, Oregon PDX Jazz Festival. A packed audience in the capacious Newmark Theater heard a performance that drew upon their recent album Upward Spiral. The principals listened intently to one another and appeared to be enjoying their work […]

McEnroe, Carroll and Tessa

2 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed John McEnroe for my "House Call" column (go here). We talked about growing up in Queens, why he disputed line calls the way he did and where his tempestuous nature comes...        

Saturday Mixtape: Grails

Today’s mixtape is brought to you by the amazing Grails.  In their own words: “Suicide Solutions are a recurring mix series that follow each Grails or Lilacs & Champagne release. Instead of a traditional mix, tracks are chopped up and...Show More Summary

Cherry Wainer: Funky Organ

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Virtually unknown in the States, Cherry Wainer was a British organist who appeared most often on German television in the 1960s as a duo with her husband, drummer Don Storer. What she lacked in time and swing she more than...       ...

Barbara Carroll (1925-2017)

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Barbara Carroll, a gifted jazz and pop pianist and singer who initially made a name for herself in New York in the late 1940s as a standout bop keyboardist with a proclivity for block chords and impeccable time, died on...        

Rifftides Heads To Portland

5 days agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

The Rifftides staff will soon be crossing the Cascade Mountains and heading west through the Columbia River Gorge to report on the Portland Jazz Festival. To be accurate, the reports will cover some of the festival. It runs eleven days in large and small halls, intimate clubs, a university lecture room, clubs, restaurants and at […]

Harry Belafonte: 1949

5 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In late 1948, Harry Belafonte was having trouble finding work as an actor. At the time, he was performing with New York's American Negro Theater and studying at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School in Greenwich Village. In a...        

It’s Valentine’s Day

5 days agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Going through the Rifftides archive to see what we did on Valentine’s Days back to 2005, I discovered that links to several versions of “My Funny Valentine” have been taken down for copyright reasons. So far, the Jim Hall-Bob Brookmeyer version from the 1979 North Sea Jazz Festival has survived. This is from a period […]

Farmer, Quincy and Coltrane

6 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Riffs—short, repeated musical phrases—have been around since the beginning of time. From the moment man (or woman) began beating rhythms and melodies on surfaces to communicate or entertain, catchy patterns have been a highly effective way to ensure that an...       Related Stories Art Farmer + John Coltrane John Coltrane: Speak Low John Coltrane: Blue Train  

Roland Hanna: Child of Gemini

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

While on tour in Europe in early 1971, the Roland Hanna Trio was invited to record at the MPS Studios in Villingen, Germany. The trio consisted of Roland Hanna on piano, Dave Holland on bass and Daniel Humair on drums....       Related Stories Keyboard Event: 1981  

Italian Body Music

Ricardo Mazza’s first release in Yerevan Tapes is called the Hierarchy of Being, and each of its songs is a document from a journey through tundras of abstract menace. Imagine the albino geology at the beginning of The Thing, and the unspeakable things that happened there, and then…go there. Although the underlying feeling is whatever […]

Other Matters: Language, “Going Forward,” “Upcoming”

last weekMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Diplomats, politicians and business people have taken to salting their language with “going forward,” as if it means something. That useless phrase has crept out of official gobbledygook into general use, so that people work it into ordinary conversation, as if they were secretaries of state or CEOS. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred (statistic […]

Naomi, Betty and Eddie

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Recently, I was interviewed by Steve Adubato for his wonderful One-on-One television show on NJTV (New York studios at Lincoln Center above). The clip of my appearance just went up on YouTube... To buy my new book, Anatomy of a...        

add hed

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Recently, I was interviewed by Steve Adubato for his wonderful One-on-One television show on NJTV (New York studios at Lincoln Center above). The clip of my appearance just went up on YouTube... To buy my new book, Anatomy of a...        

Saturday Mixtape: L/F/D/M

This week’s Saturday mixtape comes from L/F/D/M whose latest track we featured a couple of Friday’s ago.       i wanted to do a mix that seemed to slip from the club to a dream and then back again, i love it when things bleed into the hallucinatory, whether by hypnosis or juxtaposition  L/F/D/M […]

The Gals of Gunn

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Earlier this week, I featured a clip of Lola Albright singing How High the Moon on TV's Peter Gunn in the late 1950s. The other young actress-singer who appear on the detective series was Linda Lawson, whom I've posted about...       Related Stories Henry Mancini: Lola Albright French Twist: Art Pepper + 11 Henry Mancini: Thief at Dinner  

David Lynch presents: Big Wednesday

This post is dedicated to the sterling work of Faux Discx, a Brighton label we cover all to infrequently (sorry Dan!).  But today that changes, and that changes thanks to Great Ytene.  In particular their track Locus and their deadpan music video for the same. Locus is a sort of narcotic surf guitar nightmare.  Like […]

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