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Victor Feldman: Good Vibes (and Great Piano) from Britain

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In the mid-1950s, Victor Feldman was among the first British musicians successfully to relocate to the US, when he settled in Los Angeles. Becoming an outstanding “West Coast" pianist, Feldman was also a memorable vibraphonist. Reissues of three albums recorded in the US from 1957-61 showcase his abundant talent.

Victor Feldman The Arrival of Victor FeldmanOriginal Jazz Classics 1998 (1958)

Although it might have been even better with fewer tunes and longer solos, count this recording a win-win. Les Koenig's Contemporary label made beautifully “imaged" recordings--not the dimensionless, “flat," in-your-face Van Gelder ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Victor Feldman - Part 5: The Final Years, 1978-87

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Looking back to 1978, it's hard to believe that in less than 10 years, Victor would no longer be with us.Woody Herman was never out of Victor's musical life. His career in the States had begun when he joined Woody's band and he often expressed his gratitude to the Old Man for making it all happen for him. Victor once shared with me:“Right from the first, he made me feel at home on the band. I had many chances to ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Victor Feldman - Part 4: The Artful Dodger, 1967-1977

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 During the decade in question, due to the responsibilities of establishing myself in a career outside of music and because of the obligations of a growing family, I did not see Victor as often.

Fortunately for me, he did appear regularly with his quartet at Donte's, a nightclub in North Hollywood that was a short drive from my home in nearby Burbank, California. Whenever I could get away to hear a set, we usually visited for a time and he would sometimes ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Victor Feldman - Part 3: Miles & Beyond

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

“His keyboard technique is above reproach and is matched by his brilliance on vibes and drums; his knowledge of rhythms and meters, and the possibilities inherent in combining melodic lines with percussion expressions, greatly expounds the sounds of any group within which he works." (Philip Elwood, The San Francisco Examiner)

These eloquently phrased words of high praise for Victor Feldman were shared by no less a jazz luminary than Miles Davis, who sought out Victor to perform and record with him during ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Victor Feldman - Part 2: From Cannonball to Russia

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

As to the title of this piece, I thought about calling it “Part 2: The Cannonball Years," but since Victor was with Cannonball for only less than a full year, I thought that might be overstating things a bit. I lived in San Francisco for most of the decade of the 1990s. And it was there on March 4, 1999, a typical, foggy San Francisco late afternoon, that I met with record producer Orrin Keepnews, a hero of mine from my earliest ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Victor Feldman - Part 1: The Arrival

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Mentioning my name in the same context as that of Gene Lees, the esteemed jazz writer, might be the height of presumption on my part, but in doing so in this instance, I intend to use it only as the basis for a speculative empathy that he and I might have in common.

Because of his close and enduring friendship with Bill Evans, the legendary jazz pianist, many of us in the jazz world have been patiently waiting for what could only ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Victor Feldman: Latinsville!

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In December 1958, Victor Feldman—pianist, percussionist, and vibes player—began work on a project as a leader for Contemporary Records. He continued work on this project for nearly a year, ultimately recording two different quintets plus a ten-piece unit with contributions from bassists Al McKibbon and Scott LaFaro, soloists Walter Benton (tenor sax), Conte Candoli (trumpet), and Frank Rosolino (trombone), pre- Peanuts pianist Vince Guaraldi, and the best percussion ensemble in the history of jazz: the triple threat of Willie Bobo, Armando Peraza and Mongo Santamaria—George Shearing’s percussion section.

“I tried to blend straightforward arrangements in the Latin and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Red Garland, Victor Feldman, Don Patterson: Red Garland Revisited!, The Arrival Of Victor Feldman, Boppin' And Burnin'

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Fantasy Records' Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series is up to almost 1000 titles; these three classics are among the titles Fantasy has recently reissued on CD for the series.

When pianist Red Garland was signed to Prestige from 1956-62, he recorded so often that the label had plenty of material in the can long after he'd left. First released in 1969, Red Garland Revisited! comes from a 1957 session that employed Paul Chambers on bass and Al “Tootie" Heath on drums. Garland's Prestige output was quite consistent, and the lyrical, bouncy pianist is in excellent form on “It Could Happen ...



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