All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Unsung Heroes

January 25, 2011

Laurindo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Ralph Towner

Read "Laurindo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Ralph Towner"

By SEAN DIETRICH

The concert guitar is hailed by many as the perfect instrument. After being perfected in the Baroque age, virtuosos believed the wooden torso to posses the variety of an orchestra. The concert guitar produces a wide range of tone, timber, color, and dynamic expression unlike any other stringed instrument, capable of projecting a delicate voice of pure emotion. As music enters the age of electrified sound, fewer players seem to have the audacity to unplug. But amongst a mass of music technicians, there exists a small sect of quiet practitioners who seek unadulterated acoustic purity. Undistorted tones. ...

Read More
September 1, 2010

Sammy Cahn, Vernon Duke, and Earl Zindars

Read "Sammy Cahn, Vernon Duke, and Earl Zindars"

By SEAN DIETRICH

Standards are the language of jazz. Standards represent music that have withstood the ruthless test of time. Songs built by craftsman, instead of limericks scribbled by American idols adorned in sequins and leather chaps. Music that has been constructed to last, built with the brick and mortar of harmony and melody. And yet, too often, the timeless master-song-craftsman's names are not usually recognized by listening audiences of today.Sammy CahnFew songwriters are able to weave such picturesque lyrics into a melody like Sammy Cahn. Many of his songs are played within certain circles, and yet his name ...

Read More
August 2, 2010

Vic Damon, 30th Street Studio, Village Vanguard

By SEAN DIETRICH

The oft forgotten recording studio. It's humble presence remains under-acclaimed. Electric lights suspended high above a giant mess of cables. Omniscient microphones standing tall, appraising the heart of arrogant musicians who approach. Scribbled papers rest on music stands, while heated brawls are incubated among hot headed horn players. This is where music is born. And yet many iconic studios, that have produced landmark recordings, are virtually absent from jazz-lore.

Vic Damon Transcription Laboratory

In the early 1930s Vic Damon was working as a teller for Trader's National Bank in Kansas City, when he decided ...

Read More
July 5, 2010

Chu Berry, Joe Harriott, and Yusef Lateef

By SEAN DIETRICH

The role call for sax genius is a lengthy one. But upon briefly thumbing past names like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, one finds a glow beneath the surface radiating from lesser known players. Members of the vast sax community, who don't often get the same press other celebrated players receive.

Chu Berry

In the late 1920's American jazz was finally beginning to congeal. During this golden age, young Chu Berry laid aside his clarinet, and began his battle with the tenor saxophone. Quickly he developed a smooth, and chordal-strong approach that ...

Read More
June 6, 2010

Roland Hanna, Tete Montoliu, and Andre Previn

By SEAN DIETRICH

Throughout the line of musical history, certain pianists have changed the way audiences hear music. Musicians who dare to peek above a sea of bobbing heads, and create something unique. These specially cursed individuals have looked within themselves, and somehow added flesh to fantasy.While there are scores of brilliant pianists from years gone by, there are many excellent artists who aren't typically included in pre-gig-conversation. Fantastic players who've slid underneath the radar of pop-jazz citation. Somehow these players of old don't usually make it onto required listening lists.Chosen below, are three valuable pianists who've contributed to ...

Read More