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Talkin' Blues

Interviews focusing on jazz's little brother.


TALKIN' BLUES

Jimmy Herring: Talkin' Blues, Bluegrass and More

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The spark of bringing together unusual combinations, like a classically trained bluegrass fiddler, a Cameroonian bassist, and a high energy guitarist, could have resulted in a musical culture clash, but for Jimmy Herring the bet paid off. While he might be modest and deferential on a personal level, his latest album is bold and expansive. It reveals a musician and composer comfortable tackling a wide array of styles and moods. “I thought of the studio itself an instrument, and I wanted to see what it was capable of and not worry about doing it live," that's how Jimmy ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with Barbara Dennerlein

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If there were a Guinness World Records prize for jazz artist with the biggest organ, it could very well go to Barbara Dennerlein. No doubt, her Hammond B3 was a disc-crushing bane for countless roadies over the past three decades, but a B3 pales in comparison to what she's been playing lately. Imagine five organs with nearly 18,000 metal pipes, linked to one keyboard with over 200 registers--that's some seriously heavy metal. Welcome to the world of pipe organs. Since our extensive career retrospective interview in 2007, Dennerlein's been traveling the world, bringing jazz and blues to pipe ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Gregg Allman's Memoir

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A few years back, Gregg Allman said in an interview that one thing was for sure, the book he was writing wouldn't have a song title. So when the publication of his memoir, My Cross To Bear (William Morrow, 2012) was announced, my initial reaction was somewhere between skepticism and ambivalence. Not only was the book a play on his song, “Not My Cross to Bear," but at least eight of the chapters were directly taken from song titles.Beyond that, I wondered about the impact prolonged and excessive drug and alcohol abuse had on his long-term memory and ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with Chuck Leavell

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Receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; recording a new CD with guest stars John Mayer and Keith Richards trading guitar solos; successfully launching his Mother Nature Network, with ten million page views per month; publishing his fourth book, Growing a Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable (Evergreen Arts, 2011); being named an honorary forest ranger by the U.S. Forest Service, for his commitment to conservation; and working on John Mayer's much-anticipated Born And Raised (Columbia, to be released May 22, 2012)--that's just a bit of what Chuck Leavell has been up to since speaking with All About Jazz in late ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with the Groovemaster, Jerry Jemmott

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Jerry Jemmott's groove is the bedrock of guitarist B.B. King's career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone." He was in the studio with Duane Allman and singer Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude," a track that was instrumental in launching the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist's musical career; and they were together again for flautist Herbie Mann's Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Allman's first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death on October 29, 1971. Jemmott was also there on December 13, 1968, when guitarist Mike Bloomfield called another six-stringer, an unknown Johnny Winter, ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with Jaimoe

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As a 2012 recipient of a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Jaimoe needs no introduction. He has been a beloved figure on the music scene for over four decades, as a veteran of the R&B circuit with Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Joe Tex, and as a founding member of the legendary Allman Brothers Band and the critically acclaimed band Sea Level.In late 2011 his Jaimoe's Jasssz Band released Renaissance Man (Lil'Johnieboy Records, 2011), an album that is generating well-deserved praise and a lot of buzz. Out front is Junior Mack on vocals and guitar, slide, and dobro, ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with John Scofield

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[This article originally appeared at my Jazzamatazz blog in April 2011.]John Scofield is one of the world's most influential and respected guitarists, a musician and composer who has worked with many of the greatest names in jazz: Chet Baker, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and scores of others. His 30 plus solo recordings have taken his fans on a remarkably wide-ranging musical journey--from straight ahead jazz, bebop, and fusion, to funky experimental outings with Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood, and even gospel jazz fusion with his Piety Street Band. On his ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with Jimmy Herring

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Jimmy Herring is a musician who blurs lines, both in terms of genres and roles. Over the past two decades his work with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, Frogwings, Phil Lesh & Friends, Project Z, Jazz is Dead, and Widespread Panic has cemented his position as one of the world's premier progressive rock guitarists. He has the uncanny ability to fuse the visceral power of rock with the ingenuity of jazz harmonics without diminishing the essence of either. He's apt to describe himself as a sideman, yet in reality he's a consummate ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds Turns 50

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Think back fifty years to the days portrayed on the TV series Mad Men. In 1961, John Kennedy and Billboard's Easy Listening Chart were inaugurated, a freedom riders bus was fire-bombed in Alabama, Rock Hudson was on the big screen, and Doris Day was selling albums. As teenagers and their swinging parents were twisting their brains out to Chubby Checker or the “authentic music by the King Curtis Combo," East German communists began construction of the Berlin Wall, the Beach Boys formed in California, and The Beatles performed, for the first time, at the Cavern Club in ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Susan Tedeschi: Dreams and Legends

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A string of Grammy-nominated albums, along with a critically acclaimed and commercially successful DVD of her appearance on the American television program Austin City Limits, have helped to establish Susan Tedeschi as one of today's premiere blues artists. On top of that, she's performed in front of millions of music lovers by headlining numerous festivals and opening for music legends like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bob Dylan, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Rolling Stones. Her appeal extends well beyond the blues. For example, she and her husband, Grammy-winning guitarist Derek Trucks, were asked to join Wayne Shorter ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Derek Trucks: Moving Forward, Back Where He Started

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Over the past few years guitarist Derek Trucks has been on the cover of Down Beat and Rolling Stone; he's been profiled in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; he's toured with Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana; he's guested on recordings with J.J. Cale, Elvin Bishop, Buddy Guy, David Sanborn and Nashville dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas; and he's done a DVD with McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, and Jack DeJohnette. A child prodigy, he joined Bob Dylan on stage when he was 12 years old. Now at 29, he's been on the road for nearly 20 years, the ...



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