One LP is a portrait on location of a musician with a favourite album by another artist. The photo is accompanied by an interview with the musician where they talk about the highly personal significance of their chosen record - and often the profound influence it has had on their lives a compelling insight into the person's musical DNA.
Sheila Jordan: At home, New York City, 11th February 2014 This is the first jazz recording I ever heard, it's not even bebop! It's a rebopper! Charlie Parker's Reboppers. There's a whole story behind this record. Charlie Parker alto, Miles Davis, trumpet, Curley Russell, bass and who's on piano? Hen Gates: that was Dizzy [Gillespie]--he couldn't give his real name --and Max Roach on drums. So on the other side is Billie's Bounce" -same personnel. I always sang as a little kid, I never knew what kind of music I wanted ...read more
"It's called L'ascension by Olivier Messiaen who was a French composer I have loved for most of my life. Why I love his compositions is he shows that music has always existed. Humans only stole it. We borrowed it -but it's in nature. It holds the universe together, ask any skylark or ask any blackbird, they'll tell you." Jack Bruce: Band on the Wall, Manchester, 24th March, 2011 This One LP appears in tribute to Jack Bruce, who passed away on 25 October, 2014. Read William Ellis' In Memoriam for Jack Bruce. ...read more
Kenny Burrell: University of California, Los Angeles, 7th May 2013 The record the maestro recorded in Paris in 1963; there are many great things on this recording. One that I particularly like--it's one of my favorite pieces in all of Ellingtonia and all music--is Tone Parallel To Harlem," known as Harlem Suite." This was commissioned in 1950 by Arturo Toscanini of The NBC Symphony Orchestra of New York. Duke Ellington at that point was pretty popular and also gaining recognition as a serious composer; at the time he was fifty one. That piece has ...read more
Jimmy Heath: Langston Hughes Library, Flushing, New York, 30th April 2013 It was impossible to make a choice! This is Charlie Parker with Strings (Mercury Records, 1950)--a compilation of all the Charlie Parker with Strings--not just the one studio performance; there's some live performances. Someone at The Charlie Parker organisation that used to give the benefits for Charlie Parker--the Foundation that his wife started--made this compilation and they gave them out to some of the sponsors and people who came to support that organisation. There are recordings from the Apollo Theatre and different venues. ...read more
Orbert Davis: Symphony Centre, Buntrock Hall, Chicago. 15th May, 2013 This is Clifford Brown with Strings (EmArcy, 1955). I was a teenager when I first heard this incredible album--the depth is in its subtleties--and Clifford is so perfect with the string writing of Neal Hefti. It's a true blending of classical and jazz. The first thing I knew--this is funny--I recognized the name Neal Hefti from the Batman theme! For me as a trumpet player I study Clifford Brown; as an arranger I study Neal Hefti, so this brings both those worlds together and ...read more
Double Six--when I was in college in my first year, I formed a singing group patterned along the lines of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross--and Double Six. Double Six changed my life; I listened to them instead of going to class--I think they almost sent me home! Very important music to me, I became friends with Michel Legrand--his sister sang in the group then, and Mimi Perrin--thank you Mimi! we'll all see you soon. So Double Six (EMI Columbia, 1962)--very important, lots of important people--but a special place for them. Photo Credit: William ...read more