Artist Profiles

ARTIST PROFILES

Remembering Charlie Haden

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We're celebrating the spirited life and music of bassist Charlie Haden (1937-2014) who passed away on July 11th. We've included links to four archived interviews as well as our coverage of Mr. Haden's music from years past. Charlie Haden: An Analog Guy in a Digital World (2004) Born August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, Charlie Haden came up in a musical family. After moving around the Midwest, he eventually settled in Los Angeles playing bass with Hampton Hawes, Elmo Hope, and Paul Bley. A fateful meeting in 1958 with Ornette Coleman netted Haden one of his ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Edmar Castaneda: A World Of Music

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The harp may be the least common instrument in jazz/improvised music--even the humble kazoo gets more of a run out. Dating back over 5,000 years to ancient Mesopotamia, the harp in its various guises is common to nearly all cultures across the continents. Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America the harp is an important element of folk music. The harp is common in Celtic music too, though in Europe it's perhaps more usually associated with the sedate airs of mediaeval court music or through-composed baroque classical music. This unique instrument has certainly done the rounds but nobody, it's safe to ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Memories in Motian

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Soon after hearing about Paul Motian's passing (November 22, 2011) I felt the urge to delve (again) into his music. Later on, inspired by a moving writing by Ellery Eskelin (published on his website and reproduced below, by his kind permission), I thought it would have been interesting to collect brief memories from musicians which worked with him during his long career, as well as from those who were deeply influenced by him. So I started my research, contacting as many musicians as possible: many replied with enthusiasm, you will read their recollections here. ...

ARTIST PROFILES

George Duke: The Master of the Game

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[Editor's Note: The following piece was first published at AAJ contributor Jeff Winbush's The Domino Theory blog, and is reprinted here in tribute to George Duke, who passed away on August 5, 2013]I never caught George Duke live in concert. I never met the man in person. However, he did give me two hours of his extremely busy time to talk to me for a career-spanning interview. What came of it was the longest interview I had ever done before, after or since and after I finished it, I knew that it was good but man, was it ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Doug Mettome: A Brief Life in Bop

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Douglas (Doug) Voll Mettome, the son of Nels P Mettome and Leafy Dawn Mettome was born into a prosperous family on March 19, 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he died on February 17, 1964. He was one of two children (a younger sister attended Northwestern University). Doug's musical career began early. His first training was on piano, but by the age of 12, he had begun to receive newspaper notice for his trumpet playing: “Doug played some bugle calls and a trumpet solo. When he played “Reveille..."91 year-old Charlie Shields woke up and saluted." (Salt Lake ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Django Bates: From Zero to Sixty in Five Days

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It's rare enough to get to catch the premiere of a brand new work in a location as removed as Luleå, Sweden--just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic circle and in late May already experiencing 22-hour days and temperatures between 20 and 25 Celsius. But to get to experience the birth of a commission and to arrive on the same day as the artist and enter the rehearsal room at the same time? An unexpected pleasure. The chance to follow an artist and a group of musicians (many of whom were meeting each other for the very first time) through ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shifts

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Pianist Matthew Shipp's artistic collaboration community is a counterpart to his business community. It is its own ecosystem of multidisciplinary work, scholarly conversations and mentorship.The TrioThe trio is Shipp's main vehicle. It is, by turns, his midnight train, his slow boat to China and a way of flying home. It takes a hike, rides a bike and covers lots of ground. It sails and it soars. And who can better describe it than the ensemble proprietor himself?“One thing I learned from my 16 years in the David S. Ware Quartet is the importance of ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Marcus Miller: Renaissance Man

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[Editor's Note: On Sunday, November 25, 2012, All About Jazz learned that Marcus Miller sustained non-life-threatening injuries during a bus crash on the A2 highway in central Switzerland. Unfortunately, the driver was killed in the accident. Online sources report that the bus was carrying 13 people, including two drivers and the 11 members Miller's band. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. AAJ sends condolences to the victim's family and loved ones, as well as healing thoughts for everyone involved in this horrible tragedy.]A renaissance can be defined as a reawakening, a rebirth, or a resurgence. ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Matthew Shipp: Shipp Shape

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Pianist Matthew Shipp is very keenly attuned to the details and nuances of what has to be the most forlorn and anemic environment imaginable for anything a sensible person would call business. Think of it as the sort of business ecosystem that resembles the least habitable places on earth, say a fumarole at the bottom of an ocean.While showbiz jazz at least has a small business infrastructure commensurate with a mid-level touring rock band, free jazz has no such thing and tends to be a habitat for epiphytes or cacti.There is resource scarcity in a disrupted ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Celebrating Miles Davis with Quotes

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We're celebrating Miles Davis's birthday (May 26, 1926) with quotes about him and by him.All About Jazz senior writer R.J. DeLuke also compiled several from his past interviews with various ex-band members--and we included a salty one by Miles for good measure.If you know of a quote about Miles or one that can be attributed to him, please post it in the comments section below. I'll get us started. “He was just such a great artist. People would just come to see him. Three notes from him were often enough for people to say, ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Manfred Eicher: Through the Lens

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It begins in silence, always silence. Since the 1990s, all ECM recordings begin with five seconds of silence, and so, too, do directors Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer open their feature film on the heralded German record label and its enigmatic founder, Sounds and Silence: Travels with Manfred Eicher. As longtime ECM recording artist Keith Jarrett's performance of G.I. Gurdjieff's “Reading of Sacred Books," from the pianist's Sacred Hymns (1980), begins in the background, the film fades in on Eicher, sitting on a simple wooden chair beside an equally unadorned table, steeped in thought. Dissolving to the film's title, an ...

ARTIST PROFILES

John McNeil's Backbone

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Like many trumpeters, John McNeil has a unique brand above his upper lip where flesh meets metal. It looks like a setting sun, and was visible from up close, as he removed his instrument from his mouth, rose steadily from his stool, and grasped the microphone. “This is the part of any jazz gig where the band plays a blues and one of us talks over it. That's how you know it's jazz...I think," said McNeil, 62, to the audience spread out on the lawn before the gothic Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. McNeil's voice was deep ...



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Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

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Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

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Sun Trio

Sun Trio

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Paul Bley

Paul Bley

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