Articles by Russ Musto

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Interview

Ben Riley's Monk Legacy

Read "Ben Riley's Monk Legacy" reviewed by Russ Musto


This interview was first published at All About Jazz on November 7, 2006. Ben Riley is one of the most richly experienced drummers in jazz today. The Georgia-born drummer came up in Harlem during the second wave of bebop in the fifties, playing with Randy Weston and others. He was at Minton's with saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw" Davis and anchored the saxophonist's two-tenor quintet with Johnny Griffin, but his true claim to fame came during his years with iconoclast ...

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Book Review

I Walked With Giants

Read "I Walked With Giants" reviewed by Russ Musto


I Walked with GiantsJimmy Heath/Joseph McLarenSoftcover; 344 pagesISBN: 1439901988Temple University Press2010 The title alone of Jimmy Heath's marvelous memoir speaks volumes about the man. The NEA Jazz Master is himself an acknowledged giant among his peers and his choice to name the book as he did is an indication of both his great humility and self-effacing humor (in this case regarding his height). Heath is a clever ...

519

Multiple Reviews

Miles of Miles: Nefertiti, In a Silent Way & Bitches Brew

Read "Miles of Miles: Nefertiti, In a Silent Way & Bitches Brew" reviewed by Russ Musto


Miles DavisNefertitiSony-Legacy2009 Miles DavisIn a Silent WaySony-Legacy2009 Miles DavisBitches BrewSony-Legacy2009 Taken together, Nefertiti, In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, recorded over a period of slightly more than two years from June of 1967 to August of 1969, present a reasonably representational overview of the (r)evolution ...

912

Interview

Larry Willis: Reaching and Teaching

Read "Larry Willis: Reaching and Teaching" reviewed by Russ Musto


In a career spanning five decades, Larry Willis has amassed one the most impressive resumes in jazz, including tenures with Jackie McLean, Hugh Masekela, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Stan Getz, Carla Bley, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb's So What Sextet and Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, testifying to the high esteem in which he is held by his peers. Yet despite a substantial discography including scores of sideman appearances and over twenty dates as a leader, the gifted pianist/composer ...

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Book Review

On The Flip Side of Sound

Read "On The Flip Side of Sound" reviewed by Russ Musto


On The Flipside of Sound Valery Ponomarev Softcover; 316 pages ISBN: 1438970463 ArtistHouse 2010

Valery Ponomarev's autobiographical tome tells the fascinating tale of the life of a working jazz musician from a uniquely personal perspective. The Moscow-born trumpeter, who became the first native of his country to achieve jazz fame in the United States when he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, narrates his life story with wit and ...

467

Album Review

Edmar Castaneda: Entre Cuerdas

Read "Entre Cuerdas" reviewed by Russ Musto


Although jazz aficionados have become accustomed to the regular expansion of the music's vocabulary coming from the Caribbean and South America, virtually nothing in the history of the increasingly diverse genre known as “Latin jazz" has prepared audiences for the uniquely innovative sound of Edmar Castaneda. A native of Colombia, Castaneda plays “el arpa llanera," the folk harp commonly heard in his country's indigenous music, but there is nothing common about his virtuosic command or the music he performs. Possessing ...

239

Album Review

John Ellis & Double-Wide: Puppet Mischief

Read "Puppet Mischief" reviewed by Russ Musto


This second outing by John Ellis & Double Wide, the versatile saxophonist/bass clarinetist's extraordinary New Orleans-based band, one ups the “serious fun" mentality by inviting a pair of guests--harmonica master Gregoire Maret and multifaceted trombonist Alan Ferber--to augment the unusual quartet of sousaphonist Matt Perrine, drummer Jason Marsalis and newcomer Brian Coogan (replacing Gary Versace) on organ. The result is an even more flavorful gumbo that spices up the homegrown roots of the Crescent City with the savory sounds of ...


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