Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page. Read our daily album reviews.

280

Album Review

Willie Dixon: Wille Dixon's Big Three Boogie

Read "Wille Dixon's Big Three Boogie" reviewed by Joe Milazzo


What remains to be written about Willie Dixon? He will most likely never be known much for his bass playing, but rather because he was arguably the preeminent blues lyricist of the post-war era, an activist and agitator for the rights of musicians of the folk tradition, and the guiding spirit of one of this country's greatest independent record labels (Chess). In fact, Dixon's total understanding of music -- as a cultural entity, as an art-form, and as a business ...

205

Album Review

Charlie Christian: When Lights Are Low

Read "When Lights Are Low" reviewed by Al Rearick


For everyone wondering if and when Sony will ever get around to upgrading the CDs of music by legendary guitar-player Charlie Christian, well...I guess we’ll have to keep waiting. In the meantime, though, the good folks at Catfish Records have beaten Sony to the punch with their great-sounding compilation of prime Christian, When Lights Are Low.

At first glance, it’s perplexing to figure out who this is marketed towards. Die-hards will want to wait for a more complete overview of ...

174

Album Review

Various: Texas Blues

Read "Texas Blues" reviewed by Derek Taylor


Commonly regaled as a definitively American musical form, the blues are in fact a living amalgam of social, cultural and artistic antecedents both indigenous and otherwise. African-derived rhythms and folklore intersected with traditions extrapolated from European, Latin and Polynesian sources--with everything falling into the simmering melting pot that describes the music. Distinct styles were the product of both regional experimentation and the proliferation of commercial recordings. As a cross-pollinating musical ecosystem in the early part of the 20th century, the ...

244

Album Review

Earl Hooker: There's A Fungus Amung Us

Read "There's A Fungus Amung Us" reviewed by Derek Taylor


The reasons behind Earl Hooker’s lack of public notoriety are not difficult to discern when his discography is stacked up against that of his more famous cousin John Lee Hooker. The bulk of Earl’s legacy lies in the prolific, but largely anonymous session work he did for labels like Chief, Chess and King and it wasn’t until late 1960s that he had the chance to secure an album of his own. The reasons behind his late blooming status as a ...

257

Album Review

Muddy Waters: Streamlined Woman

Read "Streamlined Woman" reviewed by Al Rearick


Trust the British to go and dig up as much blues roots as possible. The blues as a music form was born in the states with folks like Robert Johnson, Son House and Muddy Waters. It was a blend of art culture that trickled into American interest, but, like so many other artforms, soon faded into near obscurity. With bands like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Led Zeppelin, we can thank the Motherland for keeping the blues ...

181

Album Review

Ted Hawkins: The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins

Read "The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins" reviewed by Derek Taylor


Calling Ted Hawkins a blues artist unnecessarily narrows the breath of the man’s repertoire and reach. Closer to a modern troubadour his songbook drew on a wealth of music and influences. Busking on the sidewalks of Venice Beach for years he cultivated a sound steeped in the blues and rock and roll, Stax-era soul, American folk, Country and spirituals as well. But unlike Hendrix, a return to the streets and anonymity marked his return to the States in the early ...

118

Album Review

Michael Messer: King Guitar

Read "King Guitar" reviewed by Joe Milazzo


What makes a blues performance “authentic"? It's a question loaded with an excess of assumptions (about ethnicity, about geographic origins, and about the content of an individual's character), but any answer can only be found in what transpires between an artists and his or her audience. If the blues is more than just a form, if it is a living organism capable of crafty adaptation, however, the ramifications of blues as an expression cannot slip from consideration. So, call Messer ...


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