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.

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Album Review

Jay Geils: Toe Tappin' Jazz

Read "Toe Tappin' Jazz" reviewed by Charlie Ricci


Toe Tappin' Jazz, released near the end of 2009, is the most outstanding new jazz CD I've heard in many years. The band leader is guitarist Jay Geils, formerly known as J. Geils, founder of Boston's famous party band of the 70s and 80s whose biggest hits were “Lookin' For a Love," “Give It To Me," “Must of Got Lost," “Centerfold," and “Love Stinks." Who knew the hard-rocking Geils had this much love for jazz in his heart?

493

Album Review

Various Artists: A Bowl of Merry: Music for Holiday Joy and Celebration

Read "A Bowl of Merry: Music for Holiday Joy and Celebration" reviewed by Jack Bowers


There’s not much Jazz in this motley Bowl of Merry, but there is an abundance of delightful holiday music from a number of well–endowed groups of various shapes, sizes and forms. As Jazz is my bailiwick I’d not heard of any of them, but must say they are quite good at what they do, which is basically lending an ethnic / folk facade to traditional seasonal music and transposing it into their own distinctive idiom. About the closest one comes ...

183

Album Review

Bruce Abbott and the North Star Jazz Ensemble: Mistletoe Sax

Read "Mistletoe Sax" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Listening to this seasonal mélange by saxophonist Bruce Abbott and the North Star Jazz Ensemble (supported by the Hawthorne String Quartet), the word “pleasant” springs to mind. The liner notes portray the album as a “collection of beloved holiday chestnuts” that is “richly romantic, slightly nostalgic and entirely engaging,” and I can’t think of a more appropriate description. Everything is taken at a leisurely pace (even such normally upbeat themes as “Deck the Halls” and “Let It Snow”), and Abbott’s ...

170

Album Review

Rosemary Clooney: Sweet Melody

Read "Sweet Melody" reviewed by Jack Bowers


What can I say about Rosemary Clooney that I’ve not said hundreds of times before — that she is one of the most charming and intelligent interpreters of popular song that it has ever been my pleasure to hear and appreciate. These fourteen examples of Rosie’s uncommon artistry, recorded between 1949 and ’56, include four from her own favorite album from that era, on which she is accompanied by the marvelous Duke Ellington Orchestra. The earliest selection, “Oh, You Beautiful ...

552

Album Review

Rosemary Clooney: Let It Snow: Christmas with Rosemary Clooney

Read "Let It Snow: Christmas with Rosemary Clooney" reviewed by Dave Hughes


Here’s a baker’s dozen of previously released Christmas material by Rosemary Clooney, issued on the North Star label. The fine print indicates that this “compilation” is copyright Concord Records. However, this program seems to be 13 of the 21 songs on Clooney’s Concord CD, “White Christmas.” So, naturally, I would recommend choosing the Concord CD in order to get the remaining eight songs.

Packaging concerns aside, if you love Rosie, you’ll love this. All of her stylistic traits are here. ...

514

Album Review

Rosemary Clooney: Let It Snow

Read "Let It Snow" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Released by North Star, this album of Christmas favorites by the fabulous Rosemary Clooney was compiled by Concord Records, presumably from more than one of the many albums she has recorded for that label over the years. Anyone who has read more than a handful of this writer's reviews will be aware of his fondness for Rosie whose distinctive voice and easygoing style have always struck a responsive chord. She is, quite simply, one of the most wonderful pop singers ...

181

Album Review

Otis Read: Deck the Halls

Read "Deck the Halls" reviewed by Dave Hughes


Acoustic guitarist Otis Read offers up an enjoyable acoustic straight-ahead jazz program of holiday favorites. The program swings along in a laid-back, cool, comfortable groove from start to finish. I wouldn’t call this “groundbreaking,” but it’s good. On some tunes, the band plays it fairly close to the melody, while others feature more adventurous improvization. Interestingly, the primary lead voice on the CD is that of saxophonist Bruce Abbott; the leader assumes a supporting role and rarely solos. Pianist Willie ...


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