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Album Review

Jimmie Vaughan: Live at C-Boy's

Read "Live at C-Boy's" reviewed by Doug Collette

Over the course of eight selections and a total running time of approximately thirty-six minutes, the Jimmie Vaughan Trio make Live at C-Boy's short and sweet, and deliciously so. The band enhances the simplicity of the three piece format with takes on tunes as well-known as Bruce Channel's “Hey Baby"and the blues-soul staple “Saint James Infirmary," turning the familiarity of the material into a distinct advantages. As a result, the opening number, “You Can't Sit Down" sound like an irresistible ...

Extended Analysis

Ian Hunter: Fingers Crossed

Read "Ian Hunter: Fingers Crossed" reviewed by Doug Collette

Assuming his role as chief vocalist for Mott the Hoople, then becoming its main songwriter, Ian Hunter evolved into the figurative voice for the British band as it evolved and reached its apex of commercial and critical acclaim with Mott (Columbia Records, 1973). And as he initiated his solo career, Hunter was able to tailor the persona Hunter created for the band into one equally personal to him as an individual, an approach he maintains on Fingers Crossed, his fifteenth ...

Album Review

Don Weller: The First Cut

Read "The First Cut" reviewed by Roger Farbey

From the opening few bars of the first track “Jubileevit" it's clear that this is not the usual jazz rock ensemble. An insistent and memorable riff clearly sets out this long-departed band's métier. The majestic intro to “Dog and Bull Fight" gives way to a hugely satisfying theme, marrying the disparate qualities that made the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Brotherhood of Breath so successful in their respective paths. The now legendary British saxophonist Don Weller leads this band ...

Album Review

George Shearing: George Shearing at Home

Read "George Shearing at Home" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist Sir George Shearing (1919--2011) was himself an integral part of the be bop jazz movement in the late 1940s. His quintet that featured vibraphone and guitar with the standard piano trio was sonically ground breaking. His precise and measured piano style influenced a generation of pianists and several of his compositions ("Lullaby of Birdland" and “Conception") have become jazz standards. He was not flashy, but a solid, well-considered player whose playing could always be counted on to be elegant ...

Extended Analysis

Sarane Ferret, Django Reinhardt & Others: Gypsy Jazz

Read "Sarane Ferret, Django Reinhardt & Others: Gypsy Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

Sarane Ferret, Django Reinhardt & Others Gypsy Jazz Proper Records 2007

This wonderful 4CD collection of Gypsy jazz--an Aladdin's Cave of rarities, curiosities and lesser known virtuosi of the genre--covers the first twenty or so years of the music's history. Disc one starts in 1934, with future Quintette Du Hot Club De France stars guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli's first recording session together, and disc four ends in 1956, with two gems ...

Extended Analysis

Kenny Clarke: Klook's The Man

Read "Kenny Clarke: Klook's The Man" reviewed by Chris May

Kenny Clarke Klook's The Man Proper Records 2007

Of the three great African American drummers whose work in the early and mid 1940s shaped the contours of bop--Kenny Clarke, Max Roach and Art Blakey--it was “Klook" Clarke who lit the first and fattest fuse: taking timekeeping away from the bass drum and onto the ride cymbal, freeing up bass and snare drums for dialogue with soloists and establishing a paradigm which became one of ...

Extended Analysis

Charlie Christian: The Original Guitar Genius

Read "Charlie Christian: The Original Guitar Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Charlie ChristianThe Original Guitar GeniusProper Records2005 The New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden--active in the early 1900s--won his reputation as a founding father of jazz without leaving any recorded evidence of his talent. His epoch-shaping stature is based entirely on folklore, the testimony of a few contemporaries, and a handful of newspaper clippings. The Texas-born, Oklahoma-raised guitarist Charlie Christian (1916-42) shares something of Bolden's semi-mythic aura. Like Bolden, Christian ...

Album Review

Tubby Hayes: The Little Giant

Read "The Little Giant" reviewed by Chris May

This is the kind of niche market compilation which gives reissue companies operating outside the fifty-year copyright rule a good name. This lovingly put together, decently remastered, comprehensively annotated, four-disc set focuses on the breakthrough years of one of the most fecund and formidable tenor saxophonists Britain has ever produced.

Tubby Hayes--a child prodigy who took up the saxophone at the age of twelve and was a full-time professional at fifteen--came to national prominence in the late 1950s as a ...

Album Review

Various: The Big Horn: The Complete History of the Honkin' and Screamin' Saxophone

Read "The Big Horn: The Complete History of the Honkin' and Screamin' Saxophone" reviewed by Louis Heckheimer

Prior to the late 1930s the trumpet was king of the jazz jungle. Coleman Hawkins, along with Lester Young and Chu Berry, established the solo role of the tenor sax in the jazz world and showed what it was capable of. It was not until the 1940s with the rise of Lionel Hampton's Big Band and Illinois Jacquet's solo on “Flying Home” that the voice of the tenor sax became confirmed as the dominant horn in the popular mind.

Album Review

Sonny Stitt: Sax O'Bebop

Read "Sax O'Bebop" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This recent four-disc set covers the period 1946-1952, during which Sonny Stitt made the transition from promising young bebopper to jazz master. It is typical of the British Proper boxes; it's affordable, the sound ranges from so-so to fairly good, and the music is often wonderful. In the case of Sax O'Bebop, there are a few alternate takes, some acknowledged masterpieces, and some rare sessions.

Disc one starts with Dizzy Gillespie's classic 1946 sextet session, featuring Stitt on ...

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