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.

292

Album Review

Hampton Hawes: Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes

Read "Everybody Likes Hampton Hawes" reviewed by David Rickert


If everybody likes Hampton Hawes, why is he such a neglected figure today? Maybe it's because he is neither an innovator like Bud Powell nor an expressionist like Bill Evans. Maybe it was because he spent his time on the West Coast instead of the East Coast. Or maybe with covers like these, his albums get put in the children's section by mistake.

Whatever the reason, Hawes was a sturdy accompanist and a pianist who was capable of turning out ...

334

Album Review

Art Pepper: Smack Up

Read "Smack Up" reviewed by David Rickert


Art Pepper's reckless lifestyle tended to overshadow his superb musicianship, and the circumstances surrounding Smack Up are certainly no exception. Shortly after recording it in 1960, he spent three years in jail for heroin possession, and one can only wonder if the title of the record is a play on words. Nevertheless, Pepper is in good form, as he usually was despite his troubles, darting over the changes and stitching together sharp, boppish lines without hesitation. Featuring a crack rhythm ...

345

Album Review

Art Pepper: Smack Up

Read "Smack Up" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Art Pepper produced the greatest recordings of the so-called “first phase" of his career during periods of intense chaos. A case in point is Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, where the altoist--rusty from inactivity, angry because of the surprise recording session set up by his then-wife Diane, and very, very strung out--expelled an acknowledged masterpiece. The aptly named Smack Up was the penultimate recording to the better part of a decade of incarceration for the musician's well-known heroin addiction. ...

267

Album Review

Victor Feldman: Latinsville!

Read "Latinsville!" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


In December 1958, Victor Feldman—pianist, percussionist, and vibes player—began work on a project as a leader for Contemporary Records. He continued work on this project for nearly a year, ultimately recording two different quintets plus a ten-piece unit with contributions from bassists Al McKibbon and Scott LaFaro, soloists Walter Benton (tenor sax), Conte Candoli (trumpet), and Frank Rosolino (trombone), pre- Peanuts pianist Vince Guaraldi, and the best percussion ensemble in the history of jazz: the triple threat of Willie Bobo, ...

266

Album Review

Tom Harrell: Sail Away

Read "Sail Away" reviewed by Russell Moon


Recorded over two days in March of 1989, Sail Away is surely one of the youngest albums ever to be re-released as an OJC, and presumably the first from the CD era. Two songs from the sessions not on the original CD are included here, bringing the total time to a very generous 79 minutes. Although Tom Harrell composed every tune, the two days' sessions were not alike, and thus this disc has a “two LPs on one CD" quality. ...

294

Album Review

Barney Kessel: Plays For Lovers

Read "Plays For Lovers" reviewed by Russell Moon


Guitarist Barney Kessel was the backbone of what I consider to be the most romantic album ever made, Julie London's Julie Is Her Name. It was only a natural choice for Fantasy to add Kessel's name to its list of Plays For Lovers compilations.

Barney Kessel Plays For Lovers is 67 minutes of generally gorgeous music recorded for Contemporary Records over the period from 1953 to 1988. The album consists of 16 standards, two of which are up-tempo: “Satin Doll" ...

231

Album Review

Sonny Simmons: Burning Spirits

Read "Burning Spirits" reviewed by Jeff Stockton


The name Sonny Simmons is variously preceded by the words “underrated," “underappreciated," or even “unknown." Based on the evidence presented on Burning Spirits, a session from late 1970 – released the following year as a double LP and just been reissued by Fantasy Records – the neglect and indifference of jazz listeners has been criminal.

Simmons had released a few recordings in the ‘60s as a leader on ESP and Arhoolie (all currently back in print), but it would be ...


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