The Jazz Life

The Jazz Life is a monthly column that aims to be a different take on how we write and read about jazz–stories of individual experiences, funny, sad, maddening and profound. A community talking to itself about what’s really important, or at least interesting to its members.

3

Some Kind Of Normal—The new, East Coast Jazz Festival

Read "Some Kind Of Normal—The new, East Coast Jazz Festival" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Todd Barkan is a Jazz Club owner, which is a bit like saying Sonny Rollins is a saxophonist. It doesn't really tell you very much unless you already know about them. But it's a start. After a year of the plague (Covid-19 in case you're in doubt), being a club owner is not unlike being a vegetarian waiter in a steak house. (Yes, they do exist. I once met one years ago at Peter Luger's, the famed New York steakery ...

7

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3" reviewed by Chuck Israels


Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his ...

7

My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2

Read "My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2" reviewed by Chuck Israels


Bassist and composer Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. He studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his parents, and at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. A year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology provided access to the considerable jazz activity in Boston where Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, Joe Gordon, Serge Chaloff and bassist John ...

17

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1" reviewed by Chuck Israels


Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his ...

10

Making Friends with a Giant: How I first met Michael Brecker

Read "Making Friends with a Giant: How I first met Michael Brecker" reviewed by Bob Reynolds


Bob Reynolds is one of those great tenor saxophone players and teachers you should know but perhaps don't. He's in that class of great musicians like drummer Anwar Marshall, tenor player Tivon Pennicott, and Scottish guitarist Kevin Mackenzie who work steadily, gigging and releasing an increasingly excellent body of work you should definitely check out if you haven't yet heard it. Bob is a Grammy Award-winning member of the band Snarky Puppy and is known for his work with both ...

12

How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker

Read "How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker" reviewed by Peter Rubie


I was talking to a musician friend of mine the other day, asking her how her move from Brooklyn to Forrest Hills was going. She said, “I love it! I love the neighborhood and best of all, musically, I'm not running any more jam sessions at the moment, just doing gigs—and practicing! It's great." And practicing is a high for me as well. I miss it when I don't do it. Given that we are all wrestling with ...

3

My First Visit to China

Read "My First Visit to China" reviewed by Gene Perla


It all started with Dome. That's drummer Adam Nussbaum. Decades had gone by without the opportunity to musically connect with him, but then Dave Liebman and I decided to put together a quartet called New Light. In 2014, along with saxophonist Adam Niewood, we hit three NYC area jazz clubs followed by a concert at Clarke University in 2015. In 2016 we played NYC and toured Europe, and in 2017 we headlined at the Santiago Jazz Festival and appeared at ...


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