Having had the honor and pleasure to review over eighty records in 2016, choosing a dozen is a difficult task. There are featured blues and soul vocalists, which are maintaining the significance of these genres alive with the authentic talent and dedication required. Included are stimulating offerings from innovative fusion and experimental artists, as well as diverse instrumental and vocal performances from Africa and the Caribbean. My sincere appreciation to all the musicians, producers, promoters, publicists and friends who send music; and to Michael Ricci our publisher and editor-in-chief for his invaluable technical assistance.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.