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James Zollar

James Delano Zollar began his musical career at age 9 playing bugle in his hometown, Kansas City Missouri. At 12, he graduated to the trumpet where he began to discover his musical voice and focus. After high school he continued to study at San Diego City College and then the University of California at San Diego. At the same time he honed his chops with various funk and jazz bands and lead his own straight-ahead quintet. In 1972, Zollar moved to San Francisco and he studied with the great jazz trumpet player Woody Shaw to study jazz improvisation. In, 1984, he moved to New York City and played with the Cecil McBee Quintet for five years and then recorded with Tom Harrell, with Weldon Erving and Sam Rivers. Zollar was featured in Robert Altman’s motion picture “Kansas City”, in Madonna’s music video “My Baby’s Got a Secret”, as well as Malcolm Lee’s film “The Best Man”. He played on the sound truck of “The Perez Family” and is proud to be included in The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (Oxford University Press 1999.). James was also a featured soloist with Jon Faddis and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra as well as Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He remains New York based where he stands out in a wide range of musical settings. Today, he’s playing with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, working with several of Don Byron’s Bands, and also working with NYC Blues Devil. "James is a really nice guy and very personal-sounding cat with a unique approach. He’s absorbed the history of the music, and he plays it with great care and warmth. And he doesn’t try to sound like anyone else” says Ravi Coltrane his periodic jam-session partner.


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37
Album Review

Eyal Vilner Big Band: The Jam!

Read "The Jam!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Simply leading a big band in 2022 is cause for celebration. Leading a big band as sharp and talented as Eyal Vilner's New York- based ensemble is cause for far more than that. Vilner, an Israeli-born composer, arranger and woodwind specialist, formed the band in 2008, one year after arriving in New York City. He has been busy since then shaping its identity and refining its style, and his persistence pays off big-time on the band's second album, The Jam! ...

23
Album Review

Andy Farber and His Orchestra: Early Blue Evening

Read "Early Blue Evening" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Saxophonist Andy Farber's New York-based orchestra came together and cut its teeth as the onstage band for three hundred performances of After Midnight, a Broadway revue that paid tribute to Jazz Age nightclub luminaries from Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie to Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. As one might presume from the orchestra's provenance, echoes of Ellington and Basie can readily be discerned on its first recording since After Midnight closed in 2014--but Farber, who wrote ...

173
Album Review

James Zollar: Zollar System

Read "Zollar System" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose


It is an unfortunate fact that trumpeter James Zollar is nowhere near as well-known as he should be. But that may be about to change. Zollar Systems may be about to put Zollar in an orbit all his own. A genuine renaissance man of the horn, Zollar is a singular voice on the instrument that is jazz music's vanguard accouterment--the one that heralded the legend of Buddy Bolden and those of Joe Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jabbo Smith and Bubber Miley, ...

349
Album Review

James Zoller: Zollar System

Read "Zollar System" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


James Zollar is a musical treasure hidden in plain sight. He has played and recorded as a sideman for a variety of artists, including Cecil McBee, Tom Harrell, Weldon Irving and Sam Rivers, as a member of Wynton Marsalis' brass section in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra and several of Don Byron's bands. While he leads his own mainstream-oriented quintet, Zollar has recorded only one collection, the very fine Soaring With Bird (Naxos Jazz, 1998).

Twelve ...

295
Extended Analysis

Dave Schnitter: Sketch

Read "Dave Schnitter: Sketch" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Dave Schnitter Sketch Sunnyside Records 2004

Not only did David Schnitter have the longest tenure of any tenor saxophonist in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers but he was always present on the most exciting and memorable of Bu's sets that I was privileged to catch. His return to music and recording after a sabbatical of over 20 years is at once cheering and disturbing. There may have been more schooled and disciplined players preceding and ...

185
Album Review

Bob Stewart: Then & Now

Read "Then & Now" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Bob Stewart is one of a select few who have catapulted the tuba into more of a prominent role within jazz and modern music circles. With that, Stewart enlists a mighty impressive cast of jazz musicians along with the legendary folk-blues singer/songwriter, Taj Mahal on Then & Now.

Stewart handles the bottom end without the utilization or perhaps, requirements of a bassist as he drives the band forward on “Hambone” which is a New Orleans style R&B/Funk number featuring brassy ...

322
Album Review

James Zollar: Soaring With Bird

Read "Soaring With Bird" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Carvin' The Bird. James Zollar's Soaring With Bird leads the second wave of Naxos Jazz releases to the market place. It is unique among the Naxos Jazz offerings in that it is completely composed of standards. The object of the recording, obvious from the title, is Charlie Parker. What is not obvious from the title is Zollar's choice of compositions to address. Sure there are some of the old Parker standbys ("Donna Lee", “Parker's Mood", and “Moose the Mooch"), but ...

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Primary Instrument

Trumpet

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Night City

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records
2024

buy

Holidays

Sunnyside Records
2023

buy

The Jam!

Self Produced
2022

buy

The Ways In

JZAZ Records
2022

buy

Then & Now

Postcards
2022

buy

Early Blue Evening

ArtistShare
2021

buy

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