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Lonnie Plaxico: Being Your Own Bird

Read "Lonnie Plaxico: Being Your Own Bird" reviewed by George Colligan

Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] Electric and acoustic bassist Lonnie Plaxico has been on the jazz scene in New York since 1980. He is on hundreds of recordings with everyone from Art Blakey, Cassandra Wilson, Jack Dejohnette, to Ravi Coltrane. He has 13 CDs as a leader, the latest being Ancestral Devotion (Plaxmusic, 2009). I first played with Lonnie Plaxico in 1999 on some gigs with trombonist Robin Eubanks. Lonnie barely ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: West Side Stories

Read "West Side Stories" reviewed by Jim Santella

Six original compositions and several familiar pieces give Lonnie Plaxico's eleventh album a heavy dose of spontaneity. With pianist George Colligan, drummer Kenny Grohowski, tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, trumpeter Alex Norris and several influential guests on board, the session rocks hard with a contemporary edge.

The theme of West Side Stories points to the neighborhood where Plaxico grew up: Chicago's West Side. He was brought up with a wide variety of musical forms, from funk, groove and soul ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: West Side Stories

Read "West Side Stories" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

West Side Stories, Lonnie Plaxico's eleventh recording as a leader, draws from memories of growing up in Chicago and listening to a variety of sounds from the '70s--R&B, popular music and smooth jazz--as well as his collaboration in the development of advanced M-Base musical concepts in the '80s. To coin a phrase from none other than the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Plaxico might just be one the hardest working bassists in the business. He is a ...

INTERVIEWS

Lonnie Plaxico

Read "Lonnie Plaxico" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

Lonnie Plaxico's first recording on Blue Note is a treat for a musician who, in his early 40s, already has an exciting veteran career in jazz circles, although he played mostly R&B in Chicago. He left his native Windy City to come play for Wynton Marsalis. The famed trumpet player heard a demo tape from Plaxico and asked him, during Christmas, to come immediately to New York. Such a move, 20 years ago, led to gigs with Chet Baker, Dizzy ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: Live at Jazz Standard

Read "Live at Jazz Standard" reviewed by John Kelman

The M-BASE Collective, when it first emerged in the ‘80s, championed a style that was about rhythmic unpredictability that was nevertheless mathematical in its precision, and a new way of looking at harmony that differentiated it from the post bop language of the young lions of the time. Bassist Lonnie Plaxico has the advantage of having worked seriously in both camps, and with his latest live release, Live at Jazz Standard he continues to straddle the line, although he clearly ...

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The Lonnie Plaxico Group: Live at the Jazz Standard

Read "Live at the Jazz Standard" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bassist Lonnie Plaxico is perhaps best known for his associations with Greg Osby and M-Base, and for being the long-time bassist for Cassandra Wilson. He was the leader of several recordings made for the now static Muse label in the '80s and '90s. On January 29, 2003, Plaxico was leading an energetically funky sextet at New York City's Jazz Standard. The pieces populating this live disc are closer to Plaxico's Art Blakey experience than to his M-Base involvement. That is ...

INTERVIEWS

Lonnie Plaxico: Striving for Originality, Noteriety

Read "Lonnie Plaxico: Striving for Originality, Noteriety" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

The story of bassist Lonnie Plaxico starts out like a classic tale. Local kid makes it out of Chicago’s projects by learning to play an instrument, finding himself, and making music his life’s work. He goes on to play bass with a Who’s Who list of musicians, including a long tenure with one of rising star vocalists, the dazzling Cassandra Wilson. But nowadays, Part II of that tale smacks of cold hard reality. A sharp musician with a ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: Live at the 5:01 Jazz Bar

Read "Live at the 5:01 Jazz Bar" reviewed by AAJ Staff

After a brief stint with Blue Note, Lonnie Plaxico quietly released this fine live date in 2002 on his own label, PlaxMusic. It consists of highlights of two sets he cut with his band (featuring trumpeter Alex Norris, tenorist Marcus Strickland, pianist George Colligan, and drummer Nat Townsley) earlier that year while at the 5:01 Jazz Bar in Columbus, Ohio.

The recording quality leaves something to be desired, but the disc compensates in the form of some of the most ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: M

Read "M" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

Lonnie Plaxico’s maturity as a musician comes to the fore in his first release under the jazz banner label Blue Note as Mélange finds him putting together almost 30 years of professional musical experience in a recording that works well.

Plaxico wisely allows the supporting cast of this flecked tale to make the most of their respective roles; hence, the bass playing does not suffer from “featuritis.” With the exception of the opening tune, “Squib Cakes,” the album’s leader wrote ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: Melange

Read "Melange" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

He was part of the crowd surrounding Wynton Marsalis’ jazz revival in the late ‘80s, yet bassist Lonnie Plaxico has been seen in the spotlight far too little during the past decade. Yet, with a resume that includes work as a musical director for Cassandra Wilson and an inclination for the genre-bending grooves of the M-Base movement, Plaxico is in a singular position to be chameleon-like in his versatility. That may have something to with the approach and title of ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: Melange

Read "Melange" reviewed by David Adler

Lonnie Plaxico’s Blue Note debut is similar in thrust to last year’s Emergence (Savant). The emphasis is on funk, yet the frequent complexity of Plaxico’s writing harks back to his M-Base roots, especially on tunes like “Short Takes," “T.O.P.," “Patois," and the title track. Apparently the disc grew out of two different sessions — the first with Tim Ries on sax and Lew Soloff on trumpet, the second with regular band members Marcus Strickland and Jeremy Pelt in their stead. ...

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Lonnie Plaxico: Melange

Read "Melange" reviewed by Jim Santella

Experience has taught Lonnie Plaxico that a tenor saxophone and trumpet front line works best. His 6th recording as a leader combines straight-ahead, modern mainstream, and Tower Of Power funk. At 40, the bassist has paused to reflect on which jazz styles are meaningful; his session includes variety with significance. Plaxico writes out the arrangements in detail. As musical director for Cassandra Wilson's touring band, he's aware of what works. That professional relationship began in 1987. Prior to that, Plaxico ...


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