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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Valery Ponomarev Jazz Big Band: Our Father Who Art Blakey

Read "Our Father Who Art Blakey" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Who is Russian-born trumpeter Valery Ponomarev's favorite musician? A clue may be found in the title of Ponomarev's first CD as leader of his New York City-based big band: Our Father Who Art Blakey. The first jazz recording he heard while still in Russia, Ponomarev recalls, was Blakey's Jazz Messengers with trumpeter Lee Morgan playing pianist Bobby Timmons' jazz touchstone, “Moanin.'" Later on, Ponomarev was able to play that song (and many others) as a member of the Messengers in ...

BOOK REVIEWS

On The Flip Side of Sound

Read "On The Flip Side of Sound" reviewed by Russ Musto

On The Flipside of Sound Valery Ponomarev Softcover; 316 pages ISBN: 1438970463 ArtistHouse 2010

Valery Ponomarev's autobiographical tome tells the fascinating tale of the life of a working jazz musician from a uniquely personal perspective. The Moscow-born trumpeter, who became the first native of his country to achieve jazz fame in the United States when he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, narrates his life story with wit and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Read "Beyond The Obvious" reviewed by Ken Franckling

Beyond The Obvious is ex-Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarev's seventh CD as a leader for Reservoir. His Means of Identification, recorded in 1985, was the label's debut release. Beyond The Obvious stands apart from the six prior (all quintet) sessions in terms of its instrumental format. It's out at a time when the Russian-born trumpeter is in the news for a troubling incident. In mid September, Ponomarev reportedly had his arm broken by Charles DeGaulle Airport security after refusing to relinquish ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Read "Beyond The Obvious" reviewed by Nic Jones

Here's one of those rare cases where a title is relevant to the music. As an ex-member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Valery Ponomarev's name might lead many readers to believe he has his sights firmly set on some form of hard bop heaven. But that's not the case with this programme, which takes in compositions by both Billy Strayhorn and Ornette Coleman.

The absence of a piano gives the music a wide open feel, and both Ponomarev (trumpet) and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Valery Ponomarev: The Messenger

Read "The Messenger" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

It’s been quite some time since Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev defected from his native land in order to play jazz in America. Landing a gig with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers almost immediately, Ponomarev has gone on to practice the jazz tradition while being documented on a distinguished series of dates for the Reservoir label. Clearly, the affection that Ponomarev has for Blakey is still palpable owing to the title of his latest endeavor. The Messenger is indeed hard ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Valery Ponomarev: The Messenger

Read "The Messenger" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Valery Ponomarev’s latest release, The Messenger, reminds us that he still is a leading jazz trumpet player who has remained consistent through his years on the scene. His tone is still as bright as ever, and his licks are entirely appropriate for the solos he improvises, and his presence elevates the sidemen who work with him. Even though he doesn’t seem to call his group Universal Language any longer, Ponomarev’s style still is one that makes use of music as ...


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