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CATCHING UP WITH

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare To Dream

Read "Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare To Dream" reviewed by La-Faithia White

Onaje Allan Gumbs is a New York based pianist, composer, lyricist, and bandleader. Gumbs' professional career began in 1971 when Leroy Kirkland introduced him to Kenny Burrell, by sharing a demo tape. The next day Gumbs received a phone call to play with Burrell at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. Onaje, (Gumbs) talks about the beginnings of his musical career, and the various artists, some who became friends, that he has collaborated with throughout those years. These artists have inspired ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Bloodlife: Solo Piano Improvisations Based on the Melodies of Ronald Shannon Jackson

Read "Bloodlife: Solo Piano Improvisations Based on the Melodies of Ronald Shannon Jackson" reviewed by John Kelman

Best known for his mainstream work with Woody Shaw on classic albums like The Moontrane (Muse, 1975) and Stepping Stones (Columbia, 1978), it may come as a surprise to learn that pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs was not just a friend and mentor to Ronald Shannon Jackson, but that he also played on the drummer's Decode Yourself (Island, 1985)--an album that, like much of Jackson's Decoding Society work, took Ornette Coleman's harmolodic Prime Time group as a starting point for his ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Sack Full of Dreams

Read "Sack Full of Dreams" reviewed by John Kelman

The term “journeyman musician" is an often misunderstood and unjustly maligned one. Rather than its “jack of all trades, master of none" connotation, in the sphere of music it more often refers to artists who seamlessly straddle multiple genres while retaining their individual voices no matter what the style. Pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs may well be the definitive journeyman musician, having worked with everyone from Woody Shaw to Gerald Albright and Ronald Shannon Jackson. His own records have been equally ...

INTERVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Music Heard, and Felt

Read "Onaje Allan Gumbs: Music Heard, and Felt" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

“I recently did it on a gig and one of the patrons told me, in her words, she was 'messed up.' It affected her. I gave a little intro into where the song is coming from. The band got into it. I finished the tune. Went through a whole bunch of other songs. When I got off the stage, she grabbed my hand and said, 'Onaje, I just want you to know I'm kind of messed up by that song.' ...

MEGAPHONE

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Music, The Rhythm of Life

Read "Onaje Allan Gumbs: Music, The Rhythm of Life" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Onaje Allan Gumbs This music we call “jazz" has represented the essence of who we are and who we can become. Music has always been the soundtrack to my life; from the time I was three, I could sing all of the lyrics to the old Eddie Fisher song “Oh My Papa" before I could even say a full sentence. And since becoming a professional musician, I have come to realize the positive effect that my ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Remember Their Innocence

Read "Remember Their Innocence" reviewed by William Grim

In our adult-denigrating society, I always cringe whenever I encounter an album that's “for the children." Like books in which the authors claim that part of the proceeds will be donated to charity, it's a certain bet that the there is some defect that the producers are hoping the patina of good will and charity will obviate and make “critic-proof." That is certainly the case here, for this album is a compilation of mostly banal smooth jazz ditties that dull ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Remember Their Innocence

Read "Remember Their Innocence" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Onaje Allan Gumbs took his wide experiences as a musician into the studio for his latest recording and came up with a winning combination in Remember Their Innocence. There is strong testimony to his passion for jazz, just as there is for the blues, some soul, a Brazilian tune, and a bit of what is known as contemporary jazz. The last category is not watered down by the hose of blandness, instead elevated by the soulful Dennis Collins, whose remarkable ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Remember Their Innocence

Read "Remember Their Innocence" reviewed by John Kelman

With a résumé that includes lengthy stints with singer Betty Carter, trumpeter Woody Shaw, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, not to mention opportunities to support a variety of R&B and pop artists, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs' diversity could be considered a double-edged sword. An advantage because he's worked in so many contexts that there's an undeniable verisimilitude to virtually any project he tackles. A disadvantage in that he runs the risk of losing his own voice amidst such a diversity ...


Giant Steps EP 2

Episode 2 No Respect. Kim is confronted with discrimination in jazz education while working at the Jazz Elders Foundation. Bid Daddy reams Manny for booking two singers at the same time and Mickey gets no respect in the movie business. Cast Mickey Bass, Dr. Jeff Gardere, Gregory Charles Royal, Mark 'Icewater' Gross, Paul Tafoya as 'Manny', Kimberly Singh, Zari Veres Royal and Marist Veres Royal -with James Zollar -trumpet, Bobby Lavell,- tenor sax Anthony Wonsey- piano, Mark Johnson - drums and Billy Johnson - bass.