by Clifford Allen
All instruments are, naturally, a mere approximation of what can be done with the human voice; yet in avant-garde improvisation, it is the saxophonists and pianists who are credited with being the innovators. Artists like Jeanne Lee, Patty Waters and Julie Tippetts are often shunted aside to make way for counterparts Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, and Evan Parker... men with horns.
Of those three vocal artists, Lee was always the most grounded in jazz vocal tradition, able ...read more
by Alexander M. Stern
Mal Waldron’s passing this past December robbed jazz of one of its finest and most original pianists. His long career was marked by many high points, including stints with Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Booker Little. It is especially wonderful to listen to Waldron in solo and duet settings, where his unique style on his instrument can be heard to its fullest effect. One of the best of these albums is After Hours, a thrilling standards set recorded ...read more
by Rex Butters
Like too many utterly original and fearless jazz artists, Jeanne Lee’s audience and reputation seems to reside more within the community of musicians than listeners. Despite remarkable classic recordings with Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Bang, William Parker, Steve Coleman, and of course, Gunter Hampel, Lee has never received the notoriety due a musician with such an impressive resume. Her naked alto, broad interpretive skills, improvisational gifts, and choice of material left her with few peers ...read more