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Jazz Articles


Unreleased Art: Volume 9 - Art Pepper & Warne Marsh At Donte's, April 26, 1974

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When any previously unheard Art Pepper is released, the event bears a bit of context. Laurie Pepper's Volume 9 addition to her Unreleased Art series is the 3-CD box Art Pepper & Warne Marsh at Donte's April 26, 1974. It contains music from late in Pepper's fallow period between the releases of Intensity (Contemporary, 1960) and his comeback period inaugurated by the release of Art Pepper: Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). I mark the period by Pepper's two studio recordings of ...


Roland Kirk: Here Comes The Whistleman

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This December, it will be thirty-nine years since Rahsaan Roland Kirk split the scene for good. He was forty-one and about two-thirds of that short life span had been spent as a professional musician. He might not have been around long but he left behind a powerful legacy that may have no parallel in jazz or any other modern music. He might not have courted controversy but somehow it kept finding him. For some critics and musicians, he ...


Miles Davis: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5

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If ever a band of Miles Davis' deserved the high-intensity inspection/dissection represented by The Bootleg Series Vol. 5, it is his second great quintet. With that man with the horn as the great catalyst, the rapport between pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams is virtually unparalleled in the history of jazz, but to hear the machinations behind their creations here is almost as fascinating as the 'finished product' itself (liner notes rightly suggest ...


Eric Alexander: Second Impression

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Not only has tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander recorded more than thirty-five albums as a leader since arriving in New York City some twenty years ago, he has appeared on almost as many others as a sideman. He's such an earnest blue-collar worker that one almost expects him to carry his saxophone in a lunch pail instead of the standard instrument case. Any Second Impression would mirror the first: Alexander is a tireless craftsman who loves to play and, more to ...


Eric Reed Quartet, Henry Grimes and George Coleman Quartet

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Eric Reed Quartet SMOKE Jazz & Supper Club New York, NY October 2, 2016 The gifted pianist and composer Eric Reed plays at times with a lightning-quick, cat-like touch, at others with slow, deep resonance, lush and lyrical. He can change from one to the other in the nanosecond it takes his brain to command his deft fingers; the sounds that pour out of the big black Steinway piano are joyous, sad, ...

Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Project Benefit & Concert

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Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Project Benefit & Concert Hillside Club Berkeley California September 10, 2016 The sold out first annual Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Project Awards Benefit and Concert (BMJLP) was an exquisite evening that fulfilled the long held vision of Charles “Buddy" Montgomery. It recognized well deserving Bay Area veteran artists like Jeff Chambers and John Santos, and also championed rising young jazz talent. The high lights included the BMJLP award presentations ...


Billy Hart & The WDR Big Band: The Broader Picture

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A great teacher's influence can be unusually powerful and completely unbound, fixed to specific moments and lessons in a student's mind while also reverberating through time and space. You simply never know where it may lead, what doors it may unlock, or what wonders and worlds it may help to create. That's the subtext in the story behind this engrossing and brilliant affair. Back in 1992, Christophe Schweizer was a promising student at the Mannes College of ...


Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet: That Feelin'

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Mike LeDonne's splendid Groover Quartet has earned a cozy groove for itself, somewhere between fresh from the oven and the halcyon days of organ combos led by Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes, Shirley Scott, Don Patterson and others. While embracing their essential groundwork on the one hand, LeDonne moves steadily forward with the other, lending a more contemporary voice to what has been a popular staple of the jazz repertoire for well over half a century.

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