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Rolling in Rhythm: Philly Joe Jones and Charles Wilcoxon

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Drummer “Philly" Joe Jones is known as one of the most recorded drummers in jazz history, appearing on more than 200 albums. His legacy as a studio drummer appears on seminal classics like John Coltrane's Blue Train, Thelonious Monk's Blues at the Five Spot, Miles Davis's Milestones, and Bud Powell's Time Waits. Beside these recordings, Jones regularly toured as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet and a later incarnation of the Bill Evans Trio. Jones also learned or received ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Carol Morgan: Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift

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Trumpeter Carol Morgan is an innovative musician with an explorative sense and a unique and easily recognizable style. On the first installment of her Post Cool: Vol. 1 The Night Shift she tackles bop-based, nocturnal themed, pieces that she and her quartet exquisitely interpret. Morgan and her sidemen deftly deconstruct trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's famous “A Night In Tunisia," exposing its ingeniously crafted structure, and infuse it with modernistic elements. Morgan and tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm interchange their roles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Carol Morgan Quartet: Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift

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New York City-based trumpet player--composer Carol Morgan...wait a minute. This introduction would be all well and good...but, Carol Morgan did not originally come from New York City...She came from...Texas. Morgan might be considered the Godmother of “Houston Jazz Mafia," a group of young (and not so young) musicians that includes multi-instrumentalists Henry Darragh and Alisha Pattillo, pianists Bob Henschen, Joe LoCascio, and Paul English, singers Melissa Darragh, Tianna Hall, Jacqui Sutton, Raquel Cepeda, and Danielle Reich, guitarists Paul Chester, Mike ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enoch Smith Jr.: The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.

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The Church has long been a cornerstone of African-American cultural identity, as well as musical inspiration. Gospel is the third leg of African-American music, coming of age alongside jazz and blues in the early part of the 20th Century. Pianist Enoch Smith Jr. has managed to keep feet in two of those worlds. As music director at Allentown Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, Smith works with the house band for each week's praise selections. But he's also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dmitry Baevsky: The Day After

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Imagine a group that, in large measure, references the bebop revolution of nearly seventy-five years ago, yet steers clear of the pitfalls of nostalgia, hero worship, and blatant imitation, and ultimately wins the day with an adroit blend of teamwork and compelling individual voices. For those who believe that nothing good can come from contemporary players choosing to work an all-too-familiar vein of the jazz tradition, I suggest a visit with Dmitry Baevsky's band. Over the past several years, the ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967

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I'm not a huge fan of Best Of albums. Artists make albums of music--some with themes, some without--and you go with it. One album generally equals one mood, so why mix them up? But then... Lou Donaldson is an alto saxophonist who spent virtually his entire career at one label: Blue Note. Bigger names have recorded on Blue Note--Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins--but none so extensively, from the 1950s to '70s. Trouble is, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Erroll Garner: Ready Take One

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Erroll Garner (1923-1977) played the piano like all was well with the world, with a flashy and elegant panache. And sometimes that's just what we need. With a swinging style that bubbled up from the stride and ragtime traditions, and nudged into the bop arena, Garner's was an ebullient sound--virtuosic and embellished with ornamental phrasings and splashes of sparkling colors. So, discovery of new Garner music, of the highest quality, is reason to celebrate. Ready Take ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Pearson: WAHOO!

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Duke Pearson occupied an unusual position within Blue Note Record's roster of artists. In addition to recording as both leader and sideman he also served as the label's A&R man, following in the footsteps of Ike Quebec. Pearson also served as the arranger on many albums, including sessions--Stanley Turrentine's Rough 'n' Tumble, comes to mind--where other pianists took over the keys. Pearson's own WAHOO! carries an exuberant title for what turns out to be a pretty laid back ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Rollins Trio & Horace Silver Quintet: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959

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To some extent, the concept of glory days equates to fiction based on romanticized truth. When you talk to those who walked the walk at any seemingly important time, you learn that very quickly. Many of them would likely say that there's no time like the present, and the truth is that there's great music and history to be gleaned from any era and area if you know where to look. But then again, you can't argue with the facts ...


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