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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown / In The Tradition / Illusions / Blythe Spirit

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Jazz-reissues are important because they help to write and rewrite jazz-history. Through reissues, the prominence of an artist is maintained and the canon is confirmed, but it can also be questioned and corrected. A double-disc from the excellent reissue label, BGO, brings four key records from leader and alto saxophonist, Arthur Blythe, back into circulation. The records, all released on Columbia, are: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (1979), In The Tradition (1980), Illusions (1980) and Blythe Spirit (1981). The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

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While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or never heard. To bolster that appraisal, one need look no farther than tenor Rickey Woodard whose solos are models of perception and coherence, or ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy by Richard Carlin

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Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy Richard Carlin 294 Pages ISBN: # 978-1496805706 University Press of Mississippi 2016 Well, I don't suppose it is an understatement to say that club owner and mid-20th Century music entrepreneur Morris Levi was a Son-of-a-bitch. That has been very well documented before Richard Carlin's in depth and informative biography, Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy. What Carlin has done is bring together ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Montreux Jazz Festival 2016

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Montreux Jazz Festival 2016 Various Venues jny: Montreux, Switzerland July 9-12, 2016 No matter at what point, or for how long you dipped into the Montreux Jazz Festival during the seventeen days of its 50th edition, the sense of history was palpable. Charles Lloyd was present, just as he was in 1967. Deep Purple and Dweezil Zappa formed a poignant double-header on MJF 50's final night, recalling the 1971 fire at the old ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor

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Tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons' tone can be best described using the qualities of an ideally brewed cup of joe: rounded, bold, smooth, and exhilarating after first taste. Widely regarded as an original founder of the “Chicago school of tenor sax," Ammons' nonchalant, yet indelible sound--echoing the soft, breathy tone of Lester Young--drove him to a great deal of fame within the post- World War II jazz crowds of the '50s. Ammons, famously nicknamed “Jug," had an inherent ability ...

HI-RES JAZZ

Miles Davis: In Time, All Changes

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Considered the most influential small jazz group of the middle 1960s, the Miles Davis “Second Great Quintet" has often been imitated but never equaled. Critical consensus holds that the revival of jazz in the 1980s was inspired by the six albums the Quintet recorded from 1965-1968. But a set of particular cultural and personal dynamics shaped the Quintet's recordings in ways that are unrepeatable. Mobile Fidelity's SACD reissue series of Miles Davis' Columbia LPs shines a spotlight on these rightfully ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968

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Is it possible to love an album for just one song? I think I do. Serenade to a Soul Sister is the happy marriage of jazz's funkiest pianist (Horace Silver) with its most soulful saxman (Stanley Turrentine). Throw in a fabulously underrated trumpeter with a big fat tone (Charles Tolliver) and you've got one of the best soul-jazz classics of the 1960s. Serenade features six original compositions by Silver, and every one is a gem. One, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robert Glasper, Miles Davis: Everything's Beautiful

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Miles Davis birthed cool in 1949 and nearly took it to the grave with him 52 years later. His first venture into hip-hop and last studio album, Doo-Bop, represented the least cool moment for America's icon of coolness itself. By the '90s, Miles' prowess as a trumpeter had only waned from legendary to excellent, but younger musicians had supplanted his position on the stylistic frontier, so his bid at the “street music" of his time came off as corny.


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