Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Nina Simone: Fodder On My Wings

Read "Fodder On My Wings" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Nina Simone found success from the beginning of her recording career in 1959. With the release of Nina Simone at Town Hall (Colpix), her third album that year, she became a fixture on the downtown New York club scene. Her life and career took a different turn not long afterward. Simone's activism in the Civil Rights Movement deepened in the 1960s as a reaction to the assassination of Medgar Evers and the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Batiste: Anatomy of Angels

Read "Anatomy of Angels" reviewed by Chris May

As the bandleader and musical director on CBS TV's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pianist Jon Batiste will be known to many AAJ readers in the US. Here on the other side of the pond his name rings fewer bells. So before discussing Batiste's piano trio + octet album Anatomy of Angels, some background for European readers. Batiste comes from a distinguished line of jny: New Orleans musicians which includes the late Harold Battiste, whose accomplishments ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Scofield: Combo 66

Read "Combo 66" reviewed by Doug Collette

The dignified portraits of John Scofield on the front and back covers of Combo 66 are at once in keeping with the reference to his age in the album's name and at odds with the youthful vigor he and his bandmates exhibit in playing the music inside this subtly eye-catching package of all new material. No wonder there's no formal credit for production in the liner details. As on “Can't Dance," the musicianship no doubt flowed effortlessly and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Scofield: Combo 66

Read "Combo 66" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It doesn't seem like thirty one years since this reviewer was first blown away by John Scofield's Blue Matter band in an old, reimagined church in Colchester, England. Three decades and thirty-four more CDs as leader later, Scofield continues to seduce with his virtuosity, his eclecticism and, no matter the setting, that inimitable sound. Combo 66 marks Scofield's sixty-six years, whilst also celebrating a new working group. Sure, Bill Stewart has been collaborating with the multiple Grammy- winning guitarist since ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Cheek to Cheek

Read "Cheek to Cheek" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Cheek to Cheek, a four CD box set, collects three classic albums from Verve Records featuring Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald: Ella and Louis (1956), Ella And Louis Again (1957) and Porgy And Bess (1958). This sequence began before rock and roll had deepened its roots--in spite of the Elvis Presley blossoming--and before The Beatles had arrived to change the music world. The popularity of the long playing record album was picking up speed, with a little help ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed

Read "Things Have Changed" reviewed by Doug Collette

Bettye LaVette's Things Have Changed isn't merely a homage to Bob Dylan, it is also a remarkable combination of invention and polish, as arresting in production, arrangement and playing as in the novel choice of songs. The venerable r&b/soul vocalist collaborates with an esteemed roster of musicians, overseen by producer/drummer Steve Jordan (Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs), all of whom sound as inspired by each other as by the range of the Nobel Laureate's compositions, spanning over forty years. The remarkable ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Oscar Peterson: Oscar Peterson Plays

Read "Oscar Peterson Plays" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was just starting what turned out to be terrific career in 1951 when jazz impresario extraordinaire Norman Granz took him into the studio to record Plays Cole Porter (Clef Records, 1952). Granz had a grand plan: To have this then-promising jazz pianist record a number of albums under the Oscar Peterson Plays tag, each an immersion into a separate Great American Songbook tunesmith. It started with Cole Porter and ran through George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, ...


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