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Unsung Heroes

UNSUNG HEROES

Remembering Turkish pianist and trombonist Elvan Araci

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As far as I can see only Turkish media published news about the loss of Turkish pianist and trombonist Elvan Aracı, 66, in Stockholm. From 1977 to 1999 Aracı lived in Sweden where he notably collaborated with Muvaffak `Maffy` Falay, Okay Temiz and Bernt Rosengren, notably in Maffy Falay's sextet with Rosengren, Åke Johansson on piano, Lars Lundström on bass and Sangoma Everett on drums, documented on a live video from the Stockholm Jazz Festival and in the We 6 ...

UNSUNG HEROES

Laurindo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Ralph Towner

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The concert guitar is hailed by many as the perfect instrument. After being perfected in the Baroque age, virtuosos believed the wooden torso to posses the variety of an orchestra. The concert guitar produces a wide range of tone, timber, color, and dynamic expression unlike any other stringed instrument, capable of projecting a delicate voice of pure emotion. As music enters the age of electrified sound, fewer players seem to have the audacity to unplug. But amongst ...

UNSUNG HEROES

Sammy Cahn, Vernon Duke, and Earl Zindars

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Standards are the language of jazz. Standards represent music that have withstood the ruthless test of time. Songs built by craftsman, instead of limericks scribbled by American idols adorned in sequins and leather chaps. Music that has been constructed to last, built with the brick and mortar of harmony and melody. And yet, too often, the timeless master-song-craftsman's names are not usually recognized by listening audiences of today.Sammy CahnFew songwriters are able to weave such picturesque ...

UNSUNG HEROES

Vic Damon, 30th Street Studio, Village Vanguard

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The oft forgotten recording studio. It's humble presence remains under-acclaimed. Electric lights suspended high above a giant mess of cables. Omniscient microphones standing tall, appraising the heart of arrogant musicians who approach. Scribbled papers rest on music stands, while heated brawls are incubated among hot headed horn players. This is where music is born. And yet many iconic studios, that have produced landmark recordings, are virtually absent from jazz-lore.

Vic Damon Transcription Laboratory

In ...

UNSUNG HEROES

Chu Berry, Joe Harriott, and Yusef Lateef

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The role call for sax genius is a lengthy one. But upon briefly thumbing past names like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, one finds a glow beneath the surface radiating from lesser known players. Members of the vast sax community, who don't often get the same press other celebrated players receive.

Chu Berry

In the late 1920's American jazz was finally beginning to congeal. During this golden age, young Chu Berry laid ...

UNSUNG HEROES

Roland Hanna, Tete Montoliu, and Andre Previn

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Throughout the line of musical history, certain pianists have changed the way audiences hear music. Musicians who dare to peek above a sea of bobbing heads, and create something unique. These specially cursed individuals have looked within themselves, and somehow added flesh to fantasy.While there are scores of brilliant pianists from years gone by, there are many excellent artists who aren't typically included in pre-gig-conversation. Fantastic players who've slid underneath the radar of pop-jazz citation. Somehow these players ...