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Under the Radar

Under the Radar is about jazz and creative music legends who have taken less-travelled paths. It's about relative unknowns and journeymen doing extraordinary, and sometimes under-recognized work; it's also about pioneers--the ones out front and those behind the scenes, experimenting with new ideas.


An Evil Clown and a Leap of Faith

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"I don't have a half-speed for music, if I do it, I'm all in..."--PEK If the Evil Clown record label is prolific on a per capita basis, then its founder is exponentially more inexhaustible. David Peck (aka PEK) founded the label--at first, unbranded--and its roots date back a little more than twenty years ago to Cambridge, MA. The musicians under the label could best be described as a “collaborative collective" and in various formations turn out twenty-five ...


Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows

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On December 13, 1932, in the eye of the Great Depression that was devastating the record industry, the Bennie Moten Orchestra shuffled “on their uppers" into a converted church in Camden, N.J., and silently launched the Swing Era, three years before clarinetist Benny Goodman's formal inauguration as the “King of Swing" at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. While composer/bandleader Moten has vanished into the mists of history, his band boasted an assemblage of jazz legends: trumpeter Oran “Hot Lips" ...


Don Redman: Setting the Template

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As someone who came to jazz as a young man in the 1970s, I can attest that subsequent generations of both its chroniclers and, even sadder, its practitioners, have succumbed to the peculiarly and regrettable American disease of a-historicism. They've shoved jazz history through a sieve, reducing it from an epic tale of heroic evolution with a cast of hundreds--if not thousands--to a denuded sliver of text that could fit in a single tweet--one that might read like ...

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