The Jazz Life

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

The Jazz Life is a monthly column that aims to be a different take on how we write and read about jazz–stories of individual experiences, funny, sad, maddening and profound. A community talking to itself about what’s really important, or at least interesting to its members.

THE JAZZ LIFE

My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2

Read "My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2" reviewed by Peter Rubie

Bassist and composer Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. He studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his parents, and at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. A year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology provided access to the considerable jazz activity in Boston where Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, Joe Gordon, Serge Chaloff and bassist John ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1" reviewed by Chuck Israels

Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

Making Friends with a Giant: How I first met Michael Brecker

Read "Making Friends with a Giant: How I first met Michael Brecker" reviewed by Bob Reynolds

Bob Reynolds is one of those great tenor saxophone players and teachers you should know but perhaps don't. He's in that class of great musicians like drummer Anwar Marshall, tenor player Tivon Pennicott, and Scottish guitarist Kevin Mackenzie who work steadily, gigging and releasing an increasingly excellent body of work you should definitely check out if you haven't yet heard it. Bob is a Grammy Award-winning member of the band Snarky Puppy and is known for his work with both ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker

Read "How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker" reviewed by Peter Rubie

I was talking to a musician friend of mine the other day, asking her how her move from Brooklyn to Forrest Hills was going. She said, “I love it! I love the neighborhood and best of all, musically, I'm not running any more jam sessions at the moment, just doing gigs—and practicing! It's great." And practicing is a high for me as well. I miss it when I don't do it. Given that we are all wrestling with ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

My First Visit to China

Read "My First Visit to China" reviewed by Gene Perla

It all started with Dome. That's drummer Adam Nussbaum. Decades had gone by without the opportunity to musically connect with him, but then Dave Liebman and I decided to put together a quartet called New Light. In 2014, along with saxophonist Adam Niewood, we hit three NYC area jazz clubs followed by a concert at Clarke University in 2015. In 2016 we played NYC and toured Europe, and in 2017 we headlined at the Santiago Jazz Festival and appeared at ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

Scenes From a Life in Jazz, Part 2: Life on the Road

Read "Scenes From a Life in Jazz, Part 2: Life on the Road" reviewed by Duncan Lamont

Part 1 | Part 2 Duncan Lamont was one of the UK's musical treasures. He passed away unexpectedly, a couple of days before his upcoming 88th birthday on July 4th, 2019, having done a gig at the 606 Club in London the night before. I'd known and admired who he was for years and we had several close mutual musical acquaintances. I finally got to play with him at The Pizza Express in Soho, London in 2018. Sammy ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

Scenes From The Life Of A Young Jazz Musician

Read "Scenes From The Life Of A Young Jazz Musician" reviewed by Jack Wilkins

Foreword Jack Wilkins is an iconic jazz guitarists of the 1970s who is still playing his ass off today, after a career leading and accompanying a host of groups with musicians such as Stan Getz, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Jimmy McGriff, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, Phil Woods, and the Brecker Brothers to mention just a handful. One thing about Jack that many people don't know was that as young musician he also played vibes ...


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