Profiles

PROFILES

Glen Campbell: 1936-2017

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“Well, that moment has come that we have known was an inevitable certainty and yet stings like a sudden catastrophe. Let the world note that a great American influence on pop music, the American Beatle, the secret link between so many artists and records that we can only marvel, has passed and cannot be replaced -my friend and brother in music, Glen Campbell." Composer Jimmy Webb, Facebook, August 8, 2017 Jimmy Webb and Glenn Campbell had ...

PROFILES

Soweto Kinch: A Singular Jazz Odyssey

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Soweto Kinch was a curious teenager when an encounter with Wynton Marsalis impelled him on his own jazz odyssey. An odyssey characterised by the creation of dynamic new soundscapes in the spirit of the music's great innovators, on landmark albums such as A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block, The Legend of Mike Smith and Nonogram. “There is a point at which you can hear the music and not really be switched onto ...

PROFILES

Voices of the People: Philadelphia Jazz Project to Celebrate America’s Cherished Values

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The famed Philadelphia Jazz Project (PJP) has a tradition of organizing and presenting concerts in fresh, imaginative, and creative ways. It is a stimulus program whose mission is to generate interest in and responsiveness to the music and to locally-based musicians. The upcoming series, “Voices of the People," four concerts featuring Philadelphia vocalists, is designed for just such purposes. As PJP founder and director, Homer Jackson, told All About Jazz, “To stimulate musical interest, you must engage vocalists. ...

PROFILES

Ronnie Foster: Emotion, Excitement, Energy, and Passion

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When it comes to jazz history, few would argue that the years between 1950 and 1970 were a golden era filled with exciting music crossing many stylistic genres. From the concert stage to the Chitlin' Circuit, the era was ripe with talented musicians of all persuasions, many of whom have since faded from memory. Rarely is this due to talent or lack thereof, but more likely a result of many factors including substance abuse, changing trends, and the fickle nature ...

PROFILES

Tribute to Art Porter Jr.: Reflections of a Grateful Art

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During the early to mid '90s, soprano and alto saxophonist-composer Art Porter, Jr. was charting a blazing course on the contemporary jazz soundscape. The 35-year-old Little Rock, Arkansas native had recorded and released four albums for Verve Records. He had been a guest on the albums of such titans as keyboardists Ramsey Lewis; Jeff Lorber (who also produced and played on three of Porter's albums); and Tom Grant; guitarists Lee Ritenour and Evan Marks; and powerhouse vocalist El DeBarge, to ...

PROFILES

Gregg Allman: December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

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“Well, I'll keep on moving. Things are bound to be improving these days. One of these days..." Gregg Allman recorded Jackson Browne's lament for his 1973 Capricorn release Laid Back. The song clung to him like smoke, the length of his career, surfacing here and there, until, finally he sang the song with its composer for the special, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman (Rounder, 2014). That was a fine moment, one curiously ...

PROFILES

Malcolm Griffiths: A Man For All Seasons

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We talk often of the stars, like 'Trane and Miles. We remember the bandleaders, such as Basie and Duke. We even recall the composers and arrangers, Ellington again, Gil Evans and Monk. And we never forget those star soloists like Johnny Hodges or Lester Young. But the guys in the machine room, the guys who make their leaders' visions real time and again are all too often just an afterthought. Yet stop and think about what made those ...

PROFILES

Martin Speake: The Thinking Fan's Saxophonist

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British alto saxophonist, Martin Speake, is one of the most adventurous and articulate musicians in a music peppered with creative artists. That he is not a household name--even within the proscribed and marginalised world of jazz--says more about the times than it does about Speake or his single-minded approach to his art. Speake combines in his music a purposeful curiosity with a love of the jazz tradition. He is equally capable of flights into free improvisation and into ...

PROFILES

Arthur Blythe, 1940-2017: A Remembrance

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The emotive power of Arthur Blythe's bracing alto saxophone tone and flighty phrasing set him apart from many of his generation. A poet, a muezzin, an angry activist, a lamenting lover: Blythe conjured a broad array of sonic images through his nonpareil approach to music. The beloved altoist, who had battled Parkinson's disease for the past several years, passed away on March 27, 2017 at the age of 76. Blythe's musical cohorts and fans remember him with deep ...


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