Featured Jazz Articles

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

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Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums

Read "John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums" reviewed by Chris May


This article is a companion piece to John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums, which listed ten albums widely regarded as essential items in John Coltrane's discography and discussed another ten of comparable importance. John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums narrows the focus to club and concert recordings. Coltrane's live performances had a trajectory which was largely independent of his studio albums; he did not build set lists around his latest release. For instance, Coltrane never “toured" ...

6

Interview

The Unstoppable James Brandon Lewis

Read "The Unstoppable James Brandon Lewis" reviewed by Eric Gudas


Tenor saxophonist, composer, and writer James Brandon Lewis is driven by a restlessness that makes him one of his generation's standout players of, and thinkers about jazz. Although he was voted Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist in the 2020 DownBeat Magazine International Critic's Poll, most might say, after listening to his recent releases, that his star has already risen. Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Lewis apprenticed at Howard University, CalArts, the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, ...

8

SoCal Jazz

John Patitucci: The Quintessence of Acoustic and Electric

Read "John Patitucci: The Quintessence of Acoustic and Electric" reviewed by Jim Worsley


John Patitucci had his life's work in mind at age twelve, At a time when most of us were worried about junior high school and pimples, Patitucci concluded that he was to be a professional musician. This was no typical young boy fantasy of playing center field for the Yankees, being an astronaut, or even being the next great rock star. No, wise beyond his years, he modestly knew that he had the skills and musicality. It takes more than ...

36

Interview

Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future

Read "Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future" reviewed by Chris May


Though he is far too modest to make any such claim himself, most observers agree that saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings is the standard-bearer for the new wave of jazz musicians who have emerged in London since around 2015. Hutchings is a few years older than most of the cohort. He made his debut recording in 2007 while still a student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, on keyboard player Funsho Ogundipe's The Afrobeat Chronicles Vol. 2 (Flying ...

9

Interview

Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word

Read "Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word" reviewed by Rob Garratt


It's hard to talk to Gary Bartz about music. Not because he's a difficult or reluctant interviewee—quite the opposite. In fact, the 80-year-old saxophonist is refreshingly unguarded and garrulous when looking back over his formidable six-decade musical career. It's just finding the right words that's the tricky part. Like many musicians, jazz isn't one of them he's a fan of—for the word's pejorative roots as much as its genre pigeonholing. Which is why, as a quick-fast rule, it ...

8

Interview

John Pizzarelli: The Metheny Project

Read "John Pizzarelli: The Metheny Project" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli has been a road warrior in a long career spanning some five decades. He's known for following in the footsteps of his father, the great jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, as a champion of the Great American Songbook working with classic jazz musicians and singers. He eventually became one of those singers that keeps classic works alive: a crooner, at times, who can also play music from well beyond the swing era. He cuts it as ...

16

SoCal Jazz

Dean Brown: Global Fusion on Acid

Read "Dean Brown: Global Fusion on Acid" reviewed by Jim Worsley


From the outset, the equation was simple enough. Jazz + rock = fusion. However, whether it was Miles Davis, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, or any of the pioneers of fusion, the music has always been far from simplistic. Musical depth has long been the trademark of a genre that has been through many incarnations and traversed a multitude of directions. Jazz and rock has been supplemented through time by funk and Latin and other enriching flavors of sound.


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