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Ken Dryden

Ken has collected jazz for over three decades and been a jazz journalist since 1988.

About Me

I started collecting jazz records while attending Tulane University in the early 1970s. Since I was already a history buff (and majoring in it as well), research was something I also enjoyed. After graduating in 1976 and earning my MBA at the University of Georgia the following year, I eventually wound up in Chattanooga, where I began a 15-year stint on WUTC-FM hosting Timeless Jazz in 1987. In early 1988, I began reviewing jazz, writing for various publications including Cadence, The Jazz Link, Letter From Evans, and the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Between 1998-2012, I was a regular contributor to All Music Guide, writing thousands of jazz reviews for their website, along with reviews of rock, bluegrass and classical recordings and a few biographies. In 2005, I also became a regular contributor to Coda, The New York City Jazz Record and Hot House (NY). I began writing for All About Jazz in 2000, creating the Ask Ken column to answer recording related questions and trying to help folks find out of print LPs and CDs, finally ending the column 3 years later because I couldn't keep up with the volume of requests. I also jointly edited the late lamented All About Jazz Trivia Quiz with Alex Henderson, which ended only because of AAJ's frustration with the purchased program utilized by the quiz. I also contributed annual reviews of the IAJE Conference to All About Jazz, along with occasional CD and concert reviews, label profiles and interviews, some of which initially were written for the All About Jazz-New York newspaper. A few years ago I took a hiatus from All About Jazz, but now that I'm retired from my radio career, I'm considering a relaunch of Not For Sale and contributing a few reviews and articles, too. My new baby for All About Jazz is Not For Sale, a column which enables me to review non-commercial broadcasts of live and studio jazz which has never appeared on CD or LP. Since 1977, I have recorded hundreds of shows, including Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, Jazzset, Four Queens Jazz Night From Las Vegas, Jazz Alive!, the American Jazz Radio Festival, Jazz From Lincoln Center, Jazz at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Vintage Jazz at the Vineyard, Riverwalk: Live From the Landing, along with occasional broadcasts of music from festivals in Chicago, Detroit, Caramoor and elsewhere. I'm still working on compiling a comprehensive list; not to mention transferring my first 27 years of cassettes to CDRs. My hope is that Not For Sale will encourage record labels to track down and release music mentioned in the column (believe it or not, before I could start work on my second Not For Sale column, I was asked by Concord Records to writer liner notes for a portion of a concert I had recorded off NPR over 20 years earlier). Complete personnel, song titles, composers, plus dates of recording and broadcast (the latter when known) are also included. Artists are encouraged to get in touch with me if they don't have a copy of the recording or have additional information, comments, etc. I have already dubbed CDs for a number of musicians in my collection. Every once in awhile, I get an opportunity to write liner notes. The CDs include: Oscar Peterson Plays Duke Ellington (Pablo) Joe Pass: Meditation-Live at Yoshi's (Pablo) Wes Montgomery: The Best of Wes Montgomery (Riverside) Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's (Prestige) Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan & George Shearing: The Classic Concert Live (Concord) BED (Becky Kilgore, Eddie Erickson & Dan Barrett) Watch Out! (Blue Swing) Jimmy Ponder: Somebody's Child (HighNote) Lorraine Feather: Language (Jazzed Media) Jeff Barone: Open Up (Jazzed Media) Leslie Pintchik: Quartets (Ambient) Joe Lee Wilson & Jimmy Ponder: Come and See (Explore) Joe Lee Wilson: The Shadow (Explore) N. Glenn Davis Quintet w/Phil Woods: Come Right In (Jazzed Media) Arlyn Valencia: Secret Love (jbQ Media) I also write press bios. If you need a bio or liner notes, drop me a line, using the subject: liner notes/press bio. Regarding my current "Listening to Now" list: CDs aren't necessarily heard in the order listed. Assigned CDs and long favorite artists take priority. Once posted, I will try to get to a specific disc as soon as possible! I'm always looking for LPs or CDs and usually have some current and out-of-print things on hand for trading. If you're interested in learning more, drop me a line, using "Trade List" for the subject. I'm also interested in trading broadcast (not commercially issued) recordings, including the ones I've featured in my Not For Sale column. I current have over 1000 listed on line and many more not yet added to my list. Email me drop me a line for a list or link to my online collection. Don't forget to watch out every April 1st for April Fool's reviews and articles!

My Favorites

  1. Howard Alden/Dan Barrett Quintet - Swing Street
  2. Louis Armstrong - Plays W. C. Handy
  3. Kenny Barron At the Piano
  4. BED (Becky Kilgore, Eddie Erickson & Dan Barrett) - Watch Out!
  5. Eubie Blake - Live Concert
  6. Bob Brookmeyer & the New Art Orchestra - Get Well Soon
  7. Donald Brown Trio Autumn in New York
  8. Dave Brubeck - Private Brubeck Remembers
  9. Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan - We're All Together Again For the First Time (along with my broadcast copy of their complete 1972 Berlin concert)
  10. Jaki Byard - To Them-To Us
  11. Nat King Cole - The Complete Capitol Trio Recordings
  12. John Coltrane - The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Sessions
  13. Chick Corea & Gary Burton - In Concert, Zurich 10/28/79
  14. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
  15. Eric Dolphy - Outward Bound
  16. Eric Dolphy - Last Date
  17. Dominque Eade - My Resistance is Low
  18. Eliane Elias - Cross Currents
  19. Duke Ellington - Money Jungle
  20. Duke Ellington - The Far East Suite (Expanded)
  21. Duke Ellington - Piano Reflections
  22. Duke Ellington - Duke's Big 4
  23. Bill Evans - Paris Concert, Edition One & Edition Two
  24. Bill Evans - The Complete Riverside Recordings
  25. Art Farmer/Tom Harrell - The Company I Keep
  26. Lorraine Feather - Such Sweet Thunder
  27. Ella Fitzgerald - The Complete Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife
  28. Tommy Flanagan - Sunset and the Mockingbird
  29. Dave Frishberg - Can't Take You Nowhere
  30. Roberta Gambarini & Hank Jones - You Are There
  31. Stan Getz/Kenny Barron - People Time
  32. David Grisman - DGQ 20
  33. Jim Hall - Something Special
  34. Sir Roland Hanna - Round Midnight
  35. Tom Harrell - Moon Alley
  36. Fred Hersch - I Never Told You
  37. Milt Hinton - Old Man Time
  38. Dick Hyman - Music of 1937
  39. Denise Jannah - I Was Born in Love With You
  40. Meade Lux Lewis - The Blues Piano Artistry of Meade Lux Lewis
  41. Pete Malinverni - Autumn in New York
  42. Bill Mays Trio - Going Home
  43. Marian McPartland - Live at Maybeck
  44. Carmen McRae - Carmen Sings Monk
  45. Charles Mingus - The Great Concert of Charles Mingus
  46. Thelonious Monk - The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk
  47. Gerry Mulligan - The Complete Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster Sessions
  48. Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker - The Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings
  49. Buell Neidlinger's String Jazz - Locomotive
  50. Oliver Nelson - Blues & the Abstract Truth
  51. Herbie Nichols - The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols
  52. Judy Niemack/Kenny Barron - Heart's Desire
  53. Charlie Parker - The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-8 1944-1948
  54. Charlie Parker - Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker On Verve
  55. Joe Pass - Meditation
  56. Niels Pedersen - Those Who Were
  57. Ken Peplowski/Howard Alden - Live At Maybeck
  58. Oscar Peterson - Tracks
  59. Oscar Peterson Jam - Montreux '77
  60. Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie
  61. Oscar Peterson - In Russia
  62. Michel Petrucciani - 100 Hearts
  63. Oscar Pettiford - The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet
  64. Flip Phillips - A Real Swinger
  65. Enrico Pieranunzi/Bert Van Den Brink - Daedalus' Wings
  66. Jean-Luc Ponty/Stephane Grappelli/Stuff Smith/Svend Asmussen - Violin Summit
  67. Bud Powell - The Complete Blue Note & Roost Recordings
  68. Django Reinhardt - The Complete Django Reinhardt & Quintet Of The Hot Club of France Swing/HMV Sessions 1036-1948
  69. Emily Remler - East to Wes
  70. Jimmy Rowles - Lilac Time
  71. Jimmy Rushing - Rushing Lullabies
  72. George Russell Smalltet - Jazz Workshop
  73. George Russell - Ezz-Thetics
  74. Bud Shank/Bill Mays - Beyond the Red Door
  75. Artie Shaw - The Complete Gramercy 5 Sessions
  76. George Shearing/Hank Jones - The Spirit of 176
  77. Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
  78. Pete "La Roca" Sims - Basra
  79. Zoot Sims/Jimmy Rowles - Warm Tenor
  80. Johnny Smith - The Complete Roost Recordings
  81. Willie the Lion Smith - Pork and Beans
  82. Marvin Stamm Quartet - Alone Together
  83. Sonny Stitt - Sits in With Oscar Peterson
  84. Sun Ra - Sun Song
  85. Ralph Sutton - At Maybeck
  86. Lew Tabackin Quartet - Desert Lady
  87. Art Tatum - Piano Starts Here
  88. Art Tatum - The Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces
  89. Art Tatum - The Complete Pablo Group Masterpieces
  90. Art Tatum - 20th Century Piano Genius
  91. Martin Taylor - In Concert
  92. Clark Terry - One on One
  93. Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer - The Power of Positive Swinging
  94. Toots Thielemans - Footprints
  95. Mel Torme/Gerry Mulligan/George Shearing - The Classic Concert Live
  96. McCoy Tyner - Passion Dance
  97. McCoy Tyner - Soliloquoy
  98. Mal Waldron Quintet Live at the Village Vanguard
  99. Fats Waller - Turn on the Heat
  100. Bobby Watson & Horizon - Post-Motown Bop
  101. Ben Webster - At the Renaissance
  102. Kenny Werner - Copenhagen Calypso
  103. Randy Weston -Self Portraits
  104. Carla White A Voice in the Night (the last CD by a great singer and friend)
  105. James Williams Sextet/Clark Terry - Talkin' Trash
  106. James Williams - At Maybeck
  107. Jessica Williams - At Maybeck
  108. Joe Williams - In Good Company
  109. Mary Lou Williams - Live at the Cookery
  110. Phil Woods - Gratitude
  111. Phil Woods - Bouquet
  112. Phil Woods - 20th Anniversary Set
  113. Denny Zeitlin - The Complete Columbia Studio Sessions
  114. Denny Zeitlin - Slickrock
  115. Denny Zeitlin - At Maybeck
  116. Frank Zappa - Broadway the Hard Way
  117. Frank Zappa - Hot Rats
  118. Frank Zappa - Wazoo
  119. You get the idea that I won't be visiting a desert island any time soon, this obviously remains a work in progress, last updated 6/5/08.

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