Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

K. Lawrence Kemp

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it's music that touches the soul I was first exposed to jazz as a child when my Dad would play records of the Dukes of Dixieland and Chris Connor. Then as a high school senior we went to see Benny Benack play at the Riverboat Room at the William Penn Hotel after our Senior Prom in Pittsburgh. I met Maynard Ferguson, Bobby Shew, Ross Barber of the 4 Freshmen, Karyn Allison, Walt Harper, Harold Betters, . The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra in the mid-1970s at the Harmar House near Pittsburgh, Karyn ALlison's shows between 2000 and 2005, I saw her twice and meeting her was a treat. I also liked the shows by Richard Groove Holmes and Ray Bryant which were in intimate night clubs. The first jazz record I bought was Maynard Ferguson's first album on Columbia in 1970 followed by a Ramsey Lewis and a Gene Ammons My advice to new listeners listen to a variety of different musicians and styles of jazz. Or whatever else you have in mind. I've been fortunate to see and hear the musicians live as well as collect a massive library of recorded jazz from Dixieland through the present time. For a couple of years I was even paid a salary to play jazz and talk about it.

My Favorites

  1. Maynard Ferguson- Trumpet Rhapsody
  2. Kenny Burrell-Guitar Forms
  3. Karrin Allyson-Sweet Home Cookin'
  4. Oscar Peterson- Broadway
  5. Rick Gallagher-Sweet Potato Eyebrows
  6. Houston Person-Personified