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NEWS: OBITUARY

Claude Williamson 1926-2016

Claude Williamson 1926-2016

Claude Williamson, a piano mainstay of jazz in California for seven decades, died on July 16 in Los Angeles. He had been in decline since he fell in his home in 2015 and broke a hip. After Williamson moved from Boston to L.A. in 1947, he played with Charlie Barnet’s band for two years and was the featured soloist ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Claude Williamson (1926-2016)

Claude Williamson (1926-2016)

Claude Williamson, a West Coast jazz pianist who was deeply influenced by the bebop piano of Bud Powell and was perhaps the last surviving member of the Lighthouse All Stars, often unleashing centipede-like speed on the keyboard along with sinewy improvisational lines, died July 16. He was 89. His son, Marc, said last night that his father ...

Bob Cooper: Four Classic Albums

Read "Bob Cooper: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert

Bob Cooper was one of the greats of the fifties West Coast scene. He was a formidable improviser whose proficiency on multiple instruments made him highly sought after for studio work, and was also a talented arranger whose had plenty of work in the studio on both big band and small group recordings. However, he seldom ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Conte Candoli: Sincerely, Conte

Read "Sincerely, Conte" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

On the old Tonight Show (as in Carson, not Leno, much less Parr), I once remember “Conte Candoli unwinding a great solo on “King Porter Stomp." No surprise, I guess, for a guy who cut his teeth with the big bands of the late 1940s. But as he went into his second chorus, he quoted “Epistrophy," ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

L.A. Six: Frame of Mind

Read "Frame of Mind" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Once upon a time ('way back in the 1970s-80s) there was the peerless L.A. Four (Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne) and now we have the L.A. Six, another hard-swinging post-bop ensemble that has chosen to walk in some rather large shoes by recording a splendid debut album, Frame of Mind. With Tom Peterson ...

Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names

Read "Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the countdown continues toward the last Big Band Report in June, the time has come to point fingers and name names--in other words, to compile a short list of contemporary jazz musicians who have risen above the norm to help make life more pleasurable for one devoted listener. These are, mind you, personal choices, and ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bud Shank: Four Classic Albums

Read "Bud Shank: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert

Bud Shank

Four Classic Albums

Avid Records UK

2012

Bud Shank is typical of the jazz musicians that roamed the West Coast in the fifties in that he was able to work comfortably in a variety of settings: big bands, the studio, and clubs. Like many of the other players, Shank also ...

ARTICLE: RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Fresh Sound Records and the Legacy of Recorded Jazz

Read "Fresh Sound Records and the Legacy of Recorded Jazz" reviewed by Bruce Klauber

If the importance and the contributions of jazz are measured by its recorded legacy, then Fresh Sound Records--and its founder, Jordi Pujol--must be duly recognized for rescuing a legacy that might otherwise be lost or nearly impossible to find, and for making it available to the public.

Specifically, this legacy includes recorded works by saxophonist ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Claude Williamson: Kenton Presents

Claude Williamson: Kenton Presents

In the very early 1950s, Los Angeles was awash in jazz pianists who could play with ferocious speed and delicate grace. The names that spring to mind include Russ Freeman, Marty Paich, Hampton Hawes, Dodo Marmarosa, Carl Perkins, Pete Jolly, Lorraine Geller, Victor Feldman, Sonny Clark and Jimmy Rowles. But perhaps the most overlooked member of ...

"A Swingin' Affair" Outshines Its Name

Read ""A Swingin' Affair" Outshines Its Name" reviewed by Jack Bowers

With an appreciative bow and genial tip of the hat to the late Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, the Los Angeles Jazz Institute named its semi-annual big-band soiree May 21-24 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel “A Swingin' Affair." Was the event able to live up to its name? In the immortal words of ...