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ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

2017: The Year in Jazz

Read "2017: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

A year of achievements, challenges to gender inequality, scandal and losses

The year 2017 was quite something for the jazz world. Incidents or discussions of misogyny and sexual misconduct bubbled up even before the #MeToo phenomenon developed. Beyond that, woman musicians made significant contributions to the genre. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

2016: The Year in Jazz

Read "2016: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2016 bubbled with events and initiatives to strengthen jazz's place in American and world culture, as well as a variety of venue openings, closings and cancellations. Jazz hit the silver screen in many ways throughout the year, and International Jazz Day continued to thrive--complete with a major all-star concert at the White House. Pop ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Brown: Quiet Time

Read "Quiet Time" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bassist and bandleader John Brown was last heard backing Nneena Freelon on her Christmas (Brown Boulevard Records, 2013) release leading one of his decidedly larger ensembles. Quiet Time finds the bassist pared down to a classic trumpet-saxophone quintet size for a recital of after-hours tunes. Brown's fronting horns are trumpeter Ray Codrington and saxophonist Brian Miller. ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Christmas III: Jazz Vocals - Tianna Hall/Chris Cortez, Nnenna Freelon, New York Voices and Albrecht Mayer/The King’s Singers

Read "Christmas III:  Jazz Vocals - Tianna Hall/Chris Cortez, Nnenna Freelon, New York Voices and Albrecht Mayer/The King’s Singers" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The vocal holiday offerings are all over the map stylistically. Latin, big band, small ensemble singing and whatever the Albrecht Mayer/King's Singer's collaboration is, this a hopping creative season. For a seasonal subgenre of any musical subgenre usually reserved for money-making more than art, this year's releases are exceptional.

“May your days be ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nnenna Freelon & the John Brown Big Band: Christmas

Read "Christmas" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Renowned jazz singer Nnenna Freelon's first Christmas album truly is a gift, made possible by a small bequest from her Christmas-loving mother and a long-time friendship with John Brown, director of Duke University's Jazz Studies program and leader of the splendid John Brown Big Band. Brown not only made his ensemble available but co-produced the album ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

Traditional New Orleans Jazz, Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music

Read "Traditional New Orleans Jazz, Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music" reviewed by Thomas W. Jacobsen

This article, adapted by the author, appears in Chapter 5 of Traditional New Orleans Jazz, Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music by Thomas W. Jacobsen (LSU Press, 2011).

Irvin Mayfield: Boy Wonder

Sometimes people live long enough to fulfill the promise of their youth, and sometimes they don't. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Westray / Thomas Heflin: Live from Austin

Read "Live from Austin" reviewed by Josep Pedro

A live recording is always a great chance to experience some of the core principles of jazz. Improvisation and spontaneity arise when musicians feel free and comfortable with the tunes and arrangements. A collaborative effort between trombonist Ron Westray and trumpeter Thomas Heflin, Live from Austin was recorded in 2009 at the Elephant Room, one of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Brown Trio: Dancing With Duke: An Homage To Duke Ellington

Read "Dancing With Duke: An Homage To Duke Ellington" reviewed by Edward Blanco

The history of jazz would not be complete without an understanding of just how influential Duke Ellington was to its development. North Carolina bassist John Brown appreciates the impact Edward Kennedy Ellington has had on American music, especially jazz, and offers his own tribute to the icon on Dancing with Duke: An Homage to Duke Ellington. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Brown: Dancing With Duke: An Homage To Duke Ellington

Read "Dancing With Duke: An Homage To Duke Ellington" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The cover photo for this album is a bit misleading. John Brown stands with his left forearm pressed against a shiny black piano and the album title--Dancing With Duke: An Homage To Duke Ellington--resides, clear as day, in the upper right hand portion of the cover. If not for the personnel list, which almost blends into ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Zack Cross

Read "Take Five With Zack Cross" reviewed by Zack Cross

Meet Zack Cross:

I am from a very WASPy suburb of Washington, DC known as Arlington, VA. I started playing piano when I was seven years old, and played only classical music until I was about 13 years old, when my grandfather gave me a Monk greatest hits compilation. I didn't even like it at ...