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Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2

Read "Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Part One

When we sleep, we're often in commune with our soul. As you wake, you may receive some gentle messages for you to try and remember or use. A few years back as I was waking up I felt that everything in my life was about to change in a way I could ...

Ode to Jef Lee Johnson: The Promise of Lovolution

Read "Ode to Jef Lee Johnson:  The Promise of Lovolution" reviewed by Charles Blass

“When the music's happening, life is happening.... Why must we only join hands after the storm?... How true are you? Nothing else even matters." --Jef Lee Johnson

Jef Lee Johnson, prolific, virtuosic, humble, was in some ways not made for this world. “I'm over the world," he sang. He was certainly made for music though.

A Question of Time

Read "A Question of Time" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Imagine you were given the chance to go back in time and witness four musical events (one each from jazz, blues, classical, and rock history.) What would they be? That's an after-dinner topic friends might discuss by candlelight. If your inner-child has completely matured, perhaps you could approach it as a potential film: if you were ...

Introduction to Wide Open Jazz and Beyond

Read "Introduction to Wide Open Jazz and Beyond" reviewed by Peter Madsen

Greetings fellow jazz-junkies, music aficionados and other folks searching for a little bit of meaningful life between the exit signs. My name is Peter Madsen and in real life I'm a professional pianist, keyboardist and composer that once a month will be masquerading as a music-writer for AAJ. Being that this is the maiden voyage of ...

Warne Marsh

Read "Warne Marsh" reviewed by Peter Madsen

One of my first great musical experiences in New York happened shortly after I had arrived here in 1980. I was rehearsing once a week with a band co-led by trumpeter Manny Duran and singer Carla White up in Breton Hall on 86th street and Broadway. During one of the rehearsals a shy thin gray haired ...

Improvisation, Part 1-2

Read "Improvisation, Part 1-2" reviewed by Peter Madsen

Happy New Year everyone. Hope 2000 was as great a year for you as it was for me and I hope 2001 is even better.

The following is a letter from an AAJ fan with some questions about scales and improvisation. I was asked to try and wrestle these questions to the ground and turn the ...

Improvisation, Part 2-2

Read "Improvisation, Part 2-2" reviewed by Peter Madsen

Welcome back to part 2 of an article in response to a question from Michael a loyal AAJ reader with some interesting questions that I was asked to write about. Once again here's the letter:

I have a question, which might make a good topic for an article - maybe. In an old interview with Frank ...

Muddy Waters

Read "Muddy Waters" reviewed by Peter Madsen

Muddy Waters! Muddy Waters! Muddy Waters!

Damn this man could sing and play the blues. Lately I've been listening to his very first recording done for the Library of Congress in 1941 in the fields of the Mississippi Delta. Absolutely some of the finest music ever!!

Beginning in 1933 music researcher and ...

Holiday Thanks

Read "Holiday Thanks" reviewed by Peter Madsen

Turkey Day has just passed and Christmas is just around the corner. It's that time of year again to remember and thank the important people in our lives! This year I want to shout-out some historical thanks to a few jazz and blues people who've helped to make my life pretty cool.

I want to thank: ...

Kenny Wheeler

Read "Kenny Wheeler" reviewed by Peter Madsen

For years I've admired the great Canadian musician Kenny Wheeler because of his fantastic compositions and arrangements, his incredible sound on both the trumpet and flugelhorn, his superb recordings as well as his wide open artistic vision. Last week I went to a big-band concert that featured Kenny as the guest performer and composer. At 70+ ...