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John Coltrane: Turning Point

Read "Turning Point" reviewed by Nic Jones

The music collected here comes from a period of Coltrane's career, namely the closing years of the 1950s, which so many tenor sax players have latched on to in the decades since. At that stage in his own musical evolution Coltrane's playing was developing that singular edge that was to be the hallmark of the final ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Buddy Rich: The Monster

Read "The Monster" reviewed by Nic Jones

The ambiguity in the title of this one really nails it. Buddy Rich was never a man to let subtlety or restraint get in the way of his ego, and in so doing he reduced the art of jazz drumming to a matter of overbearing machismo and overkill. In short, any beat that Rich played usually ...

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Chico Hamilton Quintet & Fred Katz: Classical Katz

Read "Classical Katz" reviewed by Nic Jones

The lasting impression of this music by drummer Chico Hamilton and composer/cellist Fred Katz is that of a quiet revolution overtaken by events captured in time to such an extent that it encapsulates that moment or at least a particular strand of musical development that has since petered out to nothing in the half century that's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Buddy Rich: Man From Planet Jazz

Read "Man From Planet Jazz" reviewed by David Rickert

Nobody's really clamoring for big band recordings from 1980 these days, and it's probably the case that no one was back then, either. But it's also true that drummer Buddy Rich never really gave a damn what anybody thought about what he did, which is what makes this live set from Ronnie Scott's worth a listen.

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Rene Thomas: Guitaristic

Read "Guitaristic" reviewed by Nic Jones

Belgian guitarist René Thomas could be the missing link between Django Reinhardt and Grant Green. On this collection of small group sides from the mid-1950s he proves why he was so valued by his peers on both sides of the Atlantic. Although the music is deeply within the West Coast tradition, the fact that he would ...

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Bill Evans: Emergence

Read "Emergence" reviewed by Nic Jones

Pianist Bill Evans has become one of the three pervasive influences on that instrument in these early years of the twenty-first century, along with Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. This set gathers together some of his earliest records both as a sideman and a leader and, as such, plots the beginnings of a phenomenon. One of ...

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Sun Ra: Toward The Stars

Read "Toward The Stars" reviewed by Nic Jones

The bandleader, keyboard player and composer christened Herman Blount made his reputation under the name of Sun Ra, and this compilation of pieces from the early years of his career could almost be an exercise in confounding expectations at the same time as it amounts to a strong case for Ra and his recorded legacy. In ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Ahmad Jamal Trio: Pavanne For Ahmad

Read "Pavanne For Ahmad" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Always the musician's musician, Ahmad Jamal's unique approach to the piano has been a continuing source of inspiration for six decades, influencing such giants as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, and a younger generation of keyboardist like Scott Kinsey. Pavanne for Ahmad is a collection of eighteen of Jamal's earliest recordings for the ...

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Lennie Tristano: Abstraction & Improvisation

Read "Abstraction & Improvisation" reviewed by Nic Jones

Pianist, composer and educator Lennie Tristano's place in the history of the music seems anomalous from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. His music was arguably as iconoclastic as that of Charlie Parker's and Dizzy Gillespie's and equally of its time, but in contrast with that it can come across as colorless and one-dimensional. His ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Brubeck: Brubeck In Wonderland

Read "Brubeck In Wonderland" reviewed by David Rickert

Brubeck recorded his most durable work with Time Out, which launched a series of successful albums by the stately jazzman for the Columbia label in 1959. However, his earlier works for the Fantasy label, which find him fully entrenched in the cool scene, are arguably more rewarding. Brubeck had not yet stumbled upon the gimmickry of ...


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