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NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Five Solos by Hal McKusick

Five Solos by Hal McKusick

Yesterday, I was thinking about the late Hal McKusick. So I thought I'd share five clips with you of Hal playing solos: Here's Hal on also saxophone playing Don't Worry About Me... Here's Hal on You're Everywhere... Here's Hal playing I'm Glad There Is You on clarinet... Here's Hal on alto saxophone playing Irresistible You... Here's Hal playing alto saxophone on ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank?

Read "Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank?" reviewed by Geoffrey Wills

The following is an excerpt from “Chapter 2: Early Encounters with Jazz" of Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank? by Geoffrey Wills (Matador, 2015).

When, at the age of fourteen, Zappa entered Mission Bay High School in jny: San Diego in 1955, his first exposure to the elitist snobbery of ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Hal McKusick: You're Everywhere

Hal McKusick: You're Everywhere

Soon after I started this blog in 2007, I interviewed saxophonist Hal McKusick at length. Hal appeared on dozens of my favorite albums and his heart-touching tone was unmistakable. In the years that followed our initial conversation, we spoke every few weeks by phone. Hal was always generous with answers to my questions and hugely encouraging. ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Hal McKusick: 1924-2012

Hal McKusick: 1924-2012

Hal McKusick, an East Coast jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger whose seductively smooth sound, tireless work ethic and flawless technique were admired by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Johnny Mandel and every other musician he worked with since the early 1940s, died on April 10 of complications from a fractured hip. He was ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Ryan Truesdell: The Gil Evans Project

Read "Ryan Truesdell: The Gil Evans Project" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Imagine the commotion when previously unknown manuscripts of Beethoven or Bach were discovered. In the jazz world, the equivalent of such an event might occur with regard to the music of innovators like Duke Ellington or Gil Evans. Indeed, that is exactly what composer-arranger-conductor-producer Ryan Truesdell has uncovered with Evans' music. He researched and found a ...

NEWS: WEBSITE

All About Jazz Musician Database Tops 24,000 Profiles

The All About Jazz Musician Center is growing by the day and has just eclipsed 24,000 musician profiles. AAJ profiles work a little like Wikipedia, where musicians, fans, industry folks can create and maintain them. Most of the profiles are created by an individual, but we now create skeleton profiles from CD reviews and calendar date submissions. ...

NEWS: INTERVIEW

Hal McKusick: Cross Section-Saxes

Hal McKusick: Cross Section-Saxes

Hal McKusick was and remains a jazz musician's musician. Even in his earliest days in Boyd Raeburn's band in the mid-1940s, Hal's distinct sound on the alto saxophone was admired by bandmates Lucky Thompson, Oscar Pettiford and Dizzy Gillespie as well as contemporaries like Charlie Parker, Claude Thornhill and Quincy Jones. Hal's ability to navigate the ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Back in the Saddle Again...Sort Of

Read "Back in the Saddle Again...Sort Of" reviewed by Jack Bowers

After an absence of more than 45 years, your correspondent returned to the airwaves on December 15, 2009 co-hosting a three-hour program of big-band holiday music on KSFR-FM in Santa Fe, NM. I was invited to share a part of my CD library by Arlen Asher, one of New Mexico's finest jazz musicians, who has been ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Strike Up the (Unsung) Bands

Read "Strike Up  the (Unsung) Bands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The big band era is known for producing a number of enormously successful ensembles whose leaders were household names: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, then on through Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the brothers Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast

Read "Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Artistry in Rhythm, the Ken Poston / Los Angeles Jazz Institute's 2009 homage to the renowned bandleader Stan Kenton, was held October 8-11 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel. As always, there was much to see, hear and admire: films, panel discussions, special presentations and, last but not least, no fewer than nineteen concerts by ...