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ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift

Read "Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift" reviewed by Steve Provizer

We think of the 1950's as a time of relative social conformity, but in fact, there were significant cultural shifts happening. For one, male stereotypes were being unpacked and to some degree, unfrozen. Where once films and music gave us male characters that were either hyper-macho or limp-wristedly homosexual, male characters and performers who showed emotional ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Shorty Rogers: Short Stops

Read "Shorty Rogers: Short Stops" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

In the 1980s, trumpeter and Kenton alum Mike Vax put together a Supersax-type group called TRPTS. It released an album of harmonized trumpet classics, one of which was “Short Stop." There are lots of great tunes including “Night in Tunisia," “Trumpet Blues and Cantabile," and “Heckler's Hop." Oh yeah, one I never heard, Shorty Rogers' Short ...

Dave Pell: Four Classic Albums

Read "Dave Pell: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert



If you were to wander up and down the West Coast in the fifties you were more likely to find Dave Pell playing dances on college campuses than in clubs. Despite filling his octet with seasoned musicians who could really cut loose when given the chance, Pell's studio recordings always have a hint of ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Phil Norman Tentet: Encore

Read "Encore" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Harkening back and reverently genuflecting to the mid-size ensemble format of the 1950s and '60s--especially those on the West Coast such as the Dave Pell Octet, Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool (Capitol 1957) band and other similar-sized ensembles-- the Phil Norman Tentet's Encore delivers the absolute best of all jazz worlds.

This ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

"Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor

Read ""Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor" reviewed by Jack Bowers

From October 19-25 Betty and I were at the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel to attend Modern Sounds, the L.A. Jazz Institute's four-day salute to West Coast jazz, followed by a day-long tribute to Stan Kenton on the hundredth anniversary of the legendary bandleader's birth. We arrived a day early to be primed and ready for ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz

Read "BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On August 8, my friend Wes Pfarner and I drove to Santa Fe for a once-in-a lifetime event: a performance by the German Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra, better known to big band enthusiasts by its more condensed and colorful name, BuJazzO. The twenty-piece ensemble, directed by Jiggs Whigham, an American trombonist and educator from Cleveland, Ohio, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore

Read "Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the early '90s, Stanley Kay, one-time back-up drummer for the incomparable Buddy Rich, later a manager of such artists as Maurice Hines, Michelle Lee and Paul Burke and the entertainment director for the New York Yankees, had a good idea: the time had come, he reasoned, to assemble an all-woman big band that would ...

Jack's Gone! No He Isn't; Yes He Is; No He Isn't...!

Read "Jack's Gone! No He Isn't; Yes He Is; No He Isn't...!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As I sat down to write this month's column, word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had died. No sooner had I written a few words about that when word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had not died. After some back-and-forth on the internet (is he or isn't he?), the last report, it seems, was the true ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Gold Medalists Abound at Big Band Olympics

Read "Gold Medalists Abound at Big Band Olympics" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As this is being written, Betty and I are just back from a ten-day visit to California, the first six days of which would be of absolutely no interest to readers of this column. The last four, however, were spent at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel attending the L.A. Jazz Institute's “Big Band Olympics," which ...