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NEWS: OBITUARY

Bill Watrous (1939-2018)

Bill Watrous (1939-2018)

Bill Watrous, a jazz trombonist who came up in the 1960s just as jazz was fading and the trombone was transitioning into studio orchestras and funk-soul groups such as the Jazz Crusaders and Kool and the Gang, died on July 2, 2018. He was 79. Watrous's finest work was on ballads. His singing trombone style on slow ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Ralph Hepola

Read "Take Five with Ralph Hepola" reviewed by Ralph Hepola

About Ralph Hepola
Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States, Ralph Hepola studied piano before starting on the tuba at age twelve. At seventeen, he was chosen to play before the British Royal Family in the Manitoba All-Province Band at Brandon, Manitoba in Canada. While still in high school, Ralph began performing ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6

Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Omnivore Records concludes its remastering and re-release of Art Pepper's Yupiteru (later to become Atlas Records) recordings volumes 5 and 6, featuring, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, and drummer Shelly Manne, respectively. To date, the label has remastered and released four volumes: Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" Volumes 1: Sonny Stitt (2017); Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival Big Band Spectacular
LAX Westin Hotel
Los Angeles, CA
May 24-28, 2017

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Saddleback Jazz Combo

The young Saddleback five piece jazz combo featured a tenor and baritone sax ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Art Pepper: More West Coast

Art Pepper: More West Coast

In February, I posted about two superb Art Pepper albums that have were remastered on the Omnivore label. The recordings were originally made for the Japanese Atlas label, with Pepper's featured guest as the leader so he could get around his contracts with Fantasy. One was with Pete Jolly and the other was with Sonny Stitt. Two ...

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 3 & 4

Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 3 & 4" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Today is the day that I finally come clean about Art Pepper and me. In 1984, I was taking a year off between having finished Pharmacy School and beginning a graduate program in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design. During this time, I had my yearly eye appointment with my ophthalmologist, one Dr. A. Henry Thomas, with ...

A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!

Read "A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 23, Betty and I flew to jny: Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Jazz Institute's semi-annual ode to swinging, this one labeled Big Band Spectacular and slated for Thursday through Sunday, May 25-28. We rearranged our schedule to arrive a day early, even before Wednesday's “bonus" event, to attend the funeral of a longtime ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and their inevitable aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend, Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Bill Watrous: In Love Again

Bill Watrous: In Love Again

After spending the early 1960s as a top New York studio trombonist, Bill Watrous caught a break in 1967 and recorded his first leadership album—In Love Again, for MTA Records. Given Watrous's beautiful tone, which was akin to Urbie Green's, I'm not quite sure why he couldn't land a much larger label like Verve, Roulette or Prestige. He ...

ARTICLE: DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Rick Stepton: Off-The-Cuff Trombone

Read "Rick Stepton: Off-The-Cuff Trombone" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

There's a fascinating--almost stunning--moment mid-way through Off-the-Cuff Trombone wherein the late Buddy Rich is accompanying and intently observing trombonist Rick Stepton as Stepton solos with great intensity and zeal. Perceptive eyes can see that Rich, the toughest of tough customers, is visibly and physically moved at what he's heard. It's a not-so-subtle acknowledgement of the utmost ...