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10 by Mancini in 1960

10 by Mancini in 1960

Hollywood composer, arranger and conductor Henry Mancini released four albums in 1960—two soundtracks and two instrumental LPs. The scores were for the film High Time and the TV series Mr. Lucky. The instrumentals were The Blues and the Beat and The Mancini Touch. Their cool swing, jauntiness and instrumental textures were in sync with the minimalist ...

NEWS: RECORDING

San Gabriel 7: Red Dress

San Gabriel 7: Red Dress

What would Tower of Power sound like if we swapped out Lenny Williams for Femi Knight and added an eye-dropper of the Jazz Crusaders? Obviously, we'll never know, but the San Gabriel 7's new album Red Dress, (Jrl Sgs), with singer-songwriter Femi Knight, gives us an idea. The SG7 is based in the Los Angeles area, ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Five Guitarists With the Blues

Five Guitarists With the Blues

By 1971, my family had moved out of Manhattan for the northern reaches of Westchester County. I wasn't happy about being there, but it was better than dealing with overcrowded classrooms in the city and muggings in school stairways. Craving the city at 15, I started taking the train into New York to spend hours at ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD
NEWS: RECORDING

René Thomas: Rare and New

René Thomas: Rare and New

Born in Liège, Belgium, guitarist René Thomas moved to Paris in the early 1950s and became part of the active jazz scene there. Paris back then was similar to 52nd Street in New York, where musicians could engage in steady gigging with leading musicians from Europe and from America. What most of the European jazz musicians ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Neil Swainson: 49th Parallel

Neil Swainson: 49th Parallel

In 1987, Neil Swainson wanted to record six original compositions. At the time, the Canadian bassist was playing Toronto jazz clubs with Canadian drummer Jerry Fuller and pianist Gary Williamson. When Woody Shaw came to town earlier that year, the trio backed him. Swainson also played with the trumpeter a couple of years earlier and recorded ...

NEWS: TV / FILM

Jazz Doc: Stéphane Grappelli

Jazz Doc: Stéphane Grappelli

European jazz starts with Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France Quintet. The violinist along with guitarist Django Reinhardt added Louis Vola on bass and Joseph Reinhardt and Roger Chaput on guitar. The group ended its run in 1939 with the onset of World War II. Grappelli was in London when war broke out and ...

NEWS: TV / FILM

Miles: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Miles: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Known in English as Elevator to the Gallows, this 1958 French crime film is notable for three reasons: The movie, directed by Louis Malle, launched French new wave cinema. It stars Jeanne Moreau, one of France's finest actresses and a personal favorite. And best of all, Miles Davis improvises throughout. In a nutshell, the film is ...

NEWS: MUSIC INDUSTRY

Sonny Rollins at 90

Sonny Rollins at 90

Today is Sonny Rollins's 90th birthday. I never talk to Sonny on his birthday. I know how he feels about this day. It brings too much attention to him, and Sonny is happiest off the grid. But that doesn't mean I cant write about him. My bond with Sonny goes back to to an afternoon we ...

NEWS: TV / FILM

Jazz 625: British Jazz

Jazz 625: British Jazz

Between April 1964 and August 1966, BBC2 in the U.K. aired an hour-long TV show called Jazz 625. It was broadcast on 625-lines UHF rather than the 405-lines VHF system then used by the other channels. This allowed for a better signal at home. What was particularly noteworthy about the show is that it began airing ...


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