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Anthony Ortega

Anthony Ortega is one of the finest bop reedmen of the second half of the 20th century, though he is better known in Europe than in the U.S. A highly original improviser with impeccable tone and great emotional range, Ortega's style blends bebop with forms and techniques that evolved later.He is currently active and has released "Afternoon In Paris," in 2007. Coming out of the famed Los Angeles Central Avenue scene, Ortega was very much the peer of such sax men as Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon. After a stint in the Army, he came back in ‘51 to join up with Lionel Hampton with whom he traveled to Europe where he would garner quite a reputation


Sebastien Ammann’s Color Wheel, Kenny Warren Trio and More

Read "Sebastien Ammann’s Color Wheel, Kenny Warren Trio and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

I doubt you would get much argument that trumpet players Herb Robertson and Dave Ballou, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey are among the finest of their generation. When Robertson and Ballou decided to form a quartet back in 2005, those four musical minds coming together pretty much assured some magic would happen. In 2007 ...


Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 4)

Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 4)

Personalities don't come much sunnier than Anthony Ortega's and his wife Mona's. Every time I call, I'm welcomed by enormous warmth and kindness. But their dispositions go way beyond words. You can hear an orange glow in the sound of their voices, how happy they are to be with each other and how grateful they are ...


Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 3)

Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 3)

Lionel Hampton loved Anthony Ortega's playing in 1953, likening his sound on the alto sax to Charlie Parker's. There are indeed similarities, notably the yearning, bluesy tone and pushing off on the high notes. Anthony wound up in Hampton's band at just the right moment in time, when an amazing collection of musicians had assembled—including Quincy ...


Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 2)

Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 2)

Before I launch into the remaining two parts of my Q&A conversation with saxophonist Anthony Ortega, I want to present you with The Street We Took (2007), a 15-minute documentary on Anthony and his wife Mona by filmmaker Andrew Rubin. Andrew generously made his short film available on YouTube after we spoke about its poetry and ...


Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 1)

Interview: Anthony Ortega (Part 1)

If you're a student of liner notes from the 1950s, the name Anthony Ortega should ring a bell. Anthony played saxophone on a range of well-known recordings during jazz's golden decade, including sessions led by Gigi Gryce, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, Sonny Stitt, Dinah Washington, Billy Taylor, Nat Pierce, Maynard Ferguson and others. Anthony also led ...


Anthony Ortega

Read "Anthony Ortega" reviewed by Rex  Butters

You know you're talking about a jazz musician when the artist in question has played and recorded with Elvis, Streisand, Sinatra, Lalo Schifrin, the Lighthouse All-Stars, Quincy Jones, Gerald Wilson, Clifford Brown, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, Paul Bley, Dinah Washington and Frank Zappa, to name a few, while still finding time to record soundtracks, release highly ...

Afternoon In Paris

Label: Hat Hut Records
Released: 2007
Track listing: Ask Me Now; Jupiter; Blue Monk; I'll Remember April; Now's The Time; Afternoon in Paris; One; Open Spaces; Ornithology.


Anthony Ortega: Afternoon In Paris

Read "Afternoon In Paris" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

The quixotic enthusiasm of Hatology Records' chief Werner X. Uehlinger for the idiosyncratic music of one- time Lionel Hampton sideman Anthony Ortega continues with this release of a series of solo performances and saxophone-bass duets recorded in 2002 and 2005. The link to Ortega's quiet classic in the sax-bass vein, New Dance (Hatology, 1966), is made ...

A Man And His Horns

Label: RCA
Released: 2003


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