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Musician

Art Blakey

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Born in 1919, Art Blakey began his musical career, as did many jazz musicians, in the church. The foster son of a devout Seventh Day Adventist Family, Art learned the piano as he learned the Bible, mastering both at an early age. But as Art himself told it so many times, his career on the piano ended at the wrong end of a pistol when the owner of the Democratic Club—the Pittsburgh nightclub where he was gigging—ordered him off the piano and onto the drums. Art, then in his early teens and a budding pianist, was usurped by an equally young, Erroll Garner who, as it turned out, was as skilled at the piano as Blakey later was at the drums

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Article: Interview

Homage and Acknowledgment: A Conversation with Wallace Roney

Read "Homage and Acknowledgment: A Conversation with Wallace Roney" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in September 2001. The following conversation took place in Wallace Roney's room at Wyndham Hotel in downtown Montreal on Sunday, July 8th 2001, the day after he performed Miles and Miles: A Musical Journey, his tribute commemorating both the seventy-fifth anniversary of ...

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Article: Interview

Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound

Read "Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Some jazz drummers, as remarkable as they may be and as successful as their careers are, just aren't suited to drive a big band. It's not for every percussionist. But every big band needs a good one or the effort will fall short. A ship needs a rudder. Ulysses Owens Jr., who started beating out rhythms ...

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Article: Interview

Nathaniel Cross: Deep Vibrations

Read "Nathaniel Cross: Deep Vibrations" reviewed by Chris May


At the time of writing in summer 2021, there are a number of super-talented musicians on London's alternative jazz scene who deserve far more prominence than they have yet to achieve. Some of these players have been ill-served by their record labels. Others have only recorded as sidepersons. A few have chosen to confine their music-making ...

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Article: Under the Radar

A Different Drummer, Part 4: The Zildjian Legacy

Read "A Different Drummer, Part 4: The Zildjian Legacy" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


They are the oldest family-owned business in the world, recognized globally by musicians from every genre. The Avedis Zildjian Company--known simply as Zildjian --traces its history to the ancient cymbals of the Middle East and Asia. Almost four hundred years ago, Avedis, an Armenian metalsmith and alchemist in seventeenth-century Istanbul, discovered an alloy of tin, copper, ...

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Article: Interview

Cameron Graves: Inventing Thrash-Jazz

Read "Cameron Graves: Inventing Thrash-Jazz" reviewed by Scott Krane


Pianist and composer, Cameron Graves, arrived on the scene in his late teens and early twenties, possessing a proclivity for classical music, an unquenchable passion for heavy metal, and a jazz sensibility and lexicon of musicality. According to the website of Mack Avenue Records, the label that signed Graves and put out his debut solo release, ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Album Review

Carlos Vega: Art of the Messenger

Read "Art of the Messenger" reviewed by Jack Bowers


In case you didn't quite catch the “message" subtly embedded in the title of Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Carlos Vega's new recording, Art of the Messenger, here is a brief reminder that it was drummer Art Blakey who formed the Jazz Messengers in the mid-1950s and led the celebrated hard-bop ensemble until his death in 1990. The ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1

Read "Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1" reviewed by Skip Heller


There are certain musicians who embody eras, even if they're not the player with their picture on the cover. In our contemporary musical climate, Greg Leisz comes to mind. Since 1991, he has popped up on hundreds of acclaimed albums, and without ever really changing his style, he has become centrifugal beyond the considerations of genre ...

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Article: Album Review

Gary Bartz NTU Troop: Live In Bremen

Read "Live In Bremen" reviewed by Chris May


In the early 1970s there was fusion and there was NTU Troop. After paying his dues in bands led by Charles Mingus, Max Roach and Art Blakey, Bartz made a splash in 1969 with his sophomore album, Another Earth (Milestone), a genius blend of spiritual jazz, space jazz and down and dirty blues. On it, Bartz ...


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