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Baby Face Willette

Born:

There is an air of mystique, an alluring attraction in jazz circles, to those highly talented musicians who shone brilliantly for a short duration, then slipped into obscurity. Jazz organist Baby Face Willette is certainly one of those figures. Roosevelt Willette, born on September 11, 1933, was the son of a minister who was introduced to the organ, as many others, in church, an influence which would define his style and direction. In the early 50’s he played with various gospel and R&B groups, and reportedly put out a couple of singles around this time. He worked his way to Chicago in the late ‘50’s and eventually went to New York and got involved with the jazz scene there

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Article: Album Review

Nightcrawlers: Get Ready

Read "Get Ready" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


The common thread between the Nightcrawlers and nightcrawler earthworms is that they both come out at night, and while the former is at home in a jazz club before a live audience, the latter is feeding on decaying organic material. Some may say that is a distinction without a difference. Nevertheless the latest nightly ritual for ...

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Article: Liner Notes

Lou Donaldson: Say It Loud

Read "Lou Donaldson: Say It Loud" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the sound of jazz could be heard lingering in the smoky corners of neighborhood bars in every major city from New York to Los Angeles. These ghetto hangouts were on what was often called the 'chitlin' circuit,' a network of predominantly black operated venues that ...

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Article: Journey into Jazz

Record Store Day April 2022 Jazz Releases

Read "Record Store Day April 2022 Jazz Releases" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


April 23, 2022 marks the fifteenth anniversary of Record Store Day. Over the years, RSD has grown from a small once-a-year experience to multiple events depending on the year. Each RSD drop features limited-edition vinyl releases, which are popular among collectors. More importantly, though, RSD draws attention to independent record stores, many of whom have flourished ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights

Read "Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


From early on, Buffalo attracted musicians as a place to live and pursue their artistic endeavors—and they were excellent ones: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Jimmie Lunceford, Pete Johnson, and Stuff Smith. Dodo Greene, two masters of polyrhythm, Frankie Dunlop and Clarence Becton, as well as pianist and bassist Wade Legge grew up here. Two distinctive voices on ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Highly Opinionated

Blue Note's Tone Poet Series

Read "Blue Note's Tone Poet Series" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


With CD-quality streaming a reality for those with butch internet and money to burn, and vanilla streaming the reality for almost everyone else, digital music has never seemed less collectable. Why clutter your Marie Kondo-approved home with jewel boxes when much (though heaven knows not all) of the digital catalogue is available on tap? While compact ...

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Article: Album Review

Akiko Tsuruga: So Cute, So Bad

Read "So Cute, So Bad" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


On more than one occasion I've sat back while listening to jazz organ giants of yore and thought to myself, “they don't make 'em like this anymore." And while it's true that one-of-a-kind greats like Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, Big John Patton, Brother Jack McDuff, Charles Earland, and Jimmy McGriff are gone for good, and nobody ...

Article: My Favourite Things

Alexander Hawkins

Read "Alexander Hawkins" reviewed by Paolo Peviani


Il tratto principale della mia musica È molto difficile rispondere ma spero che, in qualche modo, il tratto principale della mia musica corrisponda al tratto principale di me stesso. La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano con me Gioia, apertura, generosità, e che non abbiano paure nel fare musica.

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Article: Album Review

David Gibson: End Of The Tunnel

Read "End Of The Tunnel" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The second release for trombonist David Gibson's quartet, End Of The Tunnel, is a return to the ever popular soul-jazz genre. As with his previous disc, A Little Somethin' (Posi-Tone, 2009), Gibson and organist Jared Gold share a love for that infectious 1960s organ combo sound. This disc also continues with the same lineup, ...


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