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Barney Bigard

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One of the premier clarinet players in the history of jazz, Barney Bigard remains immortal. Bigard carried the influence of his birth city, New Orleans, throughout his career. He played tenor sax but later concentrated on clarinet, which he studied with Lorenzo Tio. In 1925 he was hired by King Oliver and moved to Chicago. After two years with Oliver, he joined Duke Ellington’s Orchestra where he would remain for 15 years. Bigard’s New Orleans-style clarinet added another dimension to Ellington’s palette. His individual style and articulation were universally admired. His woody sound was a highlight of “Rose Room” and “Mood Indigo,” which he co-wrote with Ellington

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Article: Extended Analysis

The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66

Read "The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66" reviewed by Skip Heller


Louis Armstrong officially returned to small band leadership May 17, 1947 via a triumphant concert at Town Hall that was less comeback than reaffirmation. It was even the dawn of his second great period, full of recordings that stood tall with his epochal 1920's output, and the subsequently-assembled Louis Armstrong and his All Stars would immediately ...

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Article: Album Review

Anaïs Reno: Lovesome Thing: Anaïs Reno sings Ellington & Strayhorn featuring Emmet Cohen

Read "Lovesome Thing: Anaïs Reno sings Ellington & Strayhorn featuring Emmet Cohen" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn were collaborators for several decades beginning in the late 1930s. They became so closely intertwined musically that it was frequently impossible to distinguish their work. Anaïs Reno a young and promising singer has chosen to use their compositions as the basis for her debut release Lovesome Thing: Anaïs Reno Sings Ellington ...

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Article: Radio

BIG January Birthday Salutes!

Read "BIG January Birthday Salutes!" reviewed by Marc Cohn


BIG, I mean BIG January birthday salutes on Gifts & Messages this week: 120th birth anniversary for trombonists Juan Tizol and Wilbur De Paris; 110th for Django Reinhardt; 100th for vocalist Betty Roché and saxophonist Jimmy Forrest; 90th for saxophonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist/vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery. And special birthday greetings to bassist Eberhard ...

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Article: Radio

Newk, Clarinet Madness & More

Read "Newk, Clarinet Madness & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn


June 2019 was one of those months with 5 Saturdays, so we got to play around with the music more. As usual, a mix of newer music from the likes of Theo Hill, Kate Reid and Anat Cohen--the latter two duos with Fred Hersch on piano. Then we have two, yes two, “compare and contrast": one ...

Article: Album Review

Etta Jones: A Soulful Sunday - Live At The Left bank

Read "A Soulful Sunday - Live At The Left bank" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Pochi si ricordano di Etta Jones e qualcuno la confonderà con {Etta James}}. A dispetto delle alte doti tecniche e interpretative, la cantante non ha avuto i riconoscimenti che meritava. Cresciuta ad Harlem, debuttò negli anni '40 nelle serate per debuttanti dell'Apollo Theater, si fece le ossa con Pete Johnson, Barney Bigard ed Earl Hines, ottenne ...

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Article: Under the Radar

Preserving the Cradle of Jazz: The New Orleans Jazz Museum

Read "Preserving the Cradle of Jazz: The New Orleans Jazz Museum" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The New Orleans Jazz Club's beginnings, according to a 1950s edition of their bi-monthly newsletter, sprang from a sidewalk meeting of four jazz fans on Mardi Gras in 1948. The impromptu gathering intended to listen to the marching band called King Zulu's. One member of that group inspired the others to begin a club for jazz ...

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Article: New York @ Night

Charles Mingus 95th Birthday Celebration

Read "Charles Mingus 95th Birthday Celebration" reviewed by Peter Jurew


Mingus Big BandJazz StandardNew York, NY April 24, 2017 Saturday, April 22, was an unusually good day. It started, blessedly, when the president did not tweet out a series of early morning fabrications/accusations to befuddle the free world. And it could only get better from there: It was Earth Day! Scientists ...

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Article: Album Review

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen & Mulgrew Miller: The Duo - Live!

Read "The Duo - Live!" reviewed by Chris Mosey


After admiring each other's playing from afar for years, Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and American pianist Mulgrew Miller got together in 1999 to record a promotional album of Duke Ellington numbers for the hi-fi company Bang & Olufsen. They enjoyed it so much that the following year they got together again for ...


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