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ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Christian McBride: Knocking on the Door

Read "Christian McBride:  Knocking on the Door" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Christian McBride was talking about the Grammy he received in October, 2011 for his big band album, The Good Feeling (Mack Avenue, 2011)--his first Grammy as a leader and third overall. While the bassist certainly appreciated getting the nod from his peers and from the Recording Academy, he said he gets just as much of a ...

ARTICLE: RACE AND JAZZ

BAM or JAZZ: Part Two!

Read "BAM or JAZZ: Part Two!" reviewed by Greg Thomas

Jazz, an art form given birth in the United States by descendents of the formerly enslaved, has a complicated relationship with race. Although race, as a popular idea, has no basis in biology, many people mentally adhere to the idea of dividing groups of people based on “race" as opposed to understanding how groups of people ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie: Four Classic Albums

Read "Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert

Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was one of the few jazz musicians equally adept (and influential) in small groups and fronting big bands. After the bebop heyday, he spent the fifties equally divided between smaller groups and a larger orchestra. His days as a bebop pioneer and a developer of Afro-Cuban music behind him, he now had a ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Conference Call: Evolution of a Burning Bush

Read "Conference Call: Evolution of a Burning Bush" reviewed by Gordon Marshall

Conference Call can be as balanced and beautiful as an intricate organism, and just as soon rage with holy fire. The quartet--consisting of saxophonist Gebhard Ullman, bassist Joe Fonda, drummer George Schuller and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens--perpetually weaves in all three dimensions, as well as in time--its own, and music history's. Together since ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ed Puddick Big Band: Guys and Dolls

Read "Guys and Dolls" reviewed by Robert J. Robbins

In the hands of the twenty-something bandleader and arranger Ed Puddick and his equally young, London-based seventeen-piece ensemble, Frank Loesser's classic Broadway score joins the ranks of those which have been adapted for big band (Stan Kenton's West Side Story, Les Brown's South Pacific, and Ted Heath's The Sound of Music all come to mind). Puddick's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Coleman Hawkins: The High and Mighty Hawk

Read "The High and Mighty Hawk" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Recorded in England in 1958, this little-known session, originally released on the obscure Felsted label, is an inarguable gem. Perhaps even the word “masterpiece" is not too much of a stretch. It's doubtful that the putative “father of the tenor saxophone," Coleman Hawkins, made a better recording in the age of long-playing records, and it's just ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Roy Hargrove: Emergence

Read "Emergence" reviewed by Robert J. Robbins

As a trumpeter, composer, and an arranger, Roy Hargrove has been a mainstay of the contemporary music scene in a variety of formats for nearly two decades. Nevertheless, his big band experience has been limited mostly to his appearances with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, with which he has most ably proved himself an heir ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jack Cortner: Sound Check

Read "Sound Check" reviewed by Robert J. Robbins

Back in 2007, veteran composer/arranger Jack Cortner (a longtime ghost for the late arranger and orchestrator Billy Byers) released Fast Track, his illustrious debut as a bandleader for the Jazzed Media label, with ex-Kenton and Herman trumpeter Marvin Stamm and his erstwhile sidekick, pianist Bill Mays, as the principal soloists. With Sound Check, Cortner, Stamm, and ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

George Wein: Back to Doing His Thing

Read "George Wein: Back to Doing His Thing" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Not many people stand in shoes similar to the ones in which jazz impresario George Wein now finds himself. Having invented the jazz festival more than half a century ago, his name is synonymous with the Newport Jazz Festival, his first and most well- known child of that genus. He led a company that expanded on ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Peter Nero: Fabled Pianist and Philly Pops Maestro

Read "Peter Nero: Fabled Pianist and Philly Pops Maestro" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Living legend Peter Nero is that rare musician equally at home with classical music, jazz, the American Songbook, the Broadway musical, movie themes and popular songs. Moreover, he is a masterful pianist, seasoned conductor, composer and arranger in all these genres. Just as exceptionally, he has become a cultural emblem, known to statesmen, entertainers, students, housewives ...


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