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MUSICIAN Born:

Ben Webster

Ben Webster was considered one of the "big three" of swing tenors along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. He had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls) yet on ballads he would turn into a pussy cat and play with warmth and sentiment. After violin lessons as a child, Webster learned how to play rudimentary piano (his neighbor Pete Johnson taught him to play blues). But after Budd Johnson showed him some basics on the saxophone, Webster played sax in the Young Family Band (which at the time included Lester Young). He had stints with Jap Allen and Blanche Calloway (making his recording debut with the latter) before joining Bennie Moten's Orchestra in time to be one of the stars on a classic session in 1932. Webster spent time with quite a few orchestras in the 1930s (including Andy Kirk, Fletcher Henderson in 1934, Benny Carter, Willie Bryant, Cab Calloway, and the short-lived Teddy Wilson big band). In 1940 (after short stints in 1935 and 1936), Ben Webster became Duke Ellington's first major tenor soloist

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: The Music of Wayne Shorter

Read "The Music of Wayne Shorter" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

As a saxophonist, founding member of Weather Report and member of Miles Davis' second great acoustic quintet, it won't be hard to find Wayne Shorter's name in the pages of modern jazz history. But the massive The Music of Wayne Shorter highlights a sometimes-overlooked element of Shorter's musicianship: His ability to compose, which has contributed “Footprints," ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Richard "Groove" Holmes

Jazz Musician of the Day: Richard "Groove" Holmes

All About Jazz is celebrating Richard “Groove" Holmes' birthday today! Richard Arnold “Groove" Holmes, Born Richard Arnold Jackson (Camden, New Jersey) was a jazz organist who performed in the hard bop and soul jazz genre. He is best known for his 1965 recording of “Misty," and is considered a precursor of acid jazz. Holmes burst onto ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

MY IRIS: MY IRIS Live!

Read "MY IRIS Live!" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Unable to undertake its scheduled April tour due to COVID 19, MY IRIS, the quartet led by saxophonist Trish Clowes, releases this live recording culled from gigs in Belfast and Galway in October 2019. Captured on Zoom recorder, Clewes has done an admirable job in producing a presentable sound on this digital-download, Bandcamp release. More importantly, ...

Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers

Read "Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Lili Añel Better Days Winding Way Records 2019 Singer-songwriter Lili Añel and Better Days sound cut straight out of the northeast US. It's more than the geographic location of Añel's birth (Spanish Harlem, “El Barrio," in New York) or raised (South Bronx), and it's more than ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jeff Rupert/George Garzone: The Ripple

Read "The Ripple" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The Ripple refers to the infectious, warm, intimate, yet big sound developed by the great Lester Young, starting in the late 1930s. While Young pioneered improvisational creativity, Stan Getz later took the baton (well, it was actually a saxophone) and further expanded his idol's stylish approach with new and creatively open-ended visions. Young and Getz collectively ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

George Garzone: Sax In The City

Read "George Garzone: Sax In The City" reviewed by Jim Worsley

George Garzone is not the mayor of the city of Boston. If he was appointed to a position it would more likely be king. He is, at the very least, the toast of the town. This isn't news. King George has reigned with a firm grasp of his mighty tenor saxophone for close to half a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kevin Sun: The Sustain of Memory

Read "The Sustain of Memory" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Ambition is good. Saxophonist Kevin Sun has it. He proves it by releasing--before attaining his thirtieth birthday--The Sustain of Memory, a cinematic two-disc set of atmospheric avant-garde music in trio, quartet and quintet settings, which maintains a start-to-finish focus of an expansive artistic vision. “I've always been drawn to sprawling, encyclopedic or maximalist works ...

Take Five with K Quintet

Read "Take Five with K Quintet" reviewed by K Quintet

Meet K Quintet K Quintet is led by world-renowned Russian dancer Ksenia Parkhatskaya on vocals and Irish musician-composer David Duffy on bass. Citing influences such as Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, and Ben Webster, standards by the likes of Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers & Henry Mancini are subtly mixed with original 'classic' compositions, written by ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Art Tatum and Ben Webster

Art Tatum and Ben Webster

For me, jazz is divided between those who recorded with Art Tatum and those who didn't. Tatum remains king of the jazz piano—a briskly shaken cocktail of unrivaled technique, impeccable taste and a staggering ability to make you fall in love whatever song he's playing. Every one of his recordings is a gem, exhibiting daring, speed ...


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