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Big Black

Big Black - congas, percussion The master musician, percussionist and hand drummer, known as Big Black, was born Daniel Ray in Georgia in 1934, and grew up as a child in the Carolinas. Big Black first heard drum and percussion rhythms while listening to a radio broadcast from Cuba and was mesmerized by the sounds of congas and bongos. He started playing percussion in Miami in the 50's and performed with various salsa and calypso bands until he moved to New York in the 60's. He got connected with various Bebop artists and bands there and soon was a regular percussionist for Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard and Randy Weston

Mid Century Modern

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2021
Track listing: My Shining Hour; Lance or Lot; Cat City Samba; Tram Jam; What’s New; Give Me the Simple Life; Stranger in Paradise; I Hadn’t Anyone Till You; Woody ‘n You; Bossa Nueva; The Way You Look Tonight.

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Mid Century Modern

Read "Mid Century Modern" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran guitarist Doug MacDonald, bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Tim Pleasant, have been performing in and around the Palm Springs, CA community since 2016. The Coachella Valley Trio began their journey with a steady gig at AJ's On The Green, in Cathedral City. Developing into a cohesive group with an impeccable sound, it was only natural ...

Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

Hard bop was the jazz centre of the world from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, producing many hundreds of immortal albums. Trying to whittle these down to a definitive Top Ten is fun—but it is a subjective and ultimately impossible exercise. In an attempt to dodge those hurdles, the list which ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Coachella Valley Trio: Mid Century Modern

Read "Mid Century Modern" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Guitarist Doug MacDonald had been gigging around the Palm Springs, CA, area with bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Tim Pleasant as the Coachella Valley Trio for three years when the three amigos entered a studio in 2019 to record their first album as a working group. The result is Mid Century Modern, a burnished and buoyant ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Phil Ranelin: Phil Ranelin Collected 2003-2019

Read "Phil Ranelin Collected 2003-2019" reviewed by Chuck Koton

One day, in Indianapolis in 1948, a nine year old Phil Ranelin made a fateful visit to his paternal grandmother's home. She was a real music buff and that afternoon, before she went to do some work out back, she told young Phillip, “Any of these records, feel free to play 'em and see what kind ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Cheik Tidiane Seck: Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston

Read "Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston" reviewed by Chris May

A well-intentioned tribute to the late pianist, composer and pioneer of Maghrebi jazz Randy Weston by the keyboard player Cheikh Tidiane Seck, Timbuktu: The Music of Randy Weston never really gets off the ground. Seck, whose c.v. includes spells with Mali's Super Rail Band de Bamako, Les Ambassadeurs, Salif Keita and Amadou & Mariam, and Senegal's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Randy Weston: African Stories, African Rhythms

Read "Randy Weston: African Stories, African Rhythms" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In over 60 years as a leader, pianist Randy Weston has achieved an incredible amount. He has recorded nearly 50 albums and has been hailed in the process as the natural heir to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Three times he has been voted Downbeat's composer of the year, and his compositions have been recorded by ...

Ethnic Fusion

Label: Mutable Music
Released: 2004


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