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Musician

Billie Holiday

Born:

Billie Holiday ("Lady Day") is considered by many to be the greatest of all jazz singers. In a tragically abbreviated singing career that lasted less than three decades, her evocative phrasing and poignant delivery profoundly influenced vocalists who followed her. Although her warm, feathery voice inhabited a limited range, she used it like an accomplished jazz instrumentalist, stretching and condensing phrases in an ever-shifting dialogue with accompanying musicians. Famous for delivering lyrics a bit behind the beat, she alternately endowed them with sadness, sensuality, languor, and irony

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Article: Interview

Cheryl Richards: Another Spring, Another Song

Read "Cheryl Richards: Another Spring, Another Song" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


It can be hard to find new things to say in old songs, but after many years of singing the standards, some singers are still able to discover the secret of a song. Cheryl Richards is a shining example of a singer who has been able to prove the relevance of the standards for a modern ...

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Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: String Quartets Nos. 1-12

Read "String Quartets Nos. 1-12" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Wadada Leo Smith's seven CD boxset String Quartets Nos. 1-12 summons two words, epic and ineffable. The 5½ hours of music chronicle three of his four periods writing for string quartets from 1965 until 2019. The remaining work, “String Quartets Nos. 13, 14, and 15" inspired by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US ...

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Article: Interview

Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker

Read "Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker" reviewed by Scott Gudell


The dynamic big bands of the 1920s-1940s were led by charismatic and confident kings of swing including Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb and Gene Krupa. Smooth and sophisticated dance sounds could easily cross pollinate with other styles including the syncopated rhythms bubbling up from the streets of Harlem such as 'Swing Street.' Beyond a lineup ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Anita Donndorff

Read "Take Five with Anita Donndorff" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Anita Donndorff Anita Donndorff is a 26 year-old Argentinean singer. She began her musical journey in 2017, and has become one of the most influential singers in the jazz scene in Buenos Aires. She has performed at some of the most important music venues in Argentina, such as Teatro San Martin, Virasoro Bar, Bebop Club, ...

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Article: Album Review

Celeste: Not Your Muse

Read "Not Your Muse" reviewed by Chris May


The mega-concert staged in front of London's Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2022 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee was not an obvious save-the-date event for British jazz fans or non-monarchists. It was, however, brilliantly staged, and worth watching for that reason alone. And as it turned out, it contained three-and-a-half minutes of transcendent song ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Michael Robinson's Piano Improvisations: Seven Albums of Unique Takes on Standards

Read "Michael Robinson's Piano Improvisations: Seven Albums of Unique Takes on Standards" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Keyboardist Michael Robinson is a prolific and creative artist who is best known for his haunting, Eastern-inspired, musical soundscapes. He usually utilizes his own invention, the digital Meruvina, for these recordings. Robinson, however, is also an accomplished pianist and has self-produced several superb solo albums of piano improvisations. In 2021 and 2022 he released seven of ...

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Article: Interview

Brian Auger's Revolution In Jazz

Read "Brian Auger's Revolution In Jazz" reviewed by Jim Santella


This interview first appeared at All About Jazz in November 2000. Born and raised in jny: London, Brian Auger came up through those crazy years in music. The 1960s were all about change. Things were being done in jazz that hadn't been considered earlier. Lifestyles and values were changing too, and that was affecting ...

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Article: Interview

Javon Jackson: Wading In Spiritual Waters

Read "Javon Jackson: Wading In Spiritual Waters" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Saxophonist Javon Jackson, he of the sonorous tenor tone and the inquisitive musical mind, embarked last year on a musical project with a different twist. Jackson, a follower of Sonnys Stitt and Rollins, is known as a a jazz fiend, one of the dauntless players of his era. His superb playing is marked by ...

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Article: First Time I Saw

Billie's Last Chorus

Read "Billie's Last Chorus" reviewed by Rob Mariani


This article first appeared at All About Jazz on December 27, 2006. She came on last at a concert that started at midnight at the Lowe's Sheraton on Seventh Avenue in The Village. It was one of those big, everybody-gets-to-play jam sessions they called concerts then, and it probably cost the promoters less than ...


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