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Billy Eckstine

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By the time he reached his peak popularity in 1950, he rivaled Frank Sinatra as the country's most popular vocalist. In fact he was dubbed "the sepia Sinatra," although he was known most often as "Mr. B." Billy Eckstine was a smooth singer also noted as a premier jazz bandleader in the 1940s, gathering many of the performers in the innovative bebop style into a unique large band. Born William Clarence Eckstein in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1914, Eckstine had the spelling of his name changed early in his career by a club owner. The family moved to Washington, D.C. Eckstine's parents stressed education, and he graduated from Washington's Armstrong High School

News: Video / DVD

Billy Eckstine's Ballads 1947-1951

Billy Eckstine's Ballads 1947-1951

In 1947, vocalist Billy Eckstine became a solo performer, much the way Frank Sinatra had in 1942. Signing with MGM, Eckstine played to the young female market that dreamed of love. At first marketed to the Black urban market, Eckstine on MGM crossed over to the pop charts, racking up 18 hits between 1947 and '51. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Chick Corea: In The Present Tense

Read "Chick Corea: In The Present Tense" reviewed by Jim Worsley


This article was originally published at All About Jazz on November 12, 2020. RIP, Chick. What can you say about music icon Chick Corea that hasn't already been said? His past, his career has been honored, dissected, and revered. As it should be. A composer and pianist of unparalleled skills and accomplishments, Corea's place ...

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Article: Film Review

Billie

Read "Billie" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Billie New Black Films 96 minutes 2020 A victim of her own self-destructive excesses is a common trope when assessing Billie Holiday. Yet James Erskine's handsome documentary Billie makes a convincing case for Holiday--arguably the greatest of all jazz singers--as more a victim of poverty, racism, manipulation and brutal misogyny. ...

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Article: Interview

Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales

Read "Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


Celebrating 40 years as a jazz broadcaster, music producer, and writer this year, Mark Ruffin--perhaps best known as the program director for the Real Jazz channel on SiriusXM --stands as one of jazz's unsung heroes. Countless artists owe their career successes and prominence to his tireless efforts, boundless enthusiasm and advocacy, and encyclopedic knowledge of the ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal

Read "Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet TRi/O TRi/O is a collaborative groove-based contemporary jazz & funk outing from three New York musicians: Steve Shapiro on vibraphone and mallet keyboards, virtuoso 5-string bassist Dave Anderson, and drummer Tyger MacNeal. Their combined credits comprise a long list of major jazz and pop artists—including Steely Dan, Ornette Coleman, Phil Collins, Spyro Gyra, Whitney Houston, ...

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Article: Profile

Freddy Cole Leaves The Stage

Read "Freddy Cole Leaves The Stage" reviewed by Martin McFie


Freddy Cole died 27th June, 2020 after a career of almost seventy years singing and playing piano. He was 88 years old. Born Lionel Frederick Cole in jny:Chicago, October 15, 1931, Freddy Cole was younger brother to Eddie, Ike and Nat “King" Cole. Mr. Freddy was a late night cabaret singer, with impeccable phrasing and timing. ...

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Article: Reassessing

A Garland of Red

Read "A Garland of Red" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Like pianist Wynton Kelly and Kelly's debut recording New Faces -New Sounds (Blue Note, 1951), William McKinley Red Garland performed for years as a sideman before releasing his first recording as a leader, A Garland of Red. Originally from jny: Dallas, Texas, Garland migrated to jny: New York City after a stint with Hot Lips Page ...

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Article: Album Review

Pharoah Sanders: Live In Paris (1975)

Read "Live In Paris (1975)" reviewed by Chris May


Pharoah Sanders' catalogue of newly-discovered album releases is expanding as fast as those of his fellow travellers Alice Coltrane and John Coltrane. Which is great, but... most of the albums were recorded live, sometimes with poor audio capture, and do not always find the musicians at their best. You have to pick and choose between them. ...


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