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Billy Higgins

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Billy Higgins was reportedly the most recorded jazz drummer in history, and certainly one of the most beloved. Higgins was one of the most musically sensitive jazz players around, with a light but active swing. His style did not draw attention to itself and could not be described by mannerisms; his musicianship simply raised the standard of every band he played in. Although he did release few records under his own name, Higgins was in great demand as a sideman, providing sensitive accompaniment in a variety of settings. Higgins was born in Los Angeles, on Oct. 11, 1936 and began playing drums at the age of 12

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Article: Album Review

Miguel Zenón: Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman

Read "Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman" reviewed by John Chacona


How do you hear Ornette Coleman's music? As an unlikely but logical extension of bebop vocabulary? As “free" chaos untethered from harmony? As a tributary of the great stream of Texas saxophonists? As jazz's purest melodism? The music of Coleman, who would have turned 91 years on March 9 2021, was all of those ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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News: Recording

Celebrated Bassist and Producer Leon Lee Dorsey Announces the Release of 'Thank You, Mr. Mabern!,' A Trio Recording Featuring The Late Jazz Luminary Harold Mabern

Celebrated Bassist and Producer Leon Lee Dorsey Announces the Release of 'Thank You, Mr. Mabern!,' A Trio Recording Featuring The Late Jazz Luminary Harold Mabern

Leon Lee Dorsey is pleased to announce the release of Thank You, Mr. Mabern! Recorded in July 2019, two months prior to the passing of jazz luminary Harold Mabern, the album is the swan song for the great pianist and composer, his final recording. This posthumous release is not only Dorsey’s personal farewell to Mabern, it ...

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Article: Interview

Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn

Read "Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn" reviewed by Chris May


After five years without the release of any newly recorded material, the British trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has returned in winter 2020 with a fresh new band and a sparkling new album, Salute To The Sun, on his Gondwana Records label. It is more than good to have him and his music back.

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with George Kahn

Read "Take Five with George Kahn" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet George Kahn George Kahn majored in music at Brandeis University and moved to jny: Los Angeles in 1976 to pursue a music career as a pianist and film composer. His jazz recording career now spans over 20 years. The George Kahn Trio album, released in 2018 reached #16 on the JazzWeek Charts. His new album, ...

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Article: Radio

Celebrating Jazz Scorpios Nellie Lutcher and More

Read "Celebrating Jazz Scorpios Nellie Lutcher and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Today's broadcast celebrates many Jazz Scopios, with birthday shoutouts to Nellie Lutcher ("He's a Real Gone Guy, Hurry On Down"), Dizzy Gillespie, Fred Hersch, Dianne Reeves, Magos Herrera, Jimmy Heath, Freddy Cole, Anita O'Day and Fran Landesman ("Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," “Ballad of the Sad Young Men"). Thanks for listening and please ...

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Article: Interview

Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places

Read "Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Joe Farnsworth is one of the top jazz drummers working today, with a resume that includes some of the absolute greats. His muscular swing and precise timekeeping have been attractive to employers like Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Alexander, Benny Golson and many more. He likes to say ...


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