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Billy Higgins

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

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 ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

James Brandon Lewis / Chad Taylor: Live In Willisau

Read "Live In Willisau" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and drummer Chad Taylor's 2017 studio session Radiant Imprints (Musicube/Off, 2018) was hailed by many critics and fans alike as one of the best recordings of 2018. It was indeed a true revelation, yet that recording wasn't the genesis of a major talent. Lewis' inaugural release Divine Travels (Okeh, 2014) accomplished that ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles Rumback: Singing Structures of Rhythm

Read "Charles Rumback: Singing Structures of Rhythm" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Versatility, personality and musical empathy are qualities that a modern drummer needs, and Charles Rumback has them in abundance. Based in Chicago, Rumback has accompanied adventurous singer/songwriters like Caleb Willitz, Steve Dawson and Ryley Walker, played jazzy electronica with Colorlist and explored the classic format of the piano trio with bassist John Tate and pianist Jim ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hank Mobley: The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70

Read "The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

The music world has changed considerably since Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie founded their boutique reissue label Mosaic Records back in 1983. From its inception, vinyl was still the preferred format, shortly to be overtaken by the popularity of the compact disc. At the cusp of vinyl's recent resurgence, Mosaic briefly got back into that format ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Pat Metheny: From This Place

Read "From This Place" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been a full six years since Pat Metheny last released a studio recording. This, despite the guitarist who has become, in a career now in the midst of its fifth decade, one of the most famous and influential jazz guitarists of his (or, some would argue, any) generation, reportedly having enough material in the can ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Emmet Cohen: Masters Legacy Series Volume 4: Emmet Cohen Featuring George Coleman

Read "Masters Legacy Series Volume 4: Emmet Cohen Featuring George Coleman" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

So here we are, nearly knocking on the door to February 2020, and we're listening to the second of Emmet Cohen's two entrancing, late 2019 releases: Masters Legacy Series Vol. 4 Emmet Cohen featuring George Coleman--a good harbinger for the new year. And heaven knows we could use a boatload of good harbingers these exhausting days. ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Darek Oleszkiewicz: Rolls-Royce Groovin'

Read "Darek Oleszkiewicz: Rolls-Royce Groovin'" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Inspiring greatness has long been the two-word association with the grand luxury of Rolls-Royce. Britain's entry into automobile finery has thus become benchmark terminology. To hear bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz interact, navigate, and improvise with today's finest jazz musicians is to understand why he has been deemed the Rolls-Royce of the modern day upright. Carrying the torch ...


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