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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

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bertrand Denzler / Antonin Gerbal: Sbatax

Read "Sbatax" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With six and one-half minutes remaining in this single thirty-eight minute live tenor saxophone/drums recording, an audience member at a club in Berlin begins howling. Listeners to this recording will probably be saying to themselves, “where have you been? I've been shouting encouragement since I pressed play!" It's that kind of record. The two ...

ARTICLE: HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Ornette Coleman: An Outsider Cracks the Egg

Read "Ornette Coleman: An Outsider Cracks the Egg" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Part 1 | Part 2 There are two ways a musician can make a significant impact on jazz. One is to mobilize virtuosity and knowledge to push the current boundaries of the music. There are a number who fall in this category, but unassailable examples are Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Andy Fusco: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Since 2016 SteepleChase Records has released five discs by alto saxophonist Andy Fusco. This impressive, often stunning body of work goes a long way in raising the profile of a man who had seldom been given the opportunity to record under his own name. While Fusco leads the sessions, he's the antithesis of a star or ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Ornette Coleman: The Territory And The Adventure

Read "Ornette Coleman: The Territory And The Adventure" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Ornette Coleman: The Territory And The Adventure Maria Golia 368 Pages ISBN: #9781789142235 University of Chicago Press 2020 Ornette Coleman holds a singular place in jazz history. The seeds of change in jazz had been sewn by Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, John Coltrane and their cohorts, but Coleman's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho

Read "Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho" reviewed by Chris May

Charles Tolliver has played with practically every major African American jazz stylist of his generation, and composed for some of them, too. In addition, he is the co-founder of Strata-East, the most influential label at the intersection of hard bop and spiritual jazz during the 1970s. Tolliver's long and distinguished career continues to flourish, with a ...

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...


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