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Bob Cranshaw

Bob Cranshaw has been the bassist of choice for Sonny Rollins since 1959. Their forty-seven-year collaboration is the subject of a new video on Sonny's website, “Bob Cranshaw and Sonny Rollins, The First Gig." Created by Bret Primack, it features interviews with both Rollins and Cranshaw . Exclusive performance footage includes excerpts from The Sonny Rollins Group in Concert back in April in California. The content is also available as an MP3 download. Born December 10, 1932, the Evanston, Illinois native started on drums and piano before switching to the tuba and bass in high school. He was a founding member of Walter Perkins' MJT +3 band in 1957 and it was Perkins who recommended Bob to Sonny as a replacement bassist for a gig at the first Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago in 1959. Bob Cranshaw's discography is nothing short of amazing

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable free of cost here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John Scofield: One For Swallow

Read "John Scofield: One For Swallow" reviewed by Ian Patterson

From time to time in his storied career John Scofield will take a look over his shoulder and re-examine some of the music that has fed into his own, personal brand of jazz. The influences are many, for no matter the context that Scofield engineers, his distinctive sound always carries something of the blues, a little ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder

Read "The Sidewinder" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Legend tells us that 1964's The Sidewinder was the album, and indeed the song, which saved Blue Note Records at a time when the label was struggling financially. Dashed off to fill some tape, at the end of the recording session, it peaked at number 25 on the Billboard charts—almost unheard of for a hard-bop record—stabilizing ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Michael Weiss: Soul Journey

Read "Michael Weiss: Soul Journey" reviewed by Luke Seabright

Bebop is a complex craft, and like all crafts the only way to get any good at it is by learning from those who mastered it before you. Jamming through the night, getting on to that bandstand and firing away your best improvised lines, jousting with your partners (be they friends or strangers) like in the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Denny Zeitlin: Balancing Act

Read "Denny Zeitlin:  Balancing Act" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Denny Zeitlin is a true Renaissance man with many interests, in addition to balancing his careers in medicine and music. Although his medical practice and teaching have limited his abilities to tour beyond brief trips east or playing near his home in California, he has recorded regularly in recent years, releasing a variety of projects for ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Bobby Hutcherson: The Kicker

Bobby Hutcherson: The Kicker

It's unclear why Bobby Hutcherson's The Kicker wasn't released by Blue Note until 1999, despite being recorded in 1963. The album is flawless as far as I can tell. It swings, it's engaging, the musicians on the session were spectacular and there don't appear to be any instrumental errors or microphone snafus. If I were guessing, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Grachan Moncur III: Evolution

Read "Evolution" reviewed by Greg Simmons

One of the more unusual records in Music Matters series of Blue Note Records reissues is Grachan Moncur III's avant-garde classic Evolution, released here on a 45 rpm double LP. The Music Matters Blue Notes are among the highest quality jazz vinyl available, with fanatical attention to sound, packaging, and pressing quality, here doing serious justice ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sonny Rollins: Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4

Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

At this point in his long and storied career, tenor saxman Sonny Rollins is probably incapable of releasing genuinely bad music (which isn't as obvious a statement as it may seem if, for example, you've tried to listen to Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night Sinatra homage). Still, some sets are better than others, and Sonny ...


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