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Booker Ervin


Booker Ervin had a large hard tone like an r&b tenor saxophonist, but he was actually an adventurous player whose music fell between hard bop and the avant-garde. Ervin originally played trombone but taught himself the tenor when he was in the Air Force in the early 1950s. After his discharge, he studied music for two years before he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields in 1956. During that year he first performed with Charles Mingus and he was a key part of Mingus’s groups during 1956-1962, offering a contrast to the wild flights of Eric Dolphy. During 1963-1965, Ervin led ten albums for Prestige and each has its rewarding moments


Article: Album Review

Charles Mingus: Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus To Pre Bird Revisited

Read "Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus To Pre Bird Revisited" reviewed by Chris May

In his liner notes for Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus To Pre Bird Revisited, Bill Shoemaker sets out the context in which the two featured albums should be considered. He observes that so enormous was Charles Mingus' artistic vision that no two (or perhaps three) albums can encompass its totality. How true that is, even of ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Blue Note Connoisseur Reissues: Grant Green, Andrew Hill, Hank Mobley, Don Wilkerson, George Braith, Booker Ervin

Read "Blue Note Connoisseur Reissues: Grant Green, Andrew Hill, Hank Mobley, Don Wilkerson, George Braith, Booker Ervin" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

This article was first published at All About Jazz in April 2001. Since 1995, Blue Note has been pleasing hardcore fans with a special reissue series that sports a very simple premise: w'll print up some of the catalog's most obscure titles as long as you buy them up quickly, because they'll only be ...


At Antibes 1960 Revisited

Label: Ezz-thetics
Released: 2023
Track listing: Prayer For Passive Resistance; Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting; Better Get Hit In Your Soul; Folk Forms 1; What Love?; I’ll Remember April.


Article: Year in Review

Chris May's Best Albums Of 2023

Read "Chris May's Best Albums Of 2023" reviewed by Chris May

Another great year for recorded jazz. Fourteen of 2023's most special albums are presented here. Eight are new recordings and six are reissues or previously unreleased archive items. Joint Number One Best New Albums Of 2023 Irreversible Entanglements Protect Your Light Impulse! There are two contendors for the slam-dunk ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Two Tenors South Africa Style

Read "Two Tenors South Africa Style" reviewed by Chris May

The latest batch of albums from Canada's We Are Busy Bodies label, which specialises in vinyl reissues of South African jazz, spotlights saxophonists Winston Mankunku Ngozi and Mike Makhalemele, separately and together, on three discs originally released in 1975 and 1976. Ngozi and Makhalemele both opted to remain in South Africa during the apartheid era, thus ...


Article: Album Review

Ethan Philion: Gnosis

Read "Gnosis" reviewed by John Chacona

When it comes to making memorable entrances, Ethan Philion is on a par with Seinfeld's Kramer. The jny: Chicago bassist burst into the scene with Meditations on Mingus (Sunnyside Records, 2022), an audacious debut recording on which he arranged familiar selections and deep cuts from the towering jazz bassist Charles Mingus. On Gnosis, the forces are ...


Article: Album Review

Charles Mingus: At Antibes 1960 Revisited

Read "At Antibes 1960 Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

At Antibes could easily be an all-time favorite Charles Mingus recording if he had not produced such extraordinary sessions as Mingus Ah Um (Columbia, 1959), Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus (Candid, 1961), The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Impulse!, 1963) and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!, 1964). Listeners can make their own picks, but ...


Article: Album Review

Charles Mingus: At Antibes 1960 Revisited

Read "At Antibes 1960 Revisited" reviewed by Chris May

Charles Mingus' exhilarating blend of roots and the avant-garde only rarely seems as binary* (see below) as it does on this recording from the 1960 Antibes Jazz Festival. Most often on a Mingus album, you do not hear the joins. This time, on one level, you do. Mingus leads a pianoless quintet completed by ...


Article: Album Review

Jason Keiser: Shaw's Groove

Read "Shaw's Groove" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The “Shaw" in guitarist Jason Keiser's album Shaw's Groove is the late great Woody Shaw, one of the more innovative and influential jazz trumpeters of the twentieth century. Even though he lived only forty-four years (he died in May 1989), Shaw was an important role model whose sweeping influence remains strong to this day, both as ...


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