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Musician

Booker Ervin

Born:

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

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

African Cookbook, A Vocal Tangent, A Dizzy Atmosphere

Read "African Cookbook, A Vocal Tangent, A Dizzy Atmosphere" reviewed by David Brown


This week, South African jazz artists to African sounds in jazz, a vocal tangent, and finally, a Dizzy atmosphere. Playlist Thelonious Monk “Epistrophy (Theme)" from Live At The It Club (Complete) (Columbia) 00:15 Somi “House of the Rising Sun" from Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba (Salon Africana) 01:50 Nduduzo Makhathini “Amathongo" from In ...

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Article: Album Review

Farnell Newton: Feel The Love

Read "Feel The Love" reviewed by David A. Orthmann


Posi-Tone Records produces coherent projects and maintains high standards in part by keeping things in-house; that is, frequently drawing on a substantial roster of affiliated artists to serve on a particular leader's record. A case in point is Feel The Love, Farnell Newton's third release for the label. While Newton's measured, concise, full-toned trumpet stylings and ...

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News: Video / DVD

Teddy Charles and Two Bookers

Teddy Charles and Two Bookers

Teddy Charles was a heavy hitter. A vibraphonist, composer, arranger and a producer, Teddy could swing as easily as he could explore modal territory with his groups. When I started this blog back in 2007, there were a number of musicians I wanted to interview first. Among them were Danny Bank, Hal McKusick, Sol Schlinger and ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Nicholas Krolak Interview

Read "Nicholas Krolak Interview" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


In this wide-ranging interview, the boys talk with bassist Nicholas Krolak, a Philadelphian with insights on pacing a set, marketing difficult-to-publicize music like jazz, the cost of including standards on a CD, and the oblique thinking of Bad Plus pianist Orrin Evans. There's also some discussion of “bachelor cookies" (not a euphemism) in there.

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...


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