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Carl Fontana

It is an odd fact that all the really outstanding jazz trombonists were very low on ego. Carl Fontana, perhaps the most gifted player of his time, certainly was. He played potent and dazzling music in such a facile way that it was rather like Leonardo da Vinci sawing off a length of picture on demand. Fontana first surfaced in 1951. The Woody Herman band was playing at the Blue Room in New Orleans when its virtuoso trombone soloist Urbie Green had to return to New York for three weeks when his wife gave birth. A young local musician hired as a temporary replacement arrived in the band room. "Can I help you?" asked the tenor player Dick Hafer

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 4: Keen and Peachy: Music of the Woody Herman Second Herd -Directed by Michael Berkowitz ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The Los Angeles Jazz Institute (LAJI), under Ken Poston, has continued for some thirty years to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kurt Jarnberg: Down Memory Lane, Vols 3 and 4

Read "Down Memory Lane, Vols 3 and 4" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For some of us, Memory Lane is much longer and far more crowded than it once was. Be that as it may, any trip there remains a pleasurable experience, more so when the guide is Swedish trombonist / trumpeter Kurt Jarnberg who employs his quartet, quintet, big band and a host of talented guest artists to ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Ralph Hepola

Read "Take Five with Ralph Hepola" reviewed by Ralph Hepola

About Ralph Hepola Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States, Ralph Hepola studied piano before starting on the tuba at age twelve. At seventeen, he was chosen to play before the British Royal Family in the Manitoba All-Province Band at Brandon, Manitoba in Canada. While still in high school, Ralph began performing ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Transcendent Trombone - Jazz Survivor: The Rick Stepton Story

Read "Transcendent Trombone - Jazz Survivor: The Rick Stepton Story" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Transcendent Trombone Frank McGowan Self Published 2017 “Jazz Luck"--a phrase I pull out of the hat every so often that aptly describes those oddball and, in some cases, unfortunate events which practitioners of the art encounter in the business. It's a more apropos term that the commonly-used “Stuff Happens," because ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Scott Whitfield: New Jazz Standards, Volume 2

Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On New Jazz Standards, Volume 2 (yes, the title may seem a tad optimistic at first glance; more about that later), trombonist Scott Whitfield leads a well-honed quartet playing the music of Carl Saunders. If the name Carl Saunders is new to you, he is quite simply one of the finest jazz trumpeters you've never heard--and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kurt Jarnberg Quintet: Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package

Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In the late 1960s, trombonist and sometime trumpeter Kurt Jarnberg led a popular jazz quintet in his native Sweden, one that lasted for only a couple of years before disbanding. Jarnberg came back with another small group in the mid-'70s, adding vocalist Ruth Asenlund (Jarnberg) to the mix, disbanded again, then returned to action with yet ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Dickson Jazz Quartet: Summergold Promises

Read "Summergold Promises" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Cincinnati-based baritone saxophonist Larry Dickson's new album, Summergold Promises, is almost a companion piece to his previous enterprise, Second Springtime, which was appraised favorably here less than a year ago. The word “almost" is necessary because Dickson's front-line partner on Springtime, tenor saxophonist Brent Gallaher, has been replaced by trombonist Bill Gemmer, lending the quartet a ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

David Gibson: Propelling The Story Forward

Read "David Gibson: Propelling The Story Forward" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's late morning on Sunday, January 17, 2016--a wintry New York day that will later see snow--and much of Brooklyn seems to be in a state of hibernation or hiding. There are few signs of life on the streets, but there's no shortage of action in the basement of the former Public School 9 Annex. That's ...


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