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Cecil McBee

World-acclaimed Bassist Cecil McBee was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a community of rich and varied musical roots. His musical career started in high school, where he first played the clarinet. He and his sister Shirley soon gained local notoriety performing clarinet duets at concerts around the state. By the age of 17, he began to experiment with the string bass and played steadily at local nightclubs with top Jazz and Rhythm and Blues groups. Because of the great promise he showed on the clarinet, Cecil was offered a full scholarship to attend Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and upon his arrival to college, he was immediately embraced as both a fine clarinetist and a promising young bassist

Expansions

Label: Ace Records UK
Released: 2020
Track listing: Expansions; Desert Nights; Summer Days; Voodoo Woman; Peace; Shadows; My Love.

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Liebman: Earth

Read "Earth" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

When saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Dave Liebman groks a musical vision, he dreams big and deep. “In the late 1990s," Liebman recalls, “I embarked on a project to musically depict manifestations of the four natural elements. In 1997 I recorded Water with Pat Metheny, Billy Hart and Cecil McBee; in 2006, I did Air with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Horace Tapscott with the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra: Ancestral Echoes – The Covina Sessions, 1976

Read "Ancestral Echoes – The Covina Sessions, 1976" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

When pianist/composer/conductor Horace Tapscott founded the Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra (PAPA) in 1961, it was by design a support collective for all arts, bringing pride to the black community, specifically that of South-Central Los Angeles. PAPA signified social activism, teaching empowerment, and advocating Tapscott's belief that channeling African ancestral roots was a key to succeeding. Tapscott, ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

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 ...

Places in Space, in Time

Read "Places in Space, in Time" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Abraham Inc. Together We Stand Table Pounding Music 2019 “Ever since I formed Klezmer Madness! in the mid 1990's I've been exploring the possibilities of adding funk, jazz, and lately hip-hop influences to klezmer," explains David Krakauer, an expert clarinet voice in jazz, klezmer and classical ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes: Expansions

Read "Expansions" reviewed by Chris May

If ever a first wave jazz-funk album deserved a 180gm vinyl reissue in 2020 it is this near masterpiece. It was originally released in 1975 on Flying Dutchman, the label Bob Thiele set up after he left Impulse!. Jazz-funk divided the jazz world in the 1970s as much as free-jazz had done a ...


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