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Cedar Walton

For over 25 years, pianist Cedar Walton has enjoyed an uptempo career, which never seems to slow down. Maintaining a non-stop itinerary, Walton has accompanied a litany of Jazz greats while also fronting his own successful groups. Born January 17, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, Walton set his sights on a career in music at an early age. An after- hours gig at the Denver Club introduced him to notable musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, who would sit in with Walton's group when they passed through town.

From there, Walton ventured to New York and began to work locally with Lou Donaldson, Gigi Gryce, Sonny Rollins and Kenny Dorham before landing his first touring job with J.J. Johnson. Soon after, the pianist made his recording debut backing Kenny Dorham on the Riverside album Kenny Dorham Sings. He also made two records with J.J. Johnson' s group on Columbia Records before joining the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet, a group he toured and recorded with for two years. Walton's next major musical association was with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During his three years tenure with Blakey, Walton stepped forward a composer, contributing originals like Mosaic and The Promised Land to the group's recordings for the Blue Note and Riverside labels.

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

Jazzagenturen: The Stockholm Corona Sessions Volume One

Read "The Stockholm Corona Sessions Volume One" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The Swedish jazz collective Jazzagenturen, founded by Pontus de Wolfe, reached deep into its collective soul and stood up to the downsides of the Covid-19 coronavirus early on. This large ensemble entered a studio on April 2nd. Twelve hours later they emerged having recorded fifty songs. The Stockholm Corona Sessions are being released in five volumes, ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Jay Thomas

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Jay Thomas" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 30's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The TNEK Jazz Quintet: Plays the Music of Sam Jones

Read "Plays the Music of Sam Jones" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The late Sam Jones is mainly remembered as an earnest craftsman whose perceptive bass lines undergirded the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Oscar Peterson, Cedar Walton, Barry Harris, Kenny Dorham, Bobby Timmons, Bill Evans and a host of other jazz masters. Jones, however, had another special albeit lesser-known talent, one that is addressed here, almost forty years ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Just Coolin'

Read "Just Coolin'" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Great moments play all over Just Coolin', the new archival Blue Note Art Blakey release from 1959, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio with Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt. For a bit of history, let's just point out that Hank Mobley was returning to the tenor chair he held from 1951-56, but which had ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ian Shaw, Iain Ballamy, Jamie Safir: What's New

Read "What's New" reviewed by Chris May

What's new? Not the dozen songs on this enchanting trio album. Most of them have been around for well over fifty years and people will likely still be enjoying them in another fifty. The composers include Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Van Heusen, Michel Legrand and Leonard Bernstein. Musically sophisticated and lyrically literate, the ...


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