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Article: Radio

Vocalese (1952 - 1961)

Read "Vocalese (1952 - 1961)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Arising out of bebop vocals, a number of singers in the 1950s began to replicate famous instrumental solos with the human voice. The practice, initiated by Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Annie Ross was known as vocalese and reached its peak in the extraordinary recordings of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 ...

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Article: Album Review

Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Flyin' Through Florida

Read "Flyin' Through Florida" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The number of jazz-centered big bands “on the road" these days can be counted on the fingers of one hand with a digit or two to spare. The Glenn Miller and Count Basie orchestras remain randomly active, the Duke Ellington and Woody Herman progeny somewhat less so. As for the rest . . . R.I.P. Stan ...

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Article: Album Review

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Storming Through the South

Read "Storming Through the South" reviewed by Jack Bowers


First, three hearty cheers and a laurel wreath for trumpeter Mike Vax who has kept the splendid Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra together (with some inescapable changes in personnel, not to mention name) for twenty-five years, supervised no less than eighteen annual road tours and produced half a dozen in-concert albums, the most recent of which, Storming ...

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Article: Album Review

Bruce Lofgren's Jazz Pirates: Wind and Sand

Read "Wind and Sand" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Batten the hatches and shiver the timbers--guitarist Bruce Lofgren's Los Angeles-based Jazz Pirates are climbing aboard with their fourth album for Night Bird Records and Lofgren's eighth as leader of his own ensemble. While these buccaneers aren't really after gold or silver (although a little of that wouldn't hurt), they do fancy that some of their ...

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Article: Album Review

Stan Kenton Alumni Band: Road Scholars Live

Read "Road Scholars Live" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


For more than twenty years, the Stan Kenton Alumni Band has kept the pulse of big-band jazz strongly beating through regular touring under the direction of trumpet master Mike Vax, who served as the Orchestra's first trumpet, soloist and road manager (and also spent one year leading The Dukes of Dixieland, a genuine New Orleans musical ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Musings on Jazz, Blues and the Sabbath

Read "Musings on Jazz, Blues and the Sabbath" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Margie Baker Sings With So Many Stars Consolidated Artists Productions 2014 Margie Baker didn't begin her career as a jazz and blues vocalist in the San Francisco area until she was nearly 40, but she made up for this delayed entry with endurance: She was often featured at the Monterey ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Stan Kenton Alumni Band: Road Scholars

Read "Stan Kenton Alumni Band: Road Scholars" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Road Scholars? A clever title indeed, but these gentlemen (and three ladies) are more akin to “road maestros," an appraisal that is abundantly clear from A to Z on this latest recording by trumpeter Mike Vax's turbo-charged Stan Kenton Alumni Band, taped at various concerts during the band's 2013 spring tour, a two-week, three-thousand-mile odyssey that ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?

Read "Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Betty and I returned to Albuquerque on Memorial Day after attending Swingin' on a Riff, the latest in a series of marvelous semi-annual events presented by Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute for more than twenty years at venues in and around L.A. This one was held May 23-26 at the Los Angeles Marriott ...


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