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Chick Webb

“The King of the Savoy” reigned supreme over jazz drummers in New York in the 1930’s. He was the consummate showman and with his fluid and rhythmic style, was perfectly suited for the swing era. He raised the standard for drummer awareness, and paved the way for drummer led bands. Born in Baltimore, Feb. 10, 1909, William Henry Webb, was an unlikely candidate to become a jazz drummer. Stricken with spinal tuberculosis, he was left with a hunched back, and little use of his legs. He took up drumming as a way to relieve joint stiffness, and never stopped. He saved enough to buy a drum set which he had fit with special pedals for his legs

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: RADIO

The Hall Overton Centennial & More

Read "The Hall Overton Centennial & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

February birthdays on Gift & Messages with the Hall Overton centennial. We feature his arrangement of “Little Rootie Tootie" for the Thelonious Monk Orchestra, where Hall takes the piano solo from the Monk's first trio recording and orchestrates it for the entire big band! You'll hear both back-to-back. Stunning, for the arrangement and the playing, is ...

ARTICLE: FILM REVIEW

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things

Read "Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Just One Of Those Things Ella Fitzgerald Eagle Rock90 minutes 2019 In the public mind, Ella Fitzgerald was unarguably one of the great jazz figures of the twentieth century. She mightn't be fetishized the way Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Chet Baker have been--there wasn't quite ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy: Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door

Read "Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Recorded loud and live at the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT, Ralph Peterson—the last drummer to play side-by-side with the incomparable Art Blakey—delivers an unstoppable two-disc hyperdrive swing-fest celebration of his mentor with Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door. It's no deep state secret that Blakey, with his effortless ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Documenting Jazz 2019

Read "Documenting Jazz 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Documenting Jazz Conservatory of Music and Drama TU Dublin jny: Dublin, Ireland January 17-19, 2019 Jazz music, which has pretty much always meant different things to different people, has been comprehensively documented since its arrival in the first decades of the twentieth century. The most obvious form ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald (1936 - 1945)

Read "Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald (1936 - 1945)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Billie Holiday began recording at 18, in a 1933 session with Benny Goodman and was musically active until her death at 44 in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald also began recording at 18 (in 1935 as the singer with Chick Webb), but in her case, her career surged again in the mid-1950's with the songbook series on Verve. ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 1

Read "Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 1" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Part 1 | Part 2Peter Erskine is affable, engaging, and humorous. He, of course, is also one of the finest drummers of his generation. He has left his mark on the jazz and fusion world for nearly fifty years now. An icon, whose name is mentioned with the greats of all time, Erskine continues ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

February Birthdays and Snooky @100

Read "February Birthdays and Snooky @100" reviewed by Marc Cohn

It's the monthly jazz birthdays edition of Gift and Messages, direct from our turntables and CD players in mid-city Baton Rouge to you! We salute the late trumpeter Snooky Young on his 100th birthday with one of the rare recordings under his own name, the out-of-print Horn of Plenty. Great listening, along with tenor birthday madness ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Chick Webb & Benny Goodman (1933 - 1938)

Read "Chick Webb & Benny Goodman (1933 - 1938)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the mid-1930s, jazz orchestras led by drummer Chick Webb and clarinetist Benny Goodman rose to prominence with the arrangements of Edgar Sampson and Fletcher Henderson. After launching the careers of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Webb succumbed to spinal tuberculosis in 1939, at age 34. Goodman launched the careers of Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, Lionel ...


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