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Coleman Hawkins

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Coleman Hawkins single-handedly brought the saxophone to the prominence in jazz that the instrument enjoys. Before he hit the scene, jazz groups had little use for the instrument. One player (forgot who) said, "with all due respect to Adolph Sax, Coleman Hawkins invented the saxophone." Hawkins, or "Bean", as he was known as, started playing cello at a young age before switching to the saxophone. He was a lifelong listener of classical music, and as a result, his knowledge of music theory was far ahead of his peers. Whereas Louis Armstrong improvised his solos based on the melody, Hawkins based his on the harmony and had a strong sense of rhythm. Hawkins hit New York at the age of 20 and quickly established himself, as he became the star of the Fletcher Henderson band

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Article: Radio

I Like You Best of All - New Releases from Maria Muldaur With Tuba Skinny, Lauren Henderson, Jill McCarron, Tomoko Omura and More

Read "I Like You Best of All - New Releases from Maria Muldaur With Tuba Skinny, Lauren Henderson, Jill McCarron, Tomoko Omura and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast celebrates a new collaboration from Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny plus releases from vocalist Lauren Henderson, pianist Jill McCarron and violinist Tomoko Omura, with birthday shoutouts to composer Irene Higginbotham (Good Morning Heartache, This Will Make You Laugh), Hazel Scott, Geri Allen, Jenny Scheinman, Lili Anel, Jocelyn Gould, and Monika Herzig, among others. Thanks ...

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Article: Radio

Charles Lloyd, Coleman Hawkins and Brandi Disterheft

Read "Charles Lloyd, Coleman Hawkins and Brandi Disterheft" reviewed by Joe Dimino


From a brilliant crop of young bassists on the New York City scene, we begin the 703rd Episode of Neon Jazz with “My Foolish Heart" from Brandi Disterheft's Surfboard. We also hear from her mentor Ron Carter and a crop of the old guard and young lions. The great Charles Lloyd, Coleman Hawkins and Bennie Maupin ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Interview

Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future

Read "Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future" reviewed by Chris May


Though he is far too modest to make any such claim himself, most observers agree that saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings is the standard-bearer for the new wave of jazz musicians who have emerged in London since around 2015. Hutchings is a few years older than most of the cohort. He made his debut recording in ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

The Pandemic Sessions: Solos, Pt. 1

Read "The Pandemic Sessions: Solos, Pt. 1" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Part 1 | Part 2 The entire world was in lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis and of course, that includes musicians. Unable to tour and record with their various ensembles, many prepared solo projects (some recorded before the virus struck) for your listening pleasure. Most of the music is very personal, as if the ...

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Article: History of Jazz

That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia

Read "That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia" reviewed by Arthur R George


A kind of jazz was already waiting in Asia when American players arrived in the 1920s, close to a hundred years ago. However, it was imitative and incomplete, lacked authenticity and live performers from the U.S. Those ingredients became imported by musicians who had played with the likes of Joseph “King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Matthew Alec

Read "Take Five with Matthew Alec" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Matthew Alec: Saxophonist, Executive Producer at Cleveland Time Records and bandleader for the jazz fusion group Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric. Nominated as 'Cleveland's Best Horn Player' by Cleveland Scene Magazine, Matthew earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music from Kent State University in 2007. While at KSU, he studied both 20th century classical music ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

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Article: Album Review

Connor Munroe: Then + Now

Read "Then + Now" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Ransom Everglades High School saxophonist Connor Munroe, from Miami, FL, has been playing the sax since he was nine years-old and has been selected for twelve All-American and All-State jazz bands among his many awards. He here presents his debut album, the warm and charming Then + Now. Offering a light repertoire of five well-known ballad ...


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