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Miles Davis v. Wynton Marsalis: Jack Johnson in Jazz

Read "Miles Davis v. Wynton Marsalis: Jack Johnson in Jazz" reviewed by Michael Holman

A director fascinated by the outsized life of the African-American boxer Jack Johnson sets out to make a documentary to tell the man's story. Given the centrality of race to Johnson's story and Johnson's own musical interests, a jazz soundtrack seems most appropriate, so he enlists the foremost jazz trumpeter of the day to provide a ...

ARTICLE: COMPARE & CONTRAST

Condon's Mobs: Wild Bill Davison & Bud Freeman

Read "Condon's Mobs: Wild Bill Davison & Bud Freeman" reviewed by Nic Jones

As an art form jazz has thrived in a number of different environments, and the school of the music that came to fruition under the ostensible stewardship of Eddie Condon, a man whose abilities as a raconteur were at least on a par with his abilities as a guitarist, amounted to a freewheeling brand of the ...

ARTICLE: COMPARE & CONTRAST

Allison Neale & Bruce Turner: Across The Years

Read "Allison Neale & Bruce Turner: Across The Years" reviewed by Nic Jones

The alto sax has always been a horn that can accomodate a variety of approaches. The two players discussed here, as featured on albums recorded at completely different stages in their respective careers, have sounds and styles deeply rooted in the history of the music For years Bruce Turner was a stalwart of Humphrey Lyttleton's band, ...

ARTICLE: COMPARE & CONTRAST

Charlie Rouse: Hail The Individual

Read "Charlie Rouse: Hail The Individual" reviewed by Nic Jones

Every significant development in jazz has been the work of trailblazers. In the case of bebop of course the two most readily associated with the development have always been Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and whilst there is no little substance in this, the determinism of such a view obscures the contributions of other musicians who ...

ARTICLE: COMPARE & CONTRAST

Rendell-Carr & Keith Tippett: Ever Increasing Circles

Read "Rendell-Carr & Keith Tippett: Ever Increasing Circles" reviewed by Nic Jones

In the early 1960s things were happening. In that seminal decade, the allure of which remains so great that people not even born at the time can feel vicarious nostalgia for it, both British and European jazz produced instrumentalists with the ability and know-how to establish themselves as distinctive voices within an ever-widening continuum of jazz. ...

Marty Paich and Art Pepper: Moanin' vs + Eleven

Read "Marty Paich and Art Pepper:  Moanin' vs + Eleven" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Marty Paich (1925-1995) was the West Coast Tadd Dameron. He had a perfect swing and be bop arranging temperament. Paich was a superb pianist and a better arranger, being called upon to orchestrate for Chet Baker, Ray Brown, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Art Pepper. It was with Art Pepper that Paich would forge ...

Ellen Christi: Diverse Materials

Read "Ellen Christi: Diverse Materials" reviewed by Nic Jones

All jazz singers worthy of the name have been able to draw upon a depth of interpretive power sufficient to make something out of frequently trite lyrics. The most extreme example of this, that is to say the example who could draw from the deepest well of such power, was of course Billie Holiday, and there ...

Herbie Hancock: Vive La Difference

Read "Herbie Hancock: Vive La Difference" reviewed by Nic Jones

The emphasis on Miles Davis's 1960s quintet as a role model for musicians in the present day has ensured perhaps that Herbie Hancock's move away from that band's style has been overlooked. The two albums discussed here encapsulate how his musical outlook changed. The move from acoustic to predominantly electric instrumentation is profound enough in itself, ...

Nights At The Keyboard: Connie Crothers & Mal Waldron

Read "Nights At The Keyboard: Connie Crothers & Mal Waldron" reviewed by Nic Jones

Solo jazz piano playing is an area of the music fraught with risks at the same time as the piano is the instrument best suited to solo music making. In the past, Bill Evans circumnavigated some of the problems inherent in the medium through overdubbing, a course which neither Connie Crothers nor Mal Waldron has opted ...

Oliver Lake: Upwards & Outwards

Read "Oliver Lake: Upwards & Outwards" reviewed by Nic Jones

Oliver Lake has always had an innate grasp of musical tradition that extends beyond jazz to encompass other areas of African American musical expression, and the effect of this on his music has always been beneficial. Allied to this have been two other virtues, namely his abiding fascination with the work of Eric Dolphy, perhaps unsurprisingly ...


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