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Connie Kay

Connie Kay will forever be remembered as the legendary drummer/percussionist for the Modern Jazz Quartet. Self-taught on the drums, Kay played in the mid-'40s with Sir Charles Thompson, Miles Davis, and Cat Anderson. He was in Lester Young's quintet off and on during 1949-55, a time in which he also worked with Beryl Booker, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and others. In February 1955, he joined the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ), traveling the world with the band up until it called it "quits" in 1974. During that era he also was a guest on small-group sets with Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Heath and Paul Desmond with Jim Hall

ARTICLE: HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker

Read "Craft Recording's "Chet" is a Rare Win for Baker" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

"There's a little white cat out here who's going to eat you up." —Charlie Parker (to Miles Davis) Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Two trumpet players born three years apart. Both unusually handsome and slight of build. Both lacking, as trumpeters, the qualities most often associated with those brass alphas of the jazz ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Third Stream (1956 - 1961)

Read "The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Third Stream (1956 - 1961)" reviewed by Russell Perry

As the Modern Jazz Quartet, members of which were once Dizzy Gillespie's rhythm section in the 1940s, moved into the 1960s, they continued to swing in their own quiet way, even as their music director, pianist John Lewis, explored the third stream, a synthesis of jazz and classical music. Having been founded in 1952, the MJQ ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Monty Alexander: Still Rolling

Read "Monty Alexander: Still Rolling" reviewed by Geno Thackara

If there's one defining quality to Monty Alexander's music, it's joy. An unmistakable undercurrent of happiness has been constant across several decades, dozens of recordings and countless performances all over the world. He could be honoring classic jazz balladeers, exploring the danceable “riddims" of his native Jamaica or anything in between, and you can always hear ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays

Read "Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays" reviewed by Arthur R George

Sociologist, anthropologist, historian: storyteller, raconteur, entrepreneur and griot, in the guise of a deejay. Registrar, dean, professor: The jazz class of Sonny Buxton is barely concealed as entertainment within his weekly radio program every Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time on San Francisco Bay Area FM station KCSM 91.1, streaming live on kcsm.org.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Ron Carter: Detroit Jazz Festival 2016 Artist-In-Residence

Read "Ron Carter: Detroit Jazz Festival 2016 Artist-In-Residence" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

As the artist-in-residence for the 37th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival, Ron Carter maintained an active role in both the artistic and educational functions that accompanied this distinguished position, made even more extraordinary by the fact that it was all happening in his hometown. Having teamed with Pat Metheny last year for a stellar duo ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand

Read "Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 World-renown trumpeter, saxophonist, musical director, producer and entrepreneur. These are but a mere handful of words that describe the vast talent in Glenn Zottola's bag of musical marvels. There are others: child prodigy, creative genius, “musical natural" and aural savant also percolate rapidly to mind. Now ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

A Remembrance of Percy Heath

Read "A Remembrance of Percy Heath" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

This article was originally published at All About Jazz in May 2005. Percy Heath could play the hell out of that big contrabass. Played it for more than half a century. With Bird and Miles and Diz and 'Trane and Brownie and the venerable Modern Jazz Quartet and on and on. And ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

We Three Kings: The Heath Brothers

Read "We Three Kings: The Heath Brothers" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This article was originally published at All About Jazz in 2002. Bundle these three brothers' experiences and associations through their individual and collective careers, and anyone with even the slightest notion of jazz appreciation will indubitably realize the significance of the Heath triumvirate--bassist Percy, saxophonist Jimmy, and drummer Albert “Tootie." What an ...

Herbie Mann: An Amalgamation of Everything

Read "Herbie Mann:  An Amalgamation of Everything" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

[Flauist Herbie Mann was often ahead of the trend with his wide explorations into sounds from everywhere. When I asked him in this 1978 interview where music in general was heading, he talked about a broad mix--"an amalgamation of everything"--which might be a good way to describe Mann's overall career, except that it doesn't account for ...


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