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Musician

Creed Taylor

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Creed Taylor revolutionized the respectability and popularity of jazz with CTI Records. In fact, some of the most significant jazz of the last half of the 20th century has been fashioned under Taylor's guidance and supervision. Taylor has been especially influential in the packaging of music. His records are as much art to see as they are to hear. With heavy, glossy, gatefold covers featuring stark design and striking photography, his records have the sound and feel of something bearing unusual class and great quality. After earning a degree in psychology in the early 1950s, Taylor played trumpet in clubs around Virginia Beach

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Article: Album Review

Christopher Burnett: The Standards, Vol. 1

Read "The Standards, Vol. 1" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


Modern jazz can certainly take a variety of different forms, but standards still remain the foundation for many players. With The Standards Vol. 1, Christopher Burnett brings modern and traditional elements together in an excellent meeting. His approach is to bring a traditional approach to each song, whether it's a well-loved favorite or an original composition. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May


For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...

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Article: Album Review

The Invisible Session: Echoes Of Africa

Read "Echoes Of Africa" reviewed by Chris May


It is surely no coincidence that the Ishtar family of labels— tagline “Modern Sounds from Italy"—is based in Milan, that most stylish and go-ahead of Italian cities. New imprint Space Echo's launch release is The Invisible Session's sophomore album, Echoes Of Africa, and it slots right into Ishtar's sophisticated aesthetic, which exists at the intersection of ...

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Article: So You Don't Like Jazz

Derek Trucks: Chops, Romance & Dance

Read "Derek Trucks: Chops, Romance & Dance" reviewed by Alan Bryson


It's a good bet that most of us have heard people say they don't like jazz, or even worse, drop the H-bomb, “I hate jazz." If you choose to engage, the key is to tread lightly and tailor an approach that considers the tastes and sensibilities of the other person. The “So You Don't Like Jazz" ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Chet Baker: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Get Lost In

Read "Chet Baker: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Get Lost In" reviewed by Chris May


Chet Baker was born to a farmer's daughter and a hard-drinking, weed-smoking singer and guitarist in a Western Swing band in Yale, Oklahoma in 1929. Like many Okies, the family fared badly during the Great Depression but did a little better after moving to Glendale, California in 1939. Largely self-taught as a trumpeter, Baker honed his ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums With No Added Sugar (Almost)

Read "CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums  With No Added Sugar (Almost)" reviewed by Chris May


Few jazz producers divide opinion as much as Creed Taylor. He is a hero to many and a villain to as many more. His fans love him for his high production values. His detractors accuse him of dumbing jazz down with excessively sweetened orchestrations and other sales-oriented compromises. Nowhere is the dispute more heated than over ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

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News: Obituary

Annie Ross: 1930-2020

Annie Ross: 1930-2020

Annie Ross, a pioneering vocalese singer and songwriter, and the last surviving member of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross—arguably the best-known and most successful vocal group in jazz—died on July 21. She was 89. Writing lyrics to jazz standards and modern jazz solos and singing them was a mark of subterranean hipness in the late 1940s and ...


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