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Curtis Fuller

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Curtis Fuller was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1934. He came to music late, playing the baritone horn in high school and switching to the trombone at age 16. Detroit, at the time, was the breeding ground for an astonishing pool of fresh, highly individual talent. Milt Jackson and Hank Jones had already gone to New York and made their names. But coming of age in Detroit in the early fifties were Fuller, Donald Byrd, Elvin and Thad Jones, Paul Chambers, Louis Hayes, Kenny Burrell, Barry Harris, Pepper Adams, Yusef Lateef, Sonny Red, Hugh Lawson, Doug Watkins, Tommy Flanagan and many others who would make the mid- decade migration to New York and eventually international recognition. In 1953, Curtis left the local scene to serve his two-year stint in the army, where he met and played with Cannonball Adderley and Junior Mance among others. When he returned home, he began working with Yusef Lateef's quintet

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Article: Liner Notes

One For All: Blueslike

Read "One For All: Blueslike" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


As the timeworn adage goes, sometimes the best things come from situations where one is asked to function in less than ideal circumstances. When you have little time to analyze things and go with pure instincts, there's an air of veracity and spontaneity to the results that is seldom arrived at by any other means. Although ...

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Article: Touchstone Album Picks

Eddie Henderson: Everything Changes

Read "Eddie Henderson: Everything Changes" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Eddie Henderson made his name in Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band in the early 1970s, at the dawn of jazz-fusion--a new frontier. It was undoubtedly a launching pad that saw the New York-born trumpeter go on to play with Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Elvin Jones, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and McCoy Tyner. Yet ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Joe Farnsworth: Straight From The Soul

Read "Joe Farnsworth: Straight From The Soul" reviewed by Steven Roby


One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers today, Joe Farnsworth, is known for his blazing speed, precision, and musical and melodic playing. Born in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1968, Joe grew up in a musical family; his father was a music educator, and he has four older brothers, two of whom became professional ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

Songbirds: An Interview with Singer Judy Niemack

Read "Songbirds: An Interview with Singer Judy Niemack" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Apart from their mutual respect for each other, and the fact that they are jazz singers, there isn't a lot, superficially, that you would think Judy Niemack and Jay Clayton have in common. But you'd be wrong. Both have a classical music background, Clayton at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, before moving ...

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Article: Album Review

John La Barbera Big Band: Grooveyard

Read "Grooveyard" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Composer/arranger John La Barbera has been at the top of his game for more than half a century, and Grooveyard is simply another example of his undiminished artistry. Besides arranging everything--superbly, as always--La Barbera wrote six of the session's ten charming songs, escorting other treasures by Carl Perkins, Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller and Elvin Jones.

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Article: Album Review

Judy Niemack - Jay Clayton: Voices in Flight

Read "Voices in Flight" reviewed by Katchie Cartwright


While veteran vocal improvisers Judy Niemack and Jay Clayton have known each other since the '70s, Voices in Flight marks their first time together in the studio. They have performed some of the album material in live shows since the early 2000s, including their medley of “Body and Soul" and Idrees Sulieman's gorgeous contrafact of it, ...

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Article: Album Review

Dorothy Ashby: With Strings Attached, 1957-1965

Read "With Strings Attached, 1957-1965" reviewed by John Chacona


Imagine if Sidney Bechet, Charlie Christian and Jimmy Smith were barely remembered and recordings of their music were long unavailable and known only on the geekiest corners of Discogs. That is essentially the status of harpist Dorothy Ashby. Like the three figures cited above, Ashby essentially created a language for her chosen instrument, the harp, where ...

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Article: Liner Notes

Ryan Kisor: Awakening

Read "Ryan Kisor: Awakening" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


A man of few words, Ryan Kisor chooses to let his horn do the speaking and obviously it has said volumes over the years when you consider that the trumpeter is one of a select few musicians who has managed to sustain a viable career past the heydays of the jazz renaissance of the '80s and ...

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Article: Liner Notes

Steve Davis: Correlations

Read "Steve Davis: Correlations" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Surely it must be considered a milestone to chalk up Correlations as Steve Davis' 20th session as a leader. Just contemplate how much the world has changed since the trombonist started turning heads as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers back at the start of the '90s. The record business in particular occupies a vastly ...


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