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Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, along with Charlie Parker, ushered in the era of Be-Bop in the American jazz tradition. He was born Cheraw, South Carolina, and was the youngest of nine children. He began playing piano at the age of four and received a music scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina. Most noted for his trademark "swollen cheeks", Gillespie admitted to copying the style of trumpeter Roy Eldridge early in his career. He replaced Eldridge in the 'Teddy Hill' Band after Eldridge's departure. He eventually began experimenting and creating his own style which would eventually come to the attention of Mario Bauza, the Godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz who was then a member of the Cap Calloway Orchestra, joining Calloway in 1939, Gillespie was fired after two years when he cut a portion of the Calloway's buttocks with a knife after Calloway accused him of throwing spitballs (the two men later became lifelong friends and often retold this story with great relish until both of their deaths). Although noted for his on and off-stage clowning, Gillespie endured as one of the founding fathers of the Afro-Cuban &/or Latin Hazz tradition

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Nicola Conte: Good Juju From Italy’s Spiritual Jazz Shaman

Read "Nicola Conte: Good Juju From Italy’s Spiritual Jazz Shaman" reviewed by Chris May

Ever since his debut album, the acid-jazz masterpiece Jet Sounds (Schema), in 2000, the producer, composer, DJ and guitarist Nicola Conte has kept the jazz world guessing by constantly moving the goal posts. The trumpeter Miles Davis famously said, “I always gotta change. It's like a curse." But with Conte, it feels more like a blessing, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Marty Elkins: 'Tis Autumn

Read "'Tis Autumn" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There exists a group of jazz musicians dedicated to pre-bebop jazz who have traditionally populated the catalogs of the Nagel-Heyer and Arbors record labels. These musicians include Herb Pomeroy, Max Kaminsky, Randy Sandke, Harry Allen, and Dave McKenna. Central to this group is vocalist Marty Elkins who, while in college, discovered the recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat

Read "Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Benjamin Koppel is an extraordinary Danish musician from an illustrious music family. He is all about music—of just about any kind. He's always absorbing it, discovering what there is to derive from it. A kind of restless desire to explore envelops him. He simplifies it in his own words: he's curious. It comes naturally to him. ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass

Read "Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Tom Kennedy has never considered himself a prospector, but surely has tapped into a goldmine. As if releasing a hotshot new record wasn't enough, the world class jazz and fusion bassist is in compositional bliss with a bevy of new material yet to be recorded. Kennedy and I talk at length about his new writing technique ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz

Read "This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz" reviewed by Ian Patterson

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz Peter Jones 263 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78179 874 4 Equinox Publishing 2020 Few are the jazz singers accorded the fanfare usually reserved for the music's great instrumentalists. Jon Hendricks was one, taking scat and vocalese to unprecedented ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Clifton Anderson: Knowing the Road

Read "Clifton Anderson: Knowing the Road" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz

New York trombonist Clifton Anderson has mastered his instrument from the 1970s on in jazz programs of his home town outside the conservatory (which he also attended), that were initiated by leading spirits of the music such as Barry Harris, Sam Rivers, and Reggie Workman; these informal, professional jazz circles gave him information, insights and inspiration ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Peter Zak Quartet at Smalls Jazz Club

Read "Peter Zak Quartet at Smalls Jazz Club" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Peter Zak Quartet Smalls Jazz Club jny:New York, NY December 18, 2020 One of a handful of rotating camera angles from Smalls Jazz Club offered a view of Peter Zak's hands on the keyboard of a Yamaha grand. This vantage point spoke volumes about the opening set of Zak's ...


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