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Musician

Don Menza

Born:

Don Menza is a powerful tenor saxophonist who, although able to effectively imitate most of the top stylists (from Coleman Hawkins to John Coltrane), has a distinctive sound of his own. Menza started playing tenor when he was 13. After getting out of the Army, he was with Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra (1960-1962) as both a soloist and an arranger. A short stint with Stan Kenton and a year leading a quintet in Buffalo preceded a period living in Germany (1964-1968). After returning to the U.S., he was with Buddy Rich's big band in 1968, recording a famous solo on "Channel One Suite" that utilized circular breathing and was quite classic. He settled in California and has worked with Elvin Jones (1969), Louie Bellson, as an educator, and in the studios

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Article: History of Jazz

Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights

Read "Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


From early on, Buffalo attracted musicians as a place to live and pursue their artistic endeavors—and they were excellent ones: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Jimmie Lunceford, Pete Johnson, and Stuff Smith. Dodo Greene, two masters of polyrhythm, Frankie Dunlop and Clarence Becton, as well as pianist and bassist Wade Legge grew up here. Two distinctive voices on ...

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Article: Album Review

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown: Quartet Sessions

Read "Quartet Sessions" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The Quartet Sessions (there are two of them) mark the eighth recording as leader by New York-based tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, an heir-apparent to an acclaimed dynasty of hard-boppers whose monarchs include Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons, Charlie Rouse, Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins and their peers, and embraces such contemporaries as Eric Alexander, Don Menza ...

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News: Festival

OceanFirst Bank Jazz @ the Point 2018 Festival brings the best of jazz to South Jersey: Thursday, October 11 through Sunday, October 14. Get your all access pass!

OceanFirst Bank Jazz @ the Point 2018 Festival brings the best of jazz to South Jersey: Thursday, October 11 through Sunday, October 14. Get your all access pass!

The South Jersey Jazz Society has once again put together a lineup of incredible Jazz artists to perform at this year’s OceanFirst Bank Jazz @ the Point Festival Thursday, October 11 through Sunday, October 14. Shows will be presented throughout various venues in Somers Point, New Jersey for fans of this great American art form to ...

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Article: Album Review

Doug Webb: Fast Friends

Read "Fast Friends" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There is nothing as soul cleansing as bebop. Period. When you couple the music with the sunshine of Los Angeles (OK, when the smog has cleared) there is a medicinal, tonic effect to be had. Enter L.A. session saxophonist Doug Webb, a contributor to film and television, and member of big bands led by Bill Holman, ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow


Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 4: Keen and Peachy: Music of the Woody Herman Second Herd -Directed by Michael Berkowitz ...

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Article: Album Review

University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble: On the Road

Read "On the Road" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble was indeed On the Road in recent years, performing the first eight of the fourteen numbers on this impressive album at the 2017 Elmhurst College (IL) Jazz Festival, the others at the Montreux and North Sea (Netherlands) Jazz Festivals in 2011. If you are puzzled by the lack of audience ...

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Article: Album Review

University of North Texas: Anniversary Package; Lab 2017

Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" reviewed by Jack Bowers


To mark the seventieth anniversary of its establishment, the Division of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas in Denton has issued superb CD compilations honoring four of its distinguished educators / bandleaders in addition to Lab 2017 by the university's flagship One O'Clock Lab Band, the fiftieth annual recording by that widely celebrated ensemble. ...

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Article: Interview

Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom

Read "Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


Clarence Becton is a musicians' musician—meaning, someone well-known in musician circles. He belongs to the generation of American jazz heroes who grew up under economically and socially difficult circumstances, and for that very reason, succeeded in gaining a comprehensive education, emancipating himself, and embodying the history of jazz music by directly learning from and working with ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Buddy Rich Rides Again

Read "Buddy Rich Rides Again" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Those who believe that Buddy Rich is the greatest big-band drummer who ever lived (yes, I'm one of them) can look forward to a marvelous treat this spring when Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute present Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion May 19-22 at the Sheraton Gateway / LAX Hotel. The four-day ...


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