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Don Menza

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

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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, ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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. ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Pete Magadini: Bones Blues

Read "Bones Blues" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The Canadian label Sackville is known for its unique catalogue of superb Avant-Garde music and engaging trad-jazz recordings. So its 1976 Bones Blues is a bit of an anomaly as it documents a modern mainstream session that drummer Pete Magadini led and featured California based saxophonist Don Menza. Five standards and two originals comprise ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Buddy Rich: The Beat Goes On

Read "Buddy Rich: The Beat Goes On" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Was Buddy Rich really “the world's greatest drummer"? The answer to that speculative question is debatable, of course, and opinions may vary, as they no doubt do on what kind of a person (or persons) he was when not weaving his particular brand of magic behind a drum kit. Buddy's remarkable talents as a drummer and ...


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