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Donald Byrd

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Trumpeter Donald Byrd was born in Detroit in 1932, his studies at Wayne State University (1954) were interrupted by military service, during which he played in an Air Force band. He then attended the Manhattan School of Music (MA in music education). At the same time he was the favorite studio trumpeter of the bop label Presitge (1956-58), though he also recorded frequently for Riverside and Blue Note. He gave performances with George Wallington (1955), Art Blakey (1956), and along with Gigi Gryce was a member of the Jazz Lab Quintet (1957). He also performed with Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and others, before settling into a partnership with Pepper Adams (1958-61)

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1

Read "Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1" reviewed by Skip Heller


There are certain musicians who embody eras, even if they're not the player with their picture on the cover. In our contemporary musical climate, Greg Leisz comes to mind. Since 1991, he has popped up on hundreds of acclaimed albums, and without ever really changing his style, he has become centrifugal beyond the considerations of genre ...

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Article: Interview

Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word

Read "Gary Bartz At 80: On Jazz Is Dead, Miles Davis And Why Improvisation Is A Dirty Word" reviewed by Rob Garratt


It's hard to talk to Gary Bartz about music. Not because he's a difficult or reluctant interviewee—quite the opposite. In fact, the 80-year-old saxophonist is refreshingly unguarded and garrulous when looking back over his formidable six-decade musical career. It's just finding the right words that's the tricky part. Like many musicians, jazz isn't one ...

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Article: Album Review

John Hasselback III: Entrance

Read "Entrance" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Entrance, New York-based trumpeter John Hasselback III's debut recording, is basically a quintet date on which Hasselback shares the front line on four tracks each with saxophonist Wayne Escoffery or trombonist Steve Davis. If one is known by the company he keeps, that's a rather persuasive frame of reference. Hasselback wrote every number save one, the ...

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News: Obituary

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, a legendary, international Blues and Gospel entertainer, songwriter, music producer, actress, music historian, community activist and motivational spokeswoman, who broke barriers for African American female Blues performers with poise, dignity and sophistication, died on March 19, 2021. In addition to her musicianship, Evans is noted as an activist for parity in music education as ...

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Article: Interview

Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist

Read "Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Franco Ambrosetti, a horn player from Switzerland, has a unique perspective on music and art. Because his vantage point is different than many musicians, having held the position as CEO of a significant company in Europe. He plays trumpet and flugelhorn with a rich tone and an approach that has matured over time, shifting from a ...

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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 ...

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Article: Radio

Donald Byrd & Lou Donaldson

Read "Donald Byrd & Lou Donaldson" reviewed by Joe Dimino


In honor of the new jazz book Sittin' In by Jeff Gold, we dedicate an entire hour to the music of the 1940s and 1950s. The hour begins with Charlie Parker and ends with Dizzy Gillespie. In between those titans, we profile a huge swath of jazz music and hear from the author about the book, ...


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