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Duke Pearson


Duke Pearson was an American jazz pianist and composer. All Music Guide notes him as being a "big part in shaping the Blue Note label's hard bop direction in the 1960s as a producer. Born Columbus Calvin Pearson, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, Pearson first studied brass instruments at the early age of five, but dental issues forced him to pursue another instrument and he started to learn the piano. His budding talent moved his uncle to give him the nickname Duke, a reference to jazz legend Duke Ellington. He attended Clack College while also playing trumpet in groups in the Atlanta area before joining the United States Army in the early 1950s. Pearson continued to perform with different ensembles in Georgia and Florida, including with Tab Smith and Little Willie John, before he moved to New York, New York in January of 1959


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Quinsin Nachoff, Jimmy Smith, and Wadada Leo Smith

Read "Quinsin Nachoff, Jimmy Smith, and Wadada Leo Smith" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This episode features some exploratory music from Quinsin Nachoff and Trevor Dunn, organ jazz from Jimmy Smith and Sigurdur Flosason, and electric jazz-rock wanderings from Wadada Leo Smith. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) 00:00 Mose ...


Article: Album Review

Geoffrey Dean Quartet: Foundations

Read "Foundations" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Foundations is a generally swinging debut recording by Washington, DC-based pianist and educator Geoffrey Dean's quartet. The studio date pays tribute to the groundwork laid by its storied predecessors, especially those steeped in the hard bop movement that helped change the course of jazz, well before Dean or his sidemen were born. The ...


News: Recording

Washington D.c. Based Jazz Pianist Geoffrey Dean Releases His New Quartet Album 'Foundations' Featuring Harish Raghavan, Justin Copeland, Eric Binder

Washington D.c. Based Jazz Pianist Geoffrey Dean Releases His New Quartet Album 'Foundations' Featuring Harish Raghavan, Justin Copeland, Eric Binder

Dr. Geoffrey Dean is a jazz pianist, composer, author and educator currently performing in the Washington D.C. area. Dean has recorded and performed with notable jazz musicians across the globe including Terell Stafford, Steve Turre, Greg Tardy, and many others. Dr. Dean recently published an educational book on jazz harmony titled Kenny Kirkland's Harmonic and Rhythmic ...


Article: Album Review

Blue Moods: Swing & Soul

Read "Swing & Soul" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Swing & Soul is the second in a series of recordings by Blue Moods, one of the projects initiated by Posi-Tone Records producer Marc Free to attract new listeners to jazz. The release showcases a collection of compositions by pianist Duke Pearson, an underrecognized figure who worked for Blue Note as an A&R man, arranger, and ...


Article: Album Review

Lucas Pino: Covers

Read "Covers" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Covers is a quartet date in which New York-based tenor saxophonist Lucas Pino “covers" half a dozen generally pleasing songs written by his contemporaries, alongside one each by Charlie Parker ("Relaxin' at Camarillo") and Duke Pearson ("New Girl"). Pino's smooth, articulate tenor saxophone is reinforced by guitarist Alex Goodman, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Allan Mednard. ...


Article: Album Review

Ron Blake: Mistaken Identity

Read "Mistaken Identity" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Once hailed as a promising young lion, Puerto Rico-born saxophonist Ron Blake is more a crafty old fox these days, bringing his wealth of experience and undeniable talent to bear on Mistaken Identity, his first album as leader in fifteen years. To assure a broad comfort zone, Blake invited guitarist Bobby Broom, a ...


Article: Live Review

Detroit Jazz Festival 2023: A Tribute to a Great Jazz City

Read "Detroit Jazz Festival 2023: A Tribute to a Great Jazz City" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Detroit Jazz Festival 2023 Hart Plaza & Campus Martius Detroit, MI September 1-4, 2023 Opening night is always a gas. Whether it takes the form of the annual rite of spring in baseball, the long anticipated opening of a Broadway play, or for that matter, the opening salvo of a world ...


Article: Album Review

Joe La Barbera: World Travelers

Read "World Travelers" reviewed by Dave Linn

Drummer Joe La Barbera has an extensive and impressive resume. At the age of 20, he played in the second drum chair for the Buddy Rich Big Band before driving the 1972 stellar lineup of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd. In 1978, he was offered the prestigious opportunity to be part of the acclaimed (and what turned ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Anest, Kendrick, & McKinney: Live at the Blue LLama, Volume 1 & 2

Read "Anest, Kendrick, & McKinney: Live at the Blue LLama, Volume 1 & 2" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

When it comes to talent, there's no shortage of gifted jazz artists that call Michigan their home. The Jones brothers long ago put Detroit on the map, but water-tight music programs at Michigan State and the University of Michigan have produced a thriving community of vital musicians. On any given evening, there's live jazz to be ...


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