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Elvin Jones

Elvin Ray Jones was a jazz drummer. He was born in Pontiac, Michigan, the youngest child in a family of ten. His father worked for General Motors. Two of Jones' brothers were also jazz musicians: Hank (piano), and Thad (trumpet/flugelhorn). Elvin began playing professionally in the 1940s, working with the Army Special Services program, Operation Happiness, and in 1949 had a short-lived gig in Detroit's Grand River Street club. Eventually he went on to play with artists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wardell Gray. In 1955, after a failed audition for the Benny Goodman band, he found work in New York, joining Charles Mingus's band, and releasing a record called J is for Jazz. In 1960, he joined with the classic John Coltrane Quartet, which also included bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner. Jones and Coltrane often played extended duet passages, both giving and taking energy through their instruments

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: YEAR IN REVIEW

Ian Patterson's Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Ian Patterson's Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Ian Patterson

A year like no other produced a terrific amount of great music, much of inspired by--or in spite of—the surreal circumstances. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases of the year. A huge thank you to all the musicians, record labels, studios, agents, promotors and virtual technicians who helped keep us relatively ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Hanksgiving - A Tribute to Hank Mobley - Companion Mixtape

Read "Hanksgiving - A Tribute to Hank Mobley - Companion Mixtape" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This mixtape is a fun-filled companion to the two parts of our show “Hanksgiving -A Tribute to Hank Mobley," giving even more insight in the legacy of Hank Mobley as a saxophonist and composer through some of his gems and some of the best renditions of his tunes. [Listen to Part 1 and Part 2]

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

John Densmore: The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians (And Other Artists)

Read "John Densmore: The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians (And Other Artists)" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists) John Densmore 240 pages ISBN: #978-0306846236 Hachette Books2020 John Densmore's third book, The Seekers, carries the unusual distinction of featuring a blurb on its back cover that actually speaks accurately to the contents inside. John Doe, co-founder of seminal punk ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Allison Miller: Driving the Balance

Read "Allison Miller: Driving the Balance" reviewed by John Pietaro

Allison Miller sits at the vintage Camco drumkit in her Brooklyn home, playing post-bop over a rolling samba. Within the shimmer of an age-darkened cymbal, she switches from sticks to brushes, filling the room with the shush of summer rain, then a sudden hailstorm as her arms, aerial, traverse snare, tom-toms and cymbals in a blurring, ...

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May

Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020

Read "Karl Ackermann’s Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

2020 abridged: A staggering loss of lives and livelihoods. We had worldwide social unrest, wildfires, locust swarms of Biblical proportions, killer hornets, killer drones, kids in cages; an impeachment, an election, an attempted insurrection. Oh, and Poland accidentally invaded the Czech Republic. It was not exactly the Gilded Age. Yet, amid doom-scrolling, the creative music community ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Elina Duni & Rob Luft: Songs Of Love And Exile

Read "Elina Duni & Rob Luft: Songs Of Love And Exile" reviewed by Chris May

The British guitarist Rob Luft has already released one of the great albums of 2020 with Life Is The Dancer (Edition), which came out back in the spring. Now Luft notches up another 2020 highlight with the collaborative Lost Ships (ECM), jointly conceived and co-led with the Albanian-Swiss singer Elina Duni. By turns passionate and grave, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - the Companion Mixtape

Read "The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - the Companion Mixtape" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Compiling a radio playlist is both incredibly satisfying and quite frustrating. Two hours are so quick to fill and one has to often leave out a great number of tracks that would deserve attention but, for a reason or another (length, similarities to other selection, need for variety and flow etc.), don't find a natural spot ...


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Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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