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Musician

Elvin Jones

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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

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: In Pictures

Seeing Jazz: The Photography of Luciano Rossetti

Read "Seeing Jazz: The Photography of Luciano Rossetti" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


As a jazz venue, the mid-town Manhattan club Royal Roost had a short life span. The Royal Roost opened in 1948, but the jazz scene had moved past it less than two years later. In Greenwich Village, twenty-five-year-old photographer Herman Leonard had just opened his first photography studio to the south. A bebop fan, he was ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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]

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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 ...

5

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, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...


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