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Fats Waller

Jazz music's first organist and one of the giants of piano jazz Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller was born on May 21, 1904 in Harlem into a musical family. His grandfather was an accomplished violinist and his mother was the church organist. His family had moved to New York City from Virginia in the late 1880s and his father was the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. His first exposure of music was in the form of church hymns and organ music, an instrument that he was taught to play by his mother and the church musical director. The latter introduced him to the works of J.S. Bach which he played on and off for the rest of his life

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any big-band album that opens with a rollicking Four Brothers-style saxophone soli is all but guaranteed to capture one's ear and interest. As it turns out, the buoyant “Fill in the Gap," on which the sax section sparkles, is but the first of many sonic delights on The Third Quarter, a marvelous new CD by Philadelphia-based ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Will Glaser: Climbing In Circles

Read "Climbing In Circles" reviewed by Chris May

Women musicians seem more inclined to describe their albums as “playful" than their male counterparts. We need not spend time speculating on the reasons for that here. Playful, however, is the word that best sums up this delightful trio album by two generations of male musicians. Young bloods drummer Will Glaser and saxophonist Matthew Herd have ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales

Read "Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Celebrating 40 years as a jazz broadcaster, music producer, and writer this year, Mark Ruffin--perhaps best known as the program director for the Real Jazz channel on SiriusXM --stands as one of jazz's unsung heroes. Countless artists owe their career successes and prominence to his tireless efforts, boundless enthusiasm and advocacy, and encyclopedic knowledge of the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Read "@ Bremen 1964 & 1975" reviewed by Chris May

Four hours of previously unissued, premier-league music by Charles Mingus is something to shout about, and @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 is about as good as the bassist and composer's posthumously released live albums get. Four CDs chronicle two extended, intense performances recorded in Germany by Radio Bremen. Both gigs featured all-star bands and both are ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jason "Spicy G" Goldman: Hypnotized

Read "Hypnotized" reviewed by Edward Blanco

An award-winning producer, songwriter, composer, arranger, educator and multi-instrumentalist, Jason Goldman (aka “Spicy G") presents the EP Hypnotized, delivering another enchanting masterpiece production of music from The Great American Songbook. Best known for his collaboration with Michael Bublé, Goldman's credits extend to writing and arranging for the likes of David Foster, Herbie Hancock and Meghan Trainor ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

New releases & Anniversary Blue Notes

Read "New releases & Anniversary Blue Notes" reviewed by Marc Cohn

First show of the month means Blue Notes! But there's only one 50th anniversary celebration: Big John Patton's Memphis to New York Spirit. Never fear, though, there's more from Blue Note ahoy: the 60th anniversary of Back to the Tracks from saxophonist Tina Brooks; a great new band, Artemis; and classic James P. Johnson from BN-27. ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

Read "4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition" reviewed by Ian Patterson

4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Cricoteka Museum, Kraków, Poland/Various international locations on-line July 8-10, 2020 When the fanfare and drum roll had died down the big moment arrived. After three days of on-line competition, the six finalists waited anxiously in front of their screens, in Israel, The USA, Austria, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jason Moran: Promoting the Freedom Principles

Read "Jason Moran: Promoting the Freedom Principles" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Pianist, composer, conceptual artist Jason Moran on truth versus passion, promoting the “Freedom Principles," America's unfortunate way of forgetting the past, when innovation becomes rhetoric, what it means for African American musicians to move freely “from the stage to the table," the power dynamic in choosing repertoire, coming up in Houston among a generation of jazz ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I Wished on the Moon and The Jitterbug Waltz - Celebrating Rosemary Clooney and Fats Waller

Read "I Wished on the Moon and The Jitterbug Waltz - Celebrating Rosemary Clooney and Fats Waller" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The Memorial Day weekend broadcast included new releases from trumpeter Carl Saunders, guitarist Henry Robinett, vocalist Leslie Beukelman, pianist Carolina Calvache, groups DreamRoot and Ajoyo, plus birthday shoutouts to Rosemary Clooney (pictured), Jackie Cain, Fats Waller and Bob Dylan. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music in this time ...


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