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Fletcher Henderson

The bands Fletcher Henderson led in the 1920s and 1930s were vitally significant incubators of new developments in jazz. Henderson played a key role in bringing improvisatory jazz styles from New Orleans and other areas of the country to New York, where they merged with a dance-band tradition that relied heavily on arrangements written out in musical notation. The new music that developed at Henderson's hands and under his mentorship allowed the composer's art to flourish, yet left room for the improvisatory talents of individual jazz soloists—striking a balance that has influenced jazz ever since. Born in Cuthbert, Georgia, on December 18, 1897, James Fletcher Henderson enjoyed the best education available, his father was a teacher and a school principal, and both his parents played the piano

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling

Read "Swirling" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Though Sun Ra departed Earth in 1993, his music has continued to thrive, first under the stewardship of John Gilmore and, since 1995, by the remarkable Marshall Allen who turned 96 in May 2020. A live Arkestra show still contains many of the elements that have been present since the 1950s and '60s-- color, pageantry and ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017) was a revered pianist, composer and teacher of great capability and range who, in addition to his own achievements, inspired and influenced many jazz musicians in both the mainstream and avant-garde categories. Largely self-taught as a result of a personal decision to follow his own path, and early on pursuing church music, ...

ARTICLE: HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Ornette Coleman: An Outsider Cracks the Egg

Read "Ornette Coleman: An Outsider Cracks the Egg" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Part 1 | Part 2 There are two ways a musician can make a significant impact on jazz. One is to mobilize virtuosity and knowledge to push the current boundaries of the music. There are a number who fall in this category, but unassailable examples are Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. The ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Braxton with Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea & Much More

Read "Braxton with Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea & Much More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We're going everywhere this week. We offer you twenty-first century music from Joshua Redman, Michael Sarian, magnificent Vanessa Perica, Nicole Mitchell and Manu Katche. Roll up the rug for Benny Goodman's trio, Fletcher Henderson and Rex Stewart(with Johnny Hodges on soprano and Harry Carney on clarinet). Our Charlie Parker @ 100 celebration continues as we start ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra: Live In Kalisz 1986

Read "Live In Kalisz 1986" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In December 1986, the Sun Ra Arkestra performed at the 13th International Jazz Piano Festival in Kalisz. The Arkestra was making its first ever appearance in Poland and the historic occasion was duly recorded for posterity. The tapes, however, languished in a basement, unloved and forgotten, until they were unearthed over three decades later. Thanks to ...

AACM: Together We Are Stronger

Read "AACM: Together We Are Stronger" reviewed by Chris May

With the passing in 2017 of the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Phil Cohran, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, formed in Chicago in 1965, lost the last two of the four musicians who organised its inaugural meeting. But with two succeeding generations of standard bearers stepping up to the plate, the AACM ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Brilliant Corners 2020

Read "Brilliant Corners 2020" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Brilliant Corners 2020 Various Venues jny:Belfast, N. Ireland February 27 to March 7, 2020 Maybe it's global warming, for just as the first bloom of spring in these strange times appears in February, so too, Brilliant Corners starts ever earlier. From its first, modest edition over three days ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1

Read "Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 Poet, lyricist, rock musician, producer and scriptwriter—Pete Brown has covered a lot of bases in his six decades in music and literature. His career embodies that era that began with the Beatles' “Love Me Do" in October 1962 and ended in January 1969 with the band playing live on ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time

Read "Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time" reviewed by Arthur R George

Fifty years ago this past year, Coleman Hawkins, considered the father of tenor saxophone in jazz, passed away. Thelonious Monk was pacing back and forth in the hallway outside Hawkins' hospital room when the saxophonist succumbed at age 64 on the morning of May 19, 1969, from pneumonia and other complications. Monk was holding a short ...


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