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Frank Foster

Born September 23, 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Frank Benjamin Foster III began his long musical career at age eleven, when he took up the clarinet. Two years later he began playing alto saxophone, advancing technically to the point of performing with local dance bands at age 14. He began to compose and arrange at 15, and led his own 12- piece band while still only a senior in high school. Foster attended Wilberforce University, then left for Detroit in 1949 (with trumpeter Snooky Young) where he played with such local musicians as Wardell Gray. Upon finishing his military service in 1953, Foster joined Count Basie's big band (replacing Eddie Lockjaw Davis) on the recommendation of Ernie Wilkins

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

Vanessa Perica: Love is a Temporary Madness

Read "Love is a Temporary Madness" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even as the year 2020 has slid ignobly into the dustbin of history, music-lovers have been buoyed by a number of encouraging signs that the future of big-band jazz is in capable hands. While splendid recordings by old hands Mike Barone, Steve Spiegl, Mark Masters and Maria Schneider have helped keep the flame burning brightly, their ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Claire Daly Band: Rah! Rah!

Read "Rah! Rah!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Award-winning baritone saxophonist Claire Daly isn't blowing her own horn on Rah! Rah! (well, she is, but more about that in a moment)--she's saluting one of her musical inspirations, the late Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a once-in-a-blue- moon talent who left us far too soon. Kirk, who lived only forty-two years, was quite literally a multi-instrumentalist, often ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and The Light

Read "The Shadows and The Light" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war film, Apocalypse Now, was released in 1979. After sitting for 2 and ½ hours, a viewer might have hoped for theater management to stand at the exits to hand out pamphlets explaining what had just gone down. The conflict had ended 4 years prior, and most war movies, pre- Vietnam, were ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Derrick Gardner & The Big dig! Band: Still I Rise

Read "Still I Rise" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Trumpeter Derrick Gardner, a Chicagoan who has performed around the world with a who's who of jazz luminaries from Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Foster to Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick Jr., to name only a few, traveled to Winnipeg, Canada, to assemble and record his Big Dig! Band, several sizes removed from ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Jazz in the Time of Pandemic

Read "Jazz in the Time of Pandemic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The first week of April 2020: images crystalized the daily news reports; a dystopian Times Square; Piazza Navona in Rome, emptied of tourists, Barcelona's Basílica de la Sagrada Família standing like an abstract ruin, makeshift morgues in hospital parking lots. The jazz world is small but still a microcosm of society with interdependencies that run deep. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Lamkin: Transitions

Read "Transitions" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Dr. John R. Lamkin, II has dedicated much of his career to bringing music to students and the community while recording little, so his many Mid-Atlantic fans will welcome Transitions, his first release in decades. His only prior album was Hot (Self-Produced, 1984), where the trumpeter wrote all but one composition. As Director of Bands and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco at the Kimmel Center

Read "The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco at the Kimmel Center" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia with Joey DeFrancesco Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA June 1, 2019 The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP), under the leadership of trumpeter Terell Stafford, has produced a series of action-packed concerts at the Kimmel Center, featuring special guest artists, all ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Vanessa Rubin: The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron

Read "The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Tadd Dameron is regarded as the great romantic of bebop-era jazz composers, a writer with a talent for creating smooth, memorable melodies that could evoke real emotion. Most of his works are known mainly as instrumentals but Vanessa Rubin has compiled lyrics written for some of his tunes, had new lyrics written for others and even ...


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