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MUSICIAN Born:

Frank Wess

Frank Wess (born January 4, 1922 in Kansas City) is an American jazz musician, who has played saxophone (both alto and tenor) and flute. He began with classical music and played in Oklahoma. He later switched to jazz on moving to Washington, D. C. and by nineteen was working in the Big Bands. His career would be interrupted during World War II although he did play with a military band in the period. On returning from service he joined Billy Eckstine's orchestra. He returned to DC a few years after this and received a degree in flute at the city's Modern School Of Music. From 1953 he joined Count Basie's band, playing flute and tenor sax

ARTICLE: RADIO

David Billingsley, Charles Mingus, Bobby Watson and more

Read "David Billingsley, Charles Mingus, Bobby Watson and more" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we profile a lot of jazz musicians that we interviewed during the pandemic. We begin with Minneapolis pianist David Billingsley with a song off his new debut CD Hymns from Grandma's Living Room. We also feature Henry Robinett, Gary Smulyan and DreamRoot. Finally, we profile a new track off Bobby Watson's latest album Keepin' ...

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Frank Wess + Kenny Burrell

Frank Wess + Kenny Burrell

Some of the hippest small-group albums recorded in the mid-1950s were those by Frank Wess for Savoy. These include Flutes and Reeds (1955), Opus de Jazz (1955) led by Milt Jackson, North South East Wess (1956), Trombones & Flutes (1956), No Count led by Frank Foster, Jazz for Playboys (1957), Flute Suite and Jazz Is Busting ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Michael Weiss: Soul Journey

Read "Michael Weiss: Soul Journey" reviewed by Luke Seabright

Bebop is a complex craft, and like all crafts the only way to get any good at it is by learning from those who mastered it before you. Jamming through the night, getting on to that bandstand and firing away your best improvised lines, jousting with your partners (be they friends or strangers) like in the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jay Thomas: We Always Knew

Read "Jay Thomas: We Always Knew" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Legacy is a fleeting notion. It is incomprehensible in real time when a career hits high points, when certain doors open to quantitative opportunity. Jay Thomas can tell you a thing or two about that, based on his own personal experience as a jazz artist over half a century. His story includes playing on the Seattle ...

NEWS: RECORDING

A Family Feeling: Temple University Jazz Faculty Record New Music By Bruce Barth

A Family Feeling: Temple University Jazz Faculty Record New Music  By Bruce Barth

In June, six members of Temple University’s noted jazz faculty gathered in Bunker Hill Studio in Brooklyn to record eight tracks of new music composed by Bruce Barth. Terell Stafford, director of Jazz Studies at Temple, lead the charge and the result, Family Feeling, is a reflection on the warm camaraderie between Terell Stafford (trumpet); Dick ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: Innerpeace: Rare Spiritual Funk And Jazz Gems

Read "Innerpeace: Rare Spiritual Funk And Jazz Gems" reviewed by Chris May

It took a few years for producer Bob Shad's newly formed Mainstream Records to nail its direction in the 1960s. A less than auspicious start was releasing the first singles by the latter-day Trump-boosting halfwit Ted Nugent. A better move, given hindsight, was releasing the debut album by Janis Joplin's Big Brother & The Holding Company. ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Good Morning Blues

Read "Good Morning Blues" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray William James Basie 399 Pages ISBN: 978-1-5179-0143-1 University of Minnesota Press 2016 (1985) In May 1959 Count Basie and his Orchestra played a “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue," like back in Kansas City, hosted by Roulette ...


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