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Freddie Green

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Freddie Green was the guitarist in what is generally considered to be the best rhythm section in the history of big band jazz, and dubbed the All-American Rhythm Section, which featured Count Basie, bassist Walter Page, and drummer Jo Jones. Green continued with the band until 1987. From the start Green earned a reputation as a stylist without equal, fans and fellow players referred to him as Mr. Rhythm with the utmost respect. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on March 31, 1911, he began playing banjo at the age of 12. He got his first job locally with a band called the Nighthawks, then toured with the famous Jenkins Orphanage band, though Green himself was not a member of the school

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Article: Album Review

Ben Goldberg: Everything Happens To Be.

Read "Everything Happens To Be." reviewed by John Chacona


The music of Ben Goldberg seems to come from a place outside of time--or maybe it comes from several times simultaneously. Maybe it's the instruments he chooses; while the clarinet family has been on the comeback trail in jazz for a quarter century, it's a sound that invariably invokes the New Orleans of a century ago. ...

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Article: Album Review

Schapiro 17: Human Qualities

Read "Human Qualities" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Following its splendid premiere recording, an exploration of Miles Davis' unrivaled album Kind Of Blue (Capitol Records, 1959), composer/arranger Jon Schapiro's 17-member ensemble broadens its horizons on Human Qualities, pairing seven of the maestro's astute and adventurous charts with the Roberta Flack best-seller, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." This time around, Schapiro proves ...

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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 ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...

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Article: Profile

Bucky Pizzarelli: Remembering Family Rhythms On The Roads Of New Jersey

Read "Bucky Pizzarelli: Remembering Family Rhythms On The Roads Of New Jersey" reviewed by Arthur R George


Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, from 1926 to his passing at age 94 on April 1, lived his entire life in New Jersey, and had said that he couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Forget the turnpike jokes. Remember instead the nearness to jazz in New York, the closeness of family, shared driving in the New Jersey night, the ...

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Article: Interview

Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America

Read "Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


From the latter part of the Jazz Age through the Swing Era, big bands dominated the jazz scene and a large part of the entertainment industry. After World War II, their fortunes declined, but their music soared to new heights, spurred on by innovative leaders, instrumentalists, and very importantly, the composers/arrangers who worked behind the scenes ...

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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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Article: Catching Up With

Hristo Vitchev: Charting His Own Way

Read "Hristo Vitchev: Charting His Own Way" reviewed by David Becker


Hristo Vitchev isn't a typical guitar hero. Supremely fluent with his instrument, the prolific composer and performer would rather communicate than show off complex technique. His albums and concerts are full of gorgeously understated performances that leave just the right amount of room for the musicians to support each other and the audience to fill in ...

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Article: On and Off the Grid

Remembering Dominic Duval

Read "Remembering Dominic Duval" reviewed by Dom Minasi


Around 1985, I got a call from a close friend and my drummer at the time, Tony Lupo. Tony and I had been friends and playing together since 1963. At that time, we were both into Be-Bop and as we grew in age, our musical tastes and interest leaned towards outside playing. Of course, we never ...


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