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George Coleman

No tenor saxophonist better epitomizes the robust muscularity of that heavyweight instrument of jazz expression than George Coleman. With brilliant technique and a deeply soulful tone firmly rooted in his hometown of Memphis, George has performed with many of jazz’ most legendary figures and influenced countless saxophonists during his half century in music. Growing up in Memphis’ rich musical environment of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, alongside such notables as Booker Little, Harold Mabern, Frank Strozier, Jamil Nasser, Hank Crawford, Phineas Newborn Jr., and blues immortal B.B. King, Coleman began to teach himself to play the alto saxophone in 1950, upon being profoundly affected by the music of Charlie Parker. So prodigious was his talent that George was soon performing locally and in 1952, at the age of 17, was invited to tour with B.B

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places

Read "Joe Farnsworth: Friends In High Places" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Joe Farnsworth is one of the top jazz drummers working today, with a resume that includes some of the absolute greats. His muscular swing and precise timekeeping have been attractive to employers like Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Eric Alexander, Benny Golson and many more. He likes to say ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet: You're It!

Read "You're It!" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Moderation is a virtue which pervades You're It!, a date co-led by drummer Mike Melito and pianist Dino Losito. It is a pleasure--and a relief—to hear a bop-influenced recording in which jazzmen (three in their middle years and one octogenarian) transcend influences and forge their own standards of performance. The record is impressive in part because ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frank Basile / Sam Dillon Quintet: 2 Part Solution

Read "2 Part Solution" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If recent albums serve as an accurate guidepost, hard bop is making a broad and most welcome comeback. In the wake of high-octane albums by Adam Shulman, Gary Dudzienski, Cory Weeds (who doubles as producer-in-chief at Cellar Records), Marshal Herridge, the TNEK Jazz Quintet, Jerry Bergonzi, Keith Oxman, John Sneider and others comes 2 Part Solution, ...

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Ranier: This Way

Read "This Way" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The versatile multi-instrumentalist Tom Ranier has enjoyed a busy career, playing pop styles, electronic music and jazz. Prolific as a collaborator—Terry Gibbs, George Coleman, Placido Domingo—he also boasts a grounding in classical music. This Way features Rainier playing mostly his own compositions on piano, synthesizers, saxophones and clarinets, with some help from his friends, guitarist Thom ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Vince Mendoza: Streams of Influence Flowing into a River of Sound

Read "Vince Mendoza: Streams of Influence Flowing into a River of Sound" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Vince Mendoza is a jazz composer, arranger, and conductor of consummate originality, skill, and adaptability, so much so that he has for several decades received frequent invitations and commissions from the whole gamut of ensembles and performers like the WDR Big Band, the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands, the Los Angeles and Berlin Philharmonic, and the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ray Blue: Work

Read "Work" reviewed by Edward Blanco

New York-based and bred, tenor saxophonist Ray Blue is no novice but a veteran player who has not received the accolades he so deserves. Perhaps after laying down and documenting an incredible volume of music on Work, the spotlight will shine a little brighter on this unheralded player. A composer and educator, as well as one ...


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