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Gunther Schuller

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The composer Gunther Schuller is, famously, a man of many musical pursuits. He began his professional life as a horn player in both the jazz and classical worlds, working as readily with Miles Davis and Gil Evans as with Toscanini; he was principal horn of the Cincinnati Symphony from age sixteen and later of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra until 1959. In the 1950s he began a conducting career focusing largely on contemporary music, and thereafter conducted most of the major orchestras of the world in a wide range of works, including his own. He was central in precipitating a new stylistic marriage between progressive factions of jazz and classical, coining the term "Third Stream" and collaborating in the development of the style with John Lewis, the Modem Jazz Quartet, and others. An educator of extraordinary influence, he has been on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Yale University; he was, for many years, head of contemporary music activities (succeeding Aaron Copland) as well as a director of the Tanglewood Music Center, and served as President of the New England Conservatory

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Article: Film Review

The Modern Jazz Quartet: From Residency To Legacy

Read "The Modern Jazz Quartet: From Residency To Legacy" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


There are plenty of fictional stories about utopian societies where life is good and everybody gets along. Of course, the word utopia literally means “no place," suggesting that an actual utopia is nothing more than an illusion, but that hasn't stopped people from trying. Although there are many utopian societies that didn't work, there are a ...

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Article: Album Review

Mike Gibbs: Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes

Read "Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes" reviewed by Chris May


With British jazz in 2021 in better shape than ever before, record companies are being emboldened to revisit their tape libraries and reissue historic but long deleted albums. At the same time, recently formed specialist labels such as Jazz In Britain are making available club and radio broadcast recordings which have never been released before. The ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gunther Schuller

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gunther Schuller

All About Jazz is celebrating Gunther Schuller's birthday today! The composer Gunther Schuller is, famously, a man of many musical pursuits. He began his professional life as a horn player in both the jazz and classical worlds, working as readily with Miles Davis and Gil Evans as with Toscanini; he was principal horn of the Cincinnati ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3" reviewed by Chuck Israels


Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2

Read "My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2" reviewed by Chuck Israels


Bassist and composer Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. He studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his parents, and at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. A year at Massachusetts ...

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Article: Interview

Drummer George Schuller Talks about Lee Konitz

Read "Drummer George Schuller Talks about Lee Konitz" reviewed by S.G Provizer


George Schuller performed as percussionist with the recently deceased saxophonist Lee Konitz on and off since 1992. I covered one of their last jny: Boston concerts here. George has lived in Brooklyn since 1992 but is well-known in Boston. His father, Gunther Schuller, was a composer and musician of note and served as President of the ...

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Article: Radio

The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)

Read "The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Nurtured in the seminal recordings of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor in the mid to late 1950s, the jazz avant—garde came into its own in the 1960s with their continuing creations, those of John Coltrane already featured in this program and those of next generation players, Joe Harriott and Albert Ayler. Defining statements of the free ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Vintage Dolphy

Read "Vintage Dolphy" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Vintage Dolphy appeared originally in 1986/7 on both vinyl and CD. Featuring recordings from three separate live performances from Eric Dolphy, two at Carnegie Hall, both with his own quartet and in two 'third stream' settings devised by Gunther Schuller, the album provided intriguing insights into Dolphy's improvisational skills and approach. Were this not enough, the ...

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Article: Profile

The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining


There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George ...


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