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Hal McKusick



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 ...


Article: Profile

Nick Travis: A New York Studio Jazzman

Read "Nick Travis: A New York Studio Jazzman" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

It may well be that in the world of the Internet, no one is ever truly forgotten. That's obviously true of people commonly known as “the great and the good." Yet even in the more obscure branches of human endeavor, the principle holds. Nowhere, more so, it seems, than in music, and even in ...

News: Video / DVD

Five Solos by Hal McKusick

Five Solos by Hal McKusick

Yesterday, I was thinking about the late Hal McKusick. So I thought I'd share five clips with you of Hal playing solos: Here's Hal on also saxophone playing Don't Worry About Me... Here's Hal on You're Everywhere... Here's Hal playing I'm Glad There Is You on clarinet... Here's Hal on alto saxophone playing Irresistible You... Here's ...


Article: Book Excerpts

Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank?

Read "Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank?" reviewed by Geoffrey Wills

The following is an excerpt from “Chapter 2: Early Encounters with Jazz" of Zappa and Jazz: Did it Really Smell Funny, Frank? by Geoffrey Wills (Matador, 2015). When, at the age of fourteen, Zappa entered Mission Bay High School in jny: San Diego in 1955, his first exposure to the elitist snobbery of ...


News: Video / DVD

Hal McKusick: You're Everywhere

Hal McKusick: You're Everywhere

Soon after I started this blog in 2007, I interviewed saxophonist Hal McKusick at length. Hal appeared on dozens of my favorite albums and his heart-touching tone was unmistakable. In the years that followed our initial conversation, we spoke every few weeks by phone. Hal was always generous with answers to my questions and hugely encouraging. ...


News: Obituary

Hal McKusick: 1924-2012

Hal McKusick: 1924-2012

Hal McKusick, an East Coast jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger whose seductively smooth sound, tireless work ethic and flawless technique were admired by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Johnny Mandel and every other musician he worked with since the early 1940s, died on April 10 of complications from a fractured hip. He was ...


Article: Interview

Ryan Truesdell: The Gil Evans Project

Read "Ryan Truesdell: The Gil Evans Project" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Imagine the commotion when previously unknown manuscripts of Beethoven or Bach were discovered. In the jazz world, the equivalent of such an event might occur with regard to the music of innovators like Duke Ellington or Gil Evans. Indeed, that is exactly what composer-arranger-conductor-producer Ryan Truesdell has uncovered with Evans' music. He researched and found a ...


News: Website

All About Jazz Musician Database Tops 24,000 Profiles

The All About Jazz Musician Center is growing by the day and has just eclipsed 24,000 musician profiles. AAJ profiles work a little like Wikipedia, where musicians, fans, industry folks can create and maintain them. Most of the profiles are created by an individual, but we now create skeleton profiles from CD reviews and calendar date ...


News: Interview

Hal McKusick: Cross Section-Saxes

Hal McKusick: Cross Section-Saxes

Hal McKusick was and remains a jazz musician's musician. Even in his earliest days in Boyd Raeburn's band in the mid-1940s, Hal's distinct sound on the alto saxophone was admired by bandmates Lucky Thompson, Oscar Pettiford and Dizzy Gillespie as well as contemporaries like Charlie Parker, Claude Thornhill and Quincy Jones. Hal's ability to navigate the ...


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