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MUSICIAN Born:

Howard McGhee

McGhee was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but grew up in Detroit. He first learned to play the clarinet and tenor sax, then switched to trumpet. From 1936 to 1940 he travelled around playing in territory bands. In 1941 he led his own band at Detroit's Club Congo. After a short stint with Lionel Hampton he joined Andy Kirk, with whom he made his first recording, his own McGhee Special. During the AFM ban, he spent a year with Charlie Barnet, but returned to Kirk in 1943. In 1944, jobs in the bands of Georgie Auld and Count Basie were followed by his joining the Coleman Hawkin's quintet for half a year in Los Angeles

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

Hard bop was the jazz centre of the world from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, producing many hundreds of immortal albums. Trying to whittle these down to a definitive Top Ten is fun—but it is a subjective and ultimately impossible exercise. In an attempt to dodge those hurdles, the list which ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tina Brooks Quintet: The Complete Recordings

Read "The Complete Recordings" reviewed by Chris May

Mosaic Records' spring 2020 release The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70, the second of the label's box sets devoted to the copiously recorded (and rightly so) Hank Mobley, prompts thoughts of another of Blue Note's singular hard-bop tenor saxophone stylists. Unlike Mobley, Tina Brooks was woefully under-recorded, making just four albums under his own ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Bird's Trumpets

Read "Bird's Trumpets" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Looking closely at all the trumpet players that played with Thelonious Monk in a piece I wrote in March 2018, I decided to continue the focus, and explore the trumpet players that played with Charlie Parker. As challenging as the trumpet is to play, playing Bebop raised the technical bar. Playing with Charlie Parker at fast ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz on Central Avenue - Bebop in Los Angeles (1945 - 1948)

Read "Jazz on Central Avenue - Bebop in Los Angeles (1945 - 1948)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Most of the pioneering bebop musicians we have featured in the past several programs were based in New York—Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson, Max Roach. While New York may have dominated the modern music scene, it wasn't the only scene. The wartime economy in southern California brought an influx of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Big Ten Inch Record

Read "Big Ten Inch Record" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

As the great Sigmund Freud said, sometimes an EP is just an EP. In this case, actually, it's six EP's, as the boys look at that chimera of the early LP era, the ten-inch long-playing record, focusing on releases from the early to mid-nineteen fifties on Blue Note and Fantasy, along with a Resonance Records' Record ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2018: The Year in Jazz

Read "2018: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2018 was a busy one for the jazz world. The genre's version of the #MeToo movement resulted in a new Code of Conduct and other efforts to make the music workplace more equitable. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to St. Petersburg, Russia. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which ran a high-profile ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charlie Parker: Now's The Time

Read "Now's The Time" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the pantheon of jazz saxophonists, Charlie Parker has been among the most transformational of artists, despite not living nearly long enough to fulfill his potential. Parker's lifetime, as a principal architect of bebop, and a self-destructive force, has been documented ad nauseam but his music continues to significantly influence new generations. Since Parker's death in ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II

Read "Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2 Part 1 of Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands looked at the roots, drivers and challenges of the travelling groups who brought jazz music to the non-urban areas of the Southern Plains, through one-night-stands, in often impromptu venues. A black phenomenon, often misappropriated by white musicians, promoters, ...


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