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Jaki Byard

A musician that has spanned the generations of Jazz is Jaki Byard. Jaki Byard was born John Arthur Byard, Jr. on June 15, 1922 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His father was a member of the marching hands at the turn of the 20th century and played the trombone. His mother played the piano for the African Methodist Episcopalian Zion Church (AME). His maternal grandmother played the piano for the silent picture shows (visual movies without sound before "talking movies" were invented). It was on that piano that Jaki began his musical odyssey. When he was 8 years old, he started taking piano lessons from a piano teacher named Grace Johnson

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat

Read "Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Benjamin Koppel is an extraordinary Danish musician from an illustrious music family. He is all about music—of just about any kind. He's always absorbing it, discovering what there is to derive from it. A kind of restless desire to explore envelops him. He simplifies it in his own words: he's curious. It comes naturally to him. ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Frank Kimbrough: From Now to Forever - A Remembrance

Read "Frank Kimbrough: From Now to Forever - A Remembrance" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

On December 30, 2020, pianist Frank Kimbrough passed away at the age of 64. True to form, 2020 wreaked havoc until the end. The cause of death was not Covid-19, but the shock at the untimely loss of a revered artist was not any less powerful. Frank Kimbrough had the rare gift of touching ...

@ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Label: Sunnyside Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Disc 1: Hope So Eric; Fables Of Faubus. Disc 2: Piano Solo; Sophisticated Lady; Parkeriana; Meditations On Integration. Disc 3: Sue’s Changes; For Harry Carney. Disc 4: Free Cell Block F ‘Tis Nazi USA; Black Bat And Poles; Fables Of Faubus; Duke Ellington’s Sound Of Love; Cherokee; Remember Rockefeller At Attica; Devil’s Blues.

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020

Read "Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Despite the circumstances, this was a high volume year for album releases, rich in both quantity and quality. Mine is not a ranked listing, but more or less in reverse chronological order. Since I wrote fewer album reviews than average, for the first time I have included several releases that I did not review myself.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Read "@ Bremen 1964 & 1975" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

It is 1964 and the big bass emperor rules the old continent as he commanded every stage he set foot on. So @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 just does not sound right. Charles Mingus Swings Bad Ass and Liberates Your Body and Your Mind @ Bremen sounds way more like it. For—as much as anything in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Read "@ Bremen 1964 & 1975" reviewed by Chris May

Four hours of previously unissued, premier-league music by Charles Mingus is something to shout about, and @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 is about as good as the bassist and composer's posthumously released live albums get. Four CDs chronicle two extended, intense performances recorded in Germany by Radio Bremen. Both gigs featured all-star bands and both are ...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone

Read "Hal Galper: Adventures In The Zone" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The career of Hal Galper has earned the pianist acclaim as both a performer and educator. Perhaps most importantly, it has drawn attention to his contributions to the music as a true innovator. While other pianists of his era gained more recognition, Galper sought out a career path where acclaim would be genuine among his peers ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz from the Black Saint Label (1975 - 1989)

Read "Jazz from the Black Saint Label (1975 - 1989)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Ironically, the record label that most consistently offered an outlet for the American jazz avant-garde in the 1980s was the Italian Black Saint / Soul Note imprint. On All About Jazz, Jeff Stockton wrote, ..."from 1984 to 1989 Black Saint won the Down Beat critics poll for “Best Label" and “Best Producer" and established itself as ...


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Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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