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Jay McShann

“The Last of the Blue Devils” Jay “Hootie” McShann landed in Kansas City in the 1930s, and along with fellow pianist and bandleader Count Basie, established what came to be known as the Kansas City sound: blues rooted jazz driven by swinging horns laid over a powerful but relaxed rhythmic pulse. James Columbus McShann was born in Muskogee, Okla., on Jan. 12, 1916. He learned to play piano as a young boy by tagging along with an older sister to piano lessons and imitating music he heard on the radio. One of the piano men he heard and would be influenced by was Earl “Fatha” Hines whose live broadcasts from Chicago’s Grand Terrace Hotel he would listen to

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John Scofield: One For Swallow

Read "John Scofield: One For Swallow" reviewed by Ian Patterson

From time to time in his storied career John Scofield will take a look over his shoulder and re-examine some of the music that has fed into his own, personal brand of jazz. The influences are many, for no matter the context that Scofield engineers, his distinctive sound always carries something of the blues, a little ...

John Scofield As A Sideman: The Best Of…

Read "John Scofield As A Sideman: The Best Of…" reviewed by Ian Patterson

John Scofield is a modern-day jazz legend, one of the most instantly recognizable voices on the guitar, and an inspiration to many. In a solo career that began in earnest in 1977, Scofield has carved out his own sound on dozens of albums, including his tribute to Steve Swallow, Swallow Tales (ECM, 2020), a trio album ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Masa Ishikawa: Dialogue

Read "Dialogue" reviewed by Don Phipps

The happy set of ten originals Masa Ishikawa composed for his album Dialogue suggests a budding talent. A visiting professor of jazz at the University of Iowa, Ishikawa, along with his bandmates, demonstrates a precise and light touch, where bluesy readings have just the right sense of playfulness. Born in Fukushima, Japan, Ishikawa teams ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Jay McShann

Jazz Musician of the Day: Jay McShann

All About Jazz is celebrating Jay McShann's birthday today! “The Last of the Blue Devils” Jay “Hootie” McShann landed in Kansas City in the 1930s, and along with fellow pianist and bandleader Count Basie, established what came to be known as the Kansas City sound: blues rooted jazz driven by swinging horns laid over a powerful ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America

Read "Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the latter part of the Jazz Age through the Swing Era, big bands dominated the jazz scene and a large part of the entertainment industry. After World War II, their fortunes declined, but their music soared to new heights, spurred on by innovative leaders, instrumentalists, and very importantly, the composers/arrangers who worked behind the scenes ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings

Read "Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Clarinet, harmonica and saxophonist, composer and bandleader and musical globetrotter Dexter Payne is the type of musician who is most often categorized as “difficult to categorize." Profoundly influenced by physical and spiritual journeys through the cultures of America, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil, Payne's recorded output checks off every box from Mississippi delta blues to ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Yardbird - The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker (1945 - 1948)

Read "Yardbird - The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker (1945 - 1948)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Emerging from the Jay McShann Orchestra in Kansas City and relentlessly curious about how to play the new music he heard in his head, Charlie Parker found sympathetic players in New York, especially Dizzy Gillespie. In November of 1945, Bird, as he was universally known, began to record with his own quintets and sextets in a ...


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