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ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles McPherson: The Art Of Teaching

Read "Charles McPherson: The Art Of Teaching" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Charles McPherson will always be known for his alto sax playing. A favorite of Hollywood director Clint Eastwood, McPherson first gained a national reputation playing in Charles Mingus' combo in the late 1950s. By 1964 he was recording as a leader (although he'd continue to perform with Mingus for another half-decade), and later re-created Charlie Parker's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Derrick Shezbie: The Ghost of Buddy Bolden

Read "The Ghost of Buddy Bolden" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Derrick Shezbie's sophomore release as leader--a mere 26 years after his highly acclaimed debut, Spodie's Back (Warner Bros., 1994)--finds the New Orleans trumpeter in much the same territory as a quarter-century ago: traditional jazz played with an assured combination of virtuosity and energy. But this should be no surprise. He came of age musically ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Spodie's Back

Read "Spodie's Back" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Still a teenager when signed to Quincy Jones' Warner Bros. subsidiary, Qwest, trumpeter Derrick Shezbie was nonetheless a veteran on this debut as leader--having been playing in the traditionalist Rebirth Brass Band for several years already. Produced by fellow Crescent City native Delfeayo Marsalis, “Spodie's Back" is a much more modernistic outing than anything ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sparky Parker: In the Dark

Read "In the Dark" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Crafting the perfect riff has been the goal of every blues and rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix first began channeling Albert King. Welding a memorable theme to jaw-dropping technique is the surest way for a budding guitarist to elevate his or her reputation. Houston, Texas' Sparky Parker's debut opens with one of those defining ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Big Joe & The Dynaflows: Rockhouse Party

Read "Rockhouse Party" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Big Joe Maher, a veritable institution in our nation's capitol, has been active in Washington's jazz and blues scene since the 1980s, when he put together his own combo and also began drumming for former Powerhouse guitarist Tom Principato's blues band. But it wasn't until he recorded his own debut, “Good Rockin' Daddy," in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bobby Broom: Soul Fingers

Read "Soul Fingers" reviewed by Jim Trageser

A thematic sequel to his 2007 release, Song and Dance, Bobby Broom's Soul Fingers is a deep-pile take on late 1960s--early 1970s pop, with Broom in his best Wes Montgomery vein, giving new soul-jazz life to one-time chart hits. And yet, it's also a break from Song and Dance because Broom has changed his ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

David Virelles: Igbó Alákọrin

Read "Igbó Alákọrin" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Maybe the most unexpected delight of 2018, avant-garde pianist David Virelles has released an utterly dyed-in-the-wool homage to his birthplace of Santiago de Cuba.Completely different from any other recording he's done to this point, this unreconstructed slice of midcentury Cuban music is so completely steeped in tradition, and Virelles' playing is so gorgeously virtuosic, ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label

Read "Alligator founder provides blues fans insider look at running of label" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Bitten By the Blues: The Alligator Records Story Bruce Iglauer with Patrick A. Roberts 338 Pages ISBN: 9780226129907 University of Chicago Press 2018 Bruce Iglauer's autobiographical history of Alligator Records is, in many ways, a story about technological change as much as it is about music. Yet, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brad Goode: That's Right!

Read "That's Right!" reviewed by Jim Trageser

With a fat, rich tone somewhere between French classical trumpeter Maurice André and the flugelhorn of Chuck Mangione, Brad Goode has the ultimate calling card for a jazz player: An immediately recognizable sound. The fact that he's also got an upper register to rival Maynard Ferguson makes Goode one of the most underknown of jazz players. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World

Read "Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World" reviewed by Jim Trageser

For casual fans and newcomers to the music of Jamaica (a growing number, given the popularity of the BBC / France 2 TV mystery series Death in Paradise and its Jamaican-infused soundtrack), the definitions of ska vs. reggae are likely too obscure to worry about. Much as only hardcore jazz fans worry about drilling into the ...


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