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Musician

Jimmy Blanton

Born:

In his short tenure with Duke Ellington, Jimmy Blanton became the first great double bass virtuoso in jazz. Blanton had both the technique and the fine tone to take this style of playing to higher levels. Blanton took the bass, which had previously been used only to keep time and lay down a basic harmonic foundation, to a new dimension where it became an instrument capable of horn-like solos. Blanton truly turned the musical world onto the possibilities of using the bass as a melodic instrument, both bowed and plucked. His uniqueness lay not only in what he played, but how he played. His influence on generations of bassists has been monumental. James "Jimmy" Blanton was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October of 1918

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Article: Interview

Pianist Joe Block: At the Start of His Big Bang

Read "Pianist Joe Block: At the Start of His Big Bang" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


According to cosmologists, our universe started as a tiny speck and within a fraction of a second exploded into a huge ever-expanding space with all the galaxies, stars, and planets condensing out of the dispersed matter within it. This picture of the origins of the cosmos provides an apt metaphor for the way in which some ...

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Article: Interview

Bill Charlap: Intellect And Emotion

Read "Bill Charlap: Intellect And Emotion" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


"I don't ever remember a time when I didn't play the piano," reflects pianist Bill Charlap, who has become one of the giants of his generation on his instrument of choice, as evidenced by the array of other great players with whom he has performed. With his deft and agile approach he can summon a fiery ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Solos & Duets: Dave Rimpus, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson, Mingus and more

Read "Solos & Duets: Dave Rimpus, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson, Mingus and more" reviewed by David Brown


In a duo performance, musicians become instrumental equals. The interchange of ideas and flow of music is like a conversation. And for the artist who performs solo, there is no place to hide. Today, we present a smorgasbord of solo and duo performances from Coleman Hawkins to Colin Stetson, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson to Duke ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Meet Mulgrew Miller

Read "Meet Mulgrew Miller" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2002. All About Jazz: You were born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and grew up listening to blues, gospel and R&B music. What attracted you to jazz? Mulgrew Miller: The thing that pulled me toward jazz was jazz itself. By ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

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Article: Album Review

Emmet Cohen: Future Stride

Read "Future Stride" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


As proven onstage as well as on such percolating, locomotive recordings as 2018's self released Dirty In Detroit, Masters Legacy Series Vol 1 with Jimmy Cobb (Cellar Live, 2016), 2018's Masters Legacy Series Vol 2 with Ron Carter (Cellar Live), and his regular Monday Night Quarantine Jams on Facebook, pianist Emmet Cohen makes his music with ...

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Article: Album Review

Allen Shawn / Michael Bisio: Improvisations

Read "Improvisations" reviewed by Mark Corroto


In this new world of fake news and alternative facts, you may like to challenge the title of pianist Allen Shawn and bassist Michael Bisio's Improvisations. This music is so properly presented, it has all the elements of composed music. To acknowledge these eight tracks as instant composing is sort of mind-blowing. Those immersed ...

Article: Album Review

Ben Flocks: Mask of the Muse

Read "Mask of the Muse" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Ogni tanto nel mondo del jazz emerge un sax tenore orientato al vintage. Predilige le ballad, che sviluppa con timbro caldo e suadente, privilegiando la bellezza melodica con malinconica seduzione. Mi vengono in mente quegli album degli anni cinquanta e sessanta con due innamorati fotografati al chiaro di luna: una musica leggera con accenti ...

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Article: Live Review

Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Charleston Music Hall

Read "Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Charleston Music Hall" reviewed by Martin McFie


Charleston Jazz Orchestra Charleston Music Hall Ellington at Newport 1956 Charleston, SC February 15, 2020 Duke Ellington's performance at the Newport Jazz festival in 1956 was the most important of his long career. After thirty years at the top of his profession, over a thousand tunes composed together with Billy ...


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