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Jimmy Forrest

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Big-toned tenor saxophonists were nurtured, as a rule, in the big bands of the Thirties and Forties. Jimmy Forrest, known for his huge hit “Night Train,” was featured in the orchestras of Andy Kirk and Duke Ellington, and then struck out as prolific bandleader. He was a popular performer in the R&B circuit throughout the 1950s. Born and raised in St. Louis, Forrest worked in the Midwest with pianist Eddie Johnson, Fate Marable, the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, and Don Albert. Respected for his tone and his swinging style, Forrest worked with the Jay McShann Orchestra and the Andy Kirk big band (1942-1948)

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

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Article: Album Review

Schapiro 17: New Shoes: Kind of Blue at 60

Read "New Shoes: Kind of Blue at 60" reviewed by Jack Bowers


2019 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Miles Davis sextet's acclaimed album, Kind of Blue (Columbia). While the tributes didn't exactly pour in, New York-based composer / arranger Jon Schapiro took it upon himself not only to revisit that classic session but to re-orchestrate it for a large ensemble (the Schapiro 17) and flesh it out ...

News: Video / DVD

8 Clips: Boss Tenors

8 Clips: Boss Tenors

Boss tenors take charge. I don't know how else to put it. When a boss tenor plays a ballad, a mid-tempo tune or a barn-burner, the saxophone's sound is assertive and commanding, with a deep, forceful push in the lower register and a bluesy wail up top. Let me illustrate with eight clips: Here's Ben Webster ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

BIG January Birthday Salutes!

Read "BIG January Birthday Salutes!" reviewed by Marc Cohn


BIG, I mean BIG January birthday salutes on Gifts & Messages this week: 120th birth anniversary for trombonists Juan Tizol and Wilbur De Paris; 110th for Django Reinhardt; 100th for vocalist Betty Roché and saxophonist Jimmy Forrest; 90th for saxophonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist/vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery. And special birthday greetings to bassist Eberhard ...

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News: Video / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Riding the "Night Train" with Jimmy Forrest

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Riding the "Night Train" with Jimmy Forrest

What's the most performed song ever written by a jny: St. Louis jazz musician? While it's probably impossible to ever know with absolute certainty, at first one might guess that it's something from Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. After all, it is the best-selling jazz album of all time, and tunes from it such as  “All ...

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Article: Album Review

Daniel Smith: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues

Read "Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues" reviewed by Jack Bowers


All those who can resist reviewing--or reading a review about--a jazz / blues quartet led by a bassoonist, please raise your hands. No one? Very well, then, let us proceed. The bassoonist in question is Daniel Smith, and while his name may be unassuming, it would be good to report that there is nothing ordinary about ...

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Article: Live Review

Nathan Hook's Mobiustrip at Somethin' Jazz Club

Read "Nathan Hook's Mobiustrip at Somethin' Jazz Club" reviewed by Daniel Lehner


Nathan Hook's Mobiustrip Somethin' Jazz Club New York, NY Tenor saxophonist Nathan Hook's Mobiustrip opened their set at Somethin Jazz Club in Midtown East, NYC with a tune called “You Probably Thought This Would Be Fun," and it was appropriate. This is not to say that Hook's music was unenjoyable or ...

News: Recording

Jimmy Forrest: Sit Down and Relax

Jimmy Forrest: Sit Down and Relax

On the Prestige Records' thermometer, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest sat roughly halfway between Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt. Forrest had Ammons' bulldog gospel attack but he also had Stitt's glossy slipperiness. Forrest, of course, had his own distinct swinging style that sounded like the blues mounted on a roller skates. He could be both intimate and ...


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