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Jimmy Garrison

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Bassist Jimmy Garrison was the anchor in the classic John Coltrane Quartet, from 1961-'66, which recorded all of its well-known albums on Impulse. Garrison's big, blunt sound, steady time and inventive counter lines were an elemental ingredient in the sound of that famous group. He actually fitted into the group with great insight, supplying a traditional role on the more straight ahead material and exploratory counter melodies and responses as the music grew more progressive. Garrison was born on March 3, 1934, in Miami, but grew up in Philadelphia, where he first played briefly with Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, in 1957

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Article: Album Review

Christopher Kunz & Florian Fischer: Die Unwucht

Read "Die Unwucht" reviewed by Chris May


Saxophone and drums duos--usually that means tenor saxophone and drums--got serious in the mid 1960s, when pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison would lay out during performances by John Coltrane's classic quartet to allow Coltrane and drummer Elvin Jones to pursue their mutual shamanistic muse together. One such occasion is preserved on One ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment

Read "Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment" reviewed by Chris May


Those of us for whom Impulse has been as important a part of our cultural lives as Blue Note, perhaps even a more important one, will not be satisfied until the label reissues its entire catalogue on remastered CDs and audiophile vinyl. In the meantime, it would be churlish to do anything other than applaud such ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums

Read "John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums" reviewed by Chris May


This article is a companion piece to John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums, which listed ten albums widely regarded as essential items in John Coltrane's discography and discussed another ten of comparable importance. John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums narrows the focus to club and concert recordings. Coltrane's live performances had a ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: Album Review

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra: Promises

Read "Promises" reviewed by Ian Patterson


The meeting of electronics artist/DJ Sam Shepherd--aka Floating Points--with free-jazz icon Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra is a welcome surprise. Sanders has seldom troubled his discographers since the dawn of the new millennium. A couple of archival radio recordings, Live at Antibes Jazz Festival Juan Les Pins July 21 1968 (Alternative Fox, 2019) and ...

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News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Jimmy Garrison

Jazz Musician of the Day: Jimmy Garrison

All About Jazz is celebrating Jimmy Garrison's birthday today! Bassist Jimmy Garrison was the anchor in the classic John Coltrane Quartet, from 1961-'66, which recorded all of its well-known albums on Impulse. Garrison's big, blunt sound, steady time and inventive counter lines were an elemental ingredient in the sound of that famous group. He actually fitted ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable for free here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly an ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May


There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

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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 ...


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