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Jimmy McGriff

Organ master Jimmy McGriff may have studied formally at Juilliard and at Philadelphia's Combe College of Music, but there's nothing fancy about his music. It's basic to the bone, always swinging and steeped in blues and gospel. McGriff's brand of jazz is about feeling. "That's the most important thing," he says. Blues has been the backbone of most of the major jazz organists, including Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, but throughout his 42-year recording career, McGriff has stuck closer to the blues than any of them. "People are always classifying me as a jazz organist, but I'm more of a blues organ player," he insists

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Back At The Chicken Shack

Read "Back At The Chicken Shack" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher

Back At The Chicken Shack celebrates 60 years since its recording date at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. The same session produced Midnight Special (Blue Note, 1961), though Back At The Chicken Shack would have to wait three years for its release. The label's co-founder, Alfred Lion, later revealed that the healthy sales of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Big April Birthdays & More

Read "Big April Birthdays & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

April birthdays this week on G&M with the Carmen McRae centennial, along with the 90th birthdays of Herbie Mann, pianist Frank Strazzeri (who toured in the 1970's with Elvis!), Claude Bolling and Richard Davis (the latter 2 still with us); as well as the 80th birthdays of George Adams and the very much alive Herbie Hancock! ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Pat Bianchi: B3 Master

Read "Pat Bianchi: B3 Master" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

It may be that young Pat Bianchi had little choice but to follow a career in music. After all, his father and both his grandfathers played professionally in his hometown of Rochester, NY, an area that also produced the likes of the Mangione brothers (Chuck and Gap), pianist Frank Strazzeri, saxophonist Gerry Niewood and drum legend ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

50th Anniversary Blue Notes for December, Including The Rare Jazz Wave on Tour

Read "50th Anniversary Blue Notes for December, Including The Rare Jazz Wave on Tour" reviewed by Marc Cohn

50th anniversary Blue Notes from December 1969 this week from Jack McDuff (Moon Rappin') and Reuben Wilson (the seriously greasy Blue Mode) and part of a Donald Byrd session (Kofi) only released 25 years after the fact! Then, there's this one: Jazz Wave Ltd. on Tour, Volume 1. It's a double LP (it's in my lap ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Joey DeFrancesco at Chris’ Jazz Café

Read "Joey DeFrancesco at Chris’ Jazz Café" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Joey DeFrancesco Trio & Quartet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA November 30, 2019 In the 1970s, before he became a famed performer, Joey DeFrancesco was already at the prodigious age of 10 (!) playing gigs with the likes of Philly Joe Jones, Shirley Scott, and Hank Mobley at ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Scenes From The Life Of A Young Jazz Musician

Read "Scenes From The Life Of A Young Jazz Musician" reviewed by Jack Wilkins

Foreword Jack Wilkins is an iconic jazz guitarists of the 1970s who is still playing his ass off today, after a career leading and accompanying a host of groups with musicians such as Stan Getz, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Jimmy McGriff, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, Phil Woods, and the Brecker ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Joey DeFrancesco: From Musical Prodigy to Jazz Icon

Read "Joey DeFrancesco: From Musical Prodigy to Jazz Icon" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Joey DeFrancesco is a true master of the jazz organ, the one others look up to as the standard bearer, as was his inspirational hero, Jimmy Smith. Arguably, he could be dubbed the Mozart of the jazz organ, since like Mozart, he seemed to have been born with all the music already in him. By four, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Listener Favorites & DrJ’s Birthday Blowout

Read "Listener Favorites & DrJ’s Birthday Blowout" reviewed by Marc Cohn

It's time for our recurring '5' (as in Show 365) party, listener favorites from Shows 351-360. And a bonus--DrJazz's birthday blowout (we don't usually do this, but this one is a nice round number....'40.' Well, 70 is the new 40?), in which he indulges with some of the tracks that keep his motor running when he's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bobby Sparks II: Schizophrenia: The Yang Project

Read "Schizophrenia: The Yang Project" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Listening to this incredible double CD it's hard to believe that this is Bobby Sparks II's first album under his own name. Granted he has contributed to many records in his quarter-century career, notably with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Miller, Fred Hammond and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent). However, this prodigious double-album ...


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