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J.J. Johnson

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Considered by many to be the finest jazz trombonist of all time, J.J. Johnson somehow transferred the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to his more awkward instrument, playing with such speed and deceptive ease that at one time some listeners assumed he was playing valve (rather than slide) trombone! Johnson toured with the territory bands of Clarence Love and Snookum Russell during 1941-42 and then spent 1942-45 with Benny Carter's big band. He made his recording debut with Carter (taking a solo on "Love for Sale" in 1943) and played at the first JATP concert (1944). Johnson also had led plenty of solo space during his stay with Count Basie's Orchestra (1945-46)

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Article: Interview

Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound

Read "Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Some jazz drummers, as remarkable as they may be and as successful as their careers are, just aren't suited to drive a big band. It's not for every percussionist. But every big band needs a good one or the effort will fall short. A ship needs a rudder. Ulysses Owens Jr., who started beating out rhythms ...

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Article: Interview

Nathaniel Cross: Deep Vibrations

Read "Nathaniel Cross: Deep Vibrations" reviewed by Chris May


At the time of writing in summer 2021, there are a number of super-talented musicians on London's alternative jazz scene who deserve far more prominence than they have yet to achieve. Some of these players have been ill-served by their record labels. Others have only recorded as sidepersons. A few have chosen to confine their music-making ...

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News: Recording

The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions Now Available on Mosaic Records

The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions Now Available on Mosaic Records

When you get your copy of Mosaic’s new five-CD collector’s set, The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions, you’ll be holding a master key to unlocking 1960s jazz. That’s a big statement. But when you consider how much was happening from 1963 to 1966, the years covered by this collection, and contemplate how many different ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Album Review

Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm: Not A Novelty

Read "Not A Novelty" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The trombone came into its own as a lead and solo instrument in jazz on the shoulders of J.J. Johnson, in the early days of bebop. His Four Trombones: The Debut Recordings (Prestige, 1953) celebrated the big brass instrument with three fellow 'bone men--Kai Winding, Bennie Green and Willie Davis, all joining Johnson in a four ...

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Article: What is Jazz?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 4: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 4: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 4: Jazz in the Trenches In my previous articles, I detailed the enormous influence that jazz musicians have had on popular music since the 1960s. This may, early on, have been a matter of survival; as the popularity of ...

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Article: Album Review

Marcello Rosa: The World on a Slide

Read "The World on a Slide" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Un'altra perla si aggiunge al catalogo di Alfa Music, che da vari anni si distingue nella valorizzazione discografica del jazz italiano. The World on a Slide è uno dei migliori dischi di Marcello Rosa, testimoniandone l'apertura a stimoli musicali contemporanei non appartenenti ai suoi consueti orizzonti estetici. Le sedici tracce, tutte da ascoltare, hanno ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: J.J. Johnson

Jazz Musician of the Day: J.J. Johnson

All About Jazz is celebrating J.J. Johnson's birthday today! Considered by many to be the finest jazz trombonist of all time, J.J. Johnson somehow transferred the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to his more awkward instrument, playing with such speed and deceptive ease that at one time some listeners assumed he was playing valve ...

3

Article: Interview

Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment

Read "Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Billy Childs says taking formal piano lessons as a young child “didn't register" at the time. He didn't recoil from the instrument by any means, but it wasn't yet exciting. But he had a neighbor who also played. Childs looked up to him. It was that neighbor who showed him stuff--taught him to play “ Cantaloupe ...


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