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MUSICIAN Born:

Joe Sample

Joe Sample is a pianist of great energy, versatility, and enterprise. He has constantly sought out novel directions to express his ideas. Since his days with the Jazz Crusaders to his multiple solo efforts and countless sideman sessions, though never seeking the spotlight, is recognized by both his peers and the knowing public as a first class musical artist Born on February 1, 1939, in Houston, Texas, Joe Sample grew up in a fertile musical Creole neighborhood hearing zydeco and Louis Armstrong. He started playing the piano at age five, and he incorporated a range of local traditions into his music: jazz, gospel, blues, and even Latin and classical forms. In high school in the 1950s, Sample teamed up with two friends, saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Nesbert "Stix" Hooper, to form a group called the Swingsters

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

World Jazz Quintet: Live At QPAC Theatre

Read "Live At QPAC Theatre" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although all the members of the World Jazz Quintet are New York-based, the group's name does evoke the global palette of its music. Led by pianist Francis Hon—who, on his trio outing Before Dawn (2018), worked within pop and classical idioms in addition to conventional jazz—the World Jazz Quintet incorporates traditional Asian folk musics and a ...

Take Five with G. Thomas Allen

Read "Take Five with  G. Thomas Allen" reviewed by G. Thomas Allen

Meet G. Thomas Allen Redefining the career possibilities of his rare vocal category, generally tied to classical music, he takes his play in the world of modern jazz. Paying homage to the post-bop era, he offers a collection of songs with the aesthetics of R&B, blues and Gospel roots. Bridging genres with an undeniable melodic blend ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May

The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones. Yazz Ahmed Polyhymnia Ropeadope The eagerly ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eumir Deodato: Os Catedraticos 73

Read "Os Catedraticos 73" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In 1973, Eumir Deodato was riding high upon the GRAMMY® Award-winning success of “Also Sprach Zarathurstra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)," the Brazilian keyboardist's jazz-rock fusion take on Richard Strauss' classic, from his previous release Prelude (CTI, 1972). Deodato's next move, Os Catedráticos 73 doesn't mess with that successful formula but throws a ...

ARTICLE: FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Riding Waves, Moving Boundaries, and Building The Wall

Read "Riding Waves, Moving Boundaries, and Building The Wall" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Franco Ambrosetti Quintet Long Waves Unit Records 2019 Trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti balances in the middle of three jazz generations, the father of saxophonist Gianluca and son of saxophonist Flavio, who once played opposite Charlie Parker at the Paris Jazz Festival. Although he grew up studying classical ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Skinny Hightower

A music producer with a solid background as a multi-instrumentalist jazz musician, Skinny Hightower emerged in 2017 with his self-released label debut Emotions which boasts a number one Billboard single in Taboo. He holds three total top 10 jazz Billboard singles to his name with One Way Street and Sample That following respectively from his follow-up release Retrospect in 2018. As an artist, he has performed at various events and jazz festivals to include the Seabreeze Jazz Festival and Catalina Island Jazztrax Festival. His full-range production style has earned him a reputation as a formidable artist in jazz, but his plans have shifted from that of an artist to a well-rounded and established record producer, evident in his involvement in many parallel projects for other artists.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Donald Byrd: Ethiopian Knights

Read "Ethiopian Knights" reviewed by Chris May

Donald Byrd (1932-2013) was a solid and dependable and prolifically recorded hard-bop trumpeter during the style's mid 1950s to mid 1960s heyday, though he was never an innovator, far less an auteur. He later went on to make a string of tedious disco-cum-jazz-funk albums which sold by the truckload. On the cusp of this ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019" reviewed by John Kelman

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27 -July 1, 2019 Forty years. Not a lifetime, perhaps, but a remarkably long time for any festival to not only continue to exist but, despite increasing challenges, to thrive. An even greater achievement when it's the Festival International de ...


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