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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

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hugh Masekela: Masekela '66 - '76

Read "Masekela '66 - '76" reviewed by Chris May

Like his compatriot and close contemporary Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela has a 24-carat discography which stretches back six decades and digs deep into the taproot of jazz. Ibrahim is still with us--he has a new album scheduled for June 2019--but Masekela passed in January 2018. Among the several solid Masekela compilations on the market, this 3-CD ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Tom Kennedy: In A New York Minute

Read "Tom Kennedy: In A New York Minute" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Riding high on the low end since arriving in New York City in 1984, premier jazz and fusion bassist Tom Kennedy has shared his groove and innate musicality all over the world. He has shared the stage and recording studio with a long list of varied and talented artists. Names like Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Lee ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Christmas Gifts and Messages, Some From the Grinch

Read "Christmas Gifts and Messages, Some From the Grinch" reviewed by Marc Cohn

If you haven't had your fill of Christmas, click the play button for last Saturday's holiday show. One of our rotating traditions is to program the Duke Ellington version of “The Nutcracker Suite." Our first segment tracks mostly old favorites that we play almost every year. The rest are offered for the first time on the ...


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