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John Altman

John Altman's name might not be instantly recognizable as one of the world's greatest composers, arrangers or musicians, but his music is known to millions around the world. He is the man behind 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' and an array of other well known classics. During his career John has worked with some of the greatest names in the music industry including; Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Sting, Diana Ross, Simple Minds and Björk. A highly acclaimed player of the saxophone, flute and clarinet, Altman is lauded by respected critic Don Heckman in the Los Angeles Times as "one of the few film composers with authentic jazz skills." He has composed or arranged the music for numerous films (Titanic, Shall We Dance?) and television shows (Monty Python, Peak Practice) and won several awards, including an EMMY.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Live From Birmingham: The Sonics, Otis Gibbs, George Huxley & John Altman

Read "Live From Birmingham: The Sonics, Otis Gibbs, George Huxley & John Altman" reviewed by Martin Longley

The Sonics The Institute July 28, 2015 The Sonics virtually created the garage band sound, back in the mid-1960s, taking the foundations of rhythm'n'blues and forcing a leap towards further extremity, continuing the mission begun by Link Wray, but using warped pop song structures instead of instrumental grinding. Surely ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Catching Up

Read "Catching Up" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As our most recent column was devoted exclusively to the Ken Poston / LAJI event, “Modern Sounds," held October 20-24 at the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel, and to the day-long tribute to bandleader Stan Kenton on the hundredth anniversary of his birth that followed, a number of substantive items slipped through the cracks. Before they ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

"Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor

Read ""Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor" reviewed by Jack Bowers

From October 19-25 Betty and I were at the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel to attend Modern Sounds, the L.A. Jazz Institute's four-day salute to West Coast jazz, followed by a day-long tribute to Stan Kenton on the hundredth anniversary of the legendary bandleader's birth. We arrived a day early to be primed and ready for ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Gold Medalists Abound at Big Band Olympics

Read "Gold Medalists Abound at Big Band Olympics" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As this is being written, Betty and I are just back from a ten-day visit to California, the first six days of which would be of absolutely no interest to readers of this column. The last four, however, were spent at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel attending the L.A. Jazz Institute's “Big Band Olympics," which ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Are You Sure, Bobby?

Read "Are You Sure, Bobby?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In late March, I received an e-mail from trumpeter Bobby Shew. He said he'd performed a gig in West Palm Beach, FL, and had met my brothers, whom he described as “nice guys." My first impulse was to write back and ask if he could have been mistaken. My brothers? Nice guys? Well, the fact is ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

A Memorable Evening with Andy Martin

Read "A Memorable Evening with Andy Martin" reviewed by Jack Bowers

After several months of inactivity, big-band jazz in Albuquerque sprang vibrantly to life for one memorable evening February 19 as Andy Martin, one of the world's most accomplished trombonists, flew in from Los Angeles to team with the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra for an electrifying concert at the Eldorado High School Performing Arts Center, crowning the city's ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Moody's Mood Was Always Happy

Read "Moody's Mood Was Always Happy" reviewed by Jack Bowers

James Moody, whose noble spirit and radiant personality were as impressive as his exploits on saxophone and flute for more than six decades, died December 9, 2010 from pancreatic cancer at his home in San Diego. He was 85 years old. To anyone who was lucky enough to meet him, the Moody hug ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Musical Talent Is (Now and Then) All in the Family

Read "Musical Talent Is (Now and Then) All in the Family" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The induction of almost the entire Marsalis family (father Ellis, piano, and sons Wynton, trumpet; Branford, saxophones; Delfeayo, trombone; and Jason, drums) set me to thinking about how musical talent sometimes runs in families. In the pop world, almost everyone knows about the Jacksons, the Kings, the Osmonds and others. The same is true in jazz, ...

Flying Easy

Label: Challenge Jazz
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