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John Hicks

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Mr. Hicks, born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1941, was the eldest of five children. His parents, Reverend Doctor John J. Hicks and the former Pollie Louise Bledsoe of Atlanta, both deceased, moved to Los Angeles when Mr. Hicks was an infant. That is where Hicks received his first piano lessons under the tutelage of his mother. When Hicks was fifteen, the family moved to Saint Louis, Missouri in order for the Reverend Hicks to take over the pulpit of Union Memorial Methodist Church. After graduating high school and attending Lincoln University, the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, and Julliard School of Music in New York City, Hicks relocated to New York City from St

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Article: Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Stories

Read "Stories" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, originally from Israel, has absorbed a lot of different cultures and styles into his music. That is reflected on this CD in the variety of music played here: straight ahead jazz as well as Latin and Middle Eastern folk melodies. Mexican singer Magos Herrera brings a sense of husky passion to ...

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Article: Interview

From Aimless to Activist, Bassist Kevin Ray Lands on Higher Ground

Read "From Aimless to Activist, Bassist Kevin Ray Lands on Higher Ground" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Bassist Kevin Ray has recorded or played with John Stubblefield, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, Andrew Hill, Marty Ehrlich, Elliott Sharp, John Hicks, Hamiet Bluiett and Nels Cline. Ray has performed in the premieres of works by Joe McPhee, Leroy Jenkins and others. The bassist co-leads the adventurous trio 10³²K's with trombonist/trumpeter Frank Lacy, percussionist Andrew Drury ...

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Article: Album Review

The Peter Leitch New Jazz Orchestra: New Life

Read "New Life" reviewed by Jack Bowers


After what Canadian-born guitarist Peter Leitch has been through in the last eight years, it's little wonder he named the ensemble he now leads the New Life Jazz Orchestra. Diagnosed in 2012 with stage 4 lung cancer, Leitch faced the choice of throwing in the proverbial towel or undergoing career-ending cancer treatment. He chose the latter, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

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Article: Interview

Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 2

Read "Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 2" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Part 1 | Part 2 Richie Beirach hovers somewhat mysteriously in the pantheon of the great modern jazz pianists. Some of the others in that category from his generation (coming up in the 1960s/'70s), like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Kenny Barron have greater celebrity, but Beirach easily qualifies alongside them as ...

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Article: Interview

Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 1

Read "Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 1" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Part 1 | Part 2 Richie Beirach hovers somewhat mysteriously in the pantheon of the great modern jazz pianists. Some of the others in that category from his generation (coming up in the 1960s/'70s), like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Kenny Barron have greater celebrity, but Beirach easily qualifies alongside them as ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow


Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 8: The Herdsmen -Bobby Shew meets Larry McKenna Trumpeter Bobby Shew is a well- known ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare To Dream

Read "Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare To Dream" reviewed by La-Faithia White


Onaje Allan Gumbs is a New York based pianist, composer, lyricist, and bandleader. Gumbs' professional career began in 1971 when Leroy Kirkland introduced him to Kenny Burrell, by sharing a demo tape. The next day Gumbs received a phone call to play with Burrell at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. Onaje, (Gumbs) talks about the beginnings ...


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