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Musician

John Lewis

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The Modern Jazz Quartet managed that rarest feat of all: to make great art that pleased the serious listener as well as it did the general public. The M.J.Q., as they were known, featured vibraphone, bass, drums, and piano, and yet had the breadth of an orchestra and the intimacy of the most delicate chamber ensemble. Even when they played music written by others, it sounded as though it had been written for them, but they played mostly original compositions by musical director John Lewis, about whom too much can never be said. His was one of those quintessentially American lives a tale of someone who truly invented a life based on a love of music. John Lewis is certainly a unique figure in American music

News: Video / DVD

Half Nelson: Cool Perfection

Half Nelson: Cool Perfection

For those who don't quite get East Coast cool jazz or why it's special, I have two words for you: Half Nelson. The song, credited to Miles Davis, was first recorded for Savoy in 1947 by the Miles Davis All Stars, featuring Miles Davis (tp), Charlie Parker (ts), John Lewis (p), Nelson Boyd (b) and Max ...

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Article: Album Review

Dmitry Baevsky: Soundtrack

Read "Soundtrack" reviewed by David A. Orthmann


A collection of songs, some of which are likely to be included in aficionados' play lists; interpretations that don't stray very far off the beaten path; and a band of players who share a vision of how the material should be handled. It's the recipe for many recordings—past, present and future— within the mainstream of jazz. ...

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Article: Film Review

The Modern Jazz Quartet: From Residency To Legacy

Read "The Modern Jazz Quartet: From Residency To Legacy" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


There are plenty of fictional stories about utopian societies where life is good and everybody gets along. Of course, the word utopia literally means “no place," suggesting that an actual utopia is nothing more than an illusion, but that hasn't stopped people from trying. Although there are many utopian societies that didn't work, there are a ...

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Article: Album Review

Jill McCarron Trio with Will Anderson: Jazz Motif

Read "Jazz Motif" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Pianist Jill McCarron's latest recording, Jazz Motif, gets off to a flying start with Will Anderson's irrepressible alto saxophone setting the pace on a fiery rendition of “All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" and his radiant flute showcased on John Lewis' groovy “Concorde." Alas, Anderson isn't heard again until Tracks 7 (Clare Fischer's “Ontem a Noite") and ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

The Pandemic Sessions: Duos, Part 1

Read "The Pandemic Sessions: Duos, Part 1" reviewed by Mark Corroto


After the initial shock of the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown, artists did what artists do. Unable to tour, many musicians created solo projects. Musicians, like other sentient beings though, crave contact, so when some of the most severe restrictions lifted, duos were formed and production returned. These small positive steps (note: some were recorded before ...

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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: Jazz & Juice

Ease: Chardonnay meets The Modern Jazz Quartet

Read "Ease: Chardonnay meets The Modern Jazz Quartet" reviewed by Kristen Lee Sergeant


I'm thrilled to have you back for the second month of “Jazz & Juice“--thanks to all of you who made April's adventure all the more fun with your comments on the article, video, and podcast. I'm excited to share this month's music and wine with you without further ado! EaseI've found that the biggest ...

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Article: Album Review

Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band: Soul Conversations

Read "Soul Conversations" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.'s Big Band comes out swinging on its debut recording, Soul Conversations, thundering through Michael Dease's incendiary arrangement of the Dizzy Gillespie/John Lewis flame-thrower, “Two Bass Hit." For more such heat, however, the listener must move forward to Track 5, John Coltrane's impulsive “Giant Steps," thence to Track 9 for Charles Turner III's ...

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Article: Album Review

Martial Solal: Coming Yesterday: Live At Salle Gaveau 2019

Read "Coming Yesterday: Live At Salle Gaveau 2019" reviewed by Chris May


In 2010, a British writer travelled to Paris to interview the pianist Martial Solal. The address he had been given was in the affluent suburb Chatou. On arrival, Solal's house struck the writer as something quite unlike the home of any other jazz musician he had ever visited, an haute bourgeoisie villa surrounded by an ornamental ...


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