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John Webber

For generations, the Midwest has been a fertile ground for producing talented jazz bass players. St. Louis native Jimmy Blanton revolutionized the role of the bass during his years with the Ellington band in the 1930s. Oklahoman Oscar Pettiford co-led the first bebop group (with Dizzy Gillespie) to play on New York City's famed 52nd St. And Ron Carter, born in Michigan, redefined the role of the bass in small group jazz during his tenure with the great Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s. And while Bebop Generations bass player John Webber would modestly assert that he doesn't belong in the same league with legends such as Blanton, Pettiford and Carter, he is a prime example of the continuing stream of jazz musicians from the Midwest who have migrated to the jazz scene in New York — and who help keep it going strong as the center for jazz activity in the world. "I was actually born in St

Quite Frankly Introducing Sam Hirsh

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2020
Track listing: Quite Frankly; Look for the Silver Lining; Pop's Delight; Lil' Mama Samba; Reminiscing; No C!; Kyoto Shuffle; Ways of the Wise; Song for Sophie.

Mabern Plays Mabern

Label: Smoke Sessions Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Mr. Johnson; The Iron Man; Lover Man; The Lyrical Cole-Man; Edward Lee; It's Magic; The Beehive; Rakin' and Scrapin'.

With Strings

Label: HighNote Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Gently; Dreamsville; Some Other Time; Lonely Woman; Slow, Hot Wind; The Thrill Is Gone.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Harold Mabern: Mabern Plays Mabern

Read "Mabern Plays Mabern" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A tad more subdued than the barn-burning The Iron Man: Live At Smoke (Smoke Sessions Records, 2019), Mabern Plays Mabern still manages to jump full throttle from where that defining recording left us, with a lush, lyrical intensity and a vital, legacy-culling energy which plays as an exquisite coda to the pianist's long, outstanding career.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Alexander: With Strings

Read "With Strings" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To paraphrase Cole Porter: “Bird did it, Chet did it... even many vocalists I bet did it..." And now tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander did it--recorded an album with strings, that is. This represents quite a departure for Alexander who is widely known as one of the more emotive and resourceful improvisers on the scene; but so ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Alexander: Leap of Faith

Read "Leap of Faith" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Eric Alexander è uno dei massimi tenoristi della sua generazione. In oltre quaranta dischi da leader e un centinaio di collaborazioni, ha evidenziato piena adesione al modern mainstream, privilegiando l'esibizione in quartetti o quintetti con la tipica sezione ritmica comprendente un pianista (spesso il suo mentore Harold Mabern) o talvolta un chitarrista (Pat Martino o Peter ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Harold Mabern: The Iron Man: Live At Smoke

Read "The Iron Man: Live At Smoke" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Hard-bopping pianist Harold Mabern may have made his recording debut in 1959 with drummer Walter Perkins' quintet and led his first session in 1968 for Blue Note on the soulful A Few Miles From Memphis but here he is, at 82, playing with straight-ahead, youthful joie de vivre on the story telling, life affirming, two-disc set ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Alexander: Song of No Regrets

Read "Song of No Regrets" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

On Song of No Regrets, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander decides to keep things fresh with a Latin beat and a couple unexpected guests. Having worked so prolifically for so long (he's got more than 160 recordings to his name both solo and as a sideman), it's inevitable that Alexander would have more than a few preferred ...

ARTICLE: NEW YORK BEAT

Eric Reed at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

Read "Eric Reed at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club" reviewed by Nick Catalano

Hard Bop continues to find a home in NY's Smoke Jazz & Supper Club. For decades the room featured One for All -a group whose stalwart players Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine, John Webber, Jim Rotondi, and Joe Farnsworth had critics comparing them to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. These players often led smaller groups into ...


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