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Johnny Mandel

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The eventful career of Johnny Mandel is grounded by a thorough background in music that has resulted in his being acclaimed in the pantheon of American composers, arrangers, record producers and songwriters. His is a career that has had both duration and substance and continues to flourish. He was born in New York City. At the age of 12, he was playing the trumpet and beginning to write big band arrangements. After graduating from New York Military Academy, where he had received a band scholarship, he immediately went on the road working in the Catskill Mountains at various resort hotels. He then joined the orchestra of the legendary violinist Joe Venuti

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Article: Album Review

David Angel: Out on the Coast

Read "Out on the Coast" reviewed by Jack Bowers


David Angel, one of the West Coast's best-kept secrets, earns a long-overdue hour or three in the sun and makes every moment count on Out on the Coast, a superlative three-disc anthology that bundles fifteen of his luminous original compositions with seven jazz standards in an invariably pleasurable and charming package. When not teaching, writing or ...

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Article: Album Review

Janis Mann & Kenny Werner: Dreams of Flying

Read "Dreams of Flying" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Janis Mann has quietly but steadily amassed an impressive body of work over the course of more than two decades. For this, the vocalist's eighth album, she brings studio and stage into beautiful alignment with different, intimate configurations hinging on the constant presence of pianist Kenny Werner. The majority of this music was recorded in 2016 ...

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Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

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Article: Radio

Closing Out the Year 2020 With New Releases Plus A Remembrance Of Departed Artists

Read "Closing Out the Year 2020 With New Releases Plus A Remembrance Of Departed Artists" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Our year end broadcast features new releases from Paola Prestini & Magos Herrera, Lezlie Harrison and Sue Maskaleris with birthday shoutouts to pianists Janice Friedman, Una Mae Carlisle, vocalists Chris McNulty, Katie Bull, Edith Piaf and saxophonist Camille Thurman. Also remembering the many musicians who left us in 2020. Thanks for listening and please support the ...

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Article: Album Review

Scott Whitfield & Friends: A Bi-Coastal Christmas

Read "A Bi-Coastal Christmas" reviewed by Jack Bowers


If trombonist Scott Whitfield's A Bi-Coastal Christmas cannot quicken your inner holiday spirit, that will not be for lack of trying. Whitfield uses every ribbon in the packet and every tool in the shed to help make the season bright, from big band to quintet, from duo to solo (Whitfield's trombone all by itself). Two of ...

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Article: Album Review

Vanessa Perica: Love is a Temporary Madness

Read "Love is a Temporary Madness" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Even as the year 2020 has slid ignobly into the dustbin of history, music-lovers have been buoyed by a number of encouraging signs that the future of big-band jazz is in capable hands. While splendid recordings by old hands Mike Barone, Steve Spiegl, Mark Masters and Maria Schneider have helped keep the flame burning brightly, their ...

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Article: Album Review

Susie Meissner: I Wish I Knew

Read "I Wish I Knew" reviewed by Jack Bowers


I wish I knew why the talented Philadelphia-based singer Susie Meissner chose to open her salute to the Great American Songbook with the only tune on the album that doesn't really qualify: Curtis Lewis' “The Great City." It's not a bad song but Cole Porter or Johnny Mandel it ain't. On the bright side, Meissner recovers ...

News: Video / DVD

Johnny Mandel in 20 Tracks

Johnny Mandel in 20 Tracks

Yesterday, I posted my complete 2008 interview with Johnny Mandel. But what did his music sound like over the decades and what made him so special? Here are my 20 favorite arrangements by Johnny, starting in 1944: Here's Johnny's arrangement of Magic Is the Moonlight for Boyd Raeburn in 1944... Here's Johnny's arrangement of his Krazy ...

News: Obituary

Johnny Mandel (1925-2020)

Johnny Mandel (1925-2020)

Johnny Mandel, a elegant arranger, composer, conductor and bass trumpeter who began his career writing for big bands in the 1940s, crossed over to jazz in the '50s and wound up scoring movies in the late 1950s and beyond, including main titles that became standards, died June 29. He was 94. Like other player-arrangers of the ...


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