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Kenny Clarke

Kenny Clarke (born Kenneth Clarke Spearman, later aka, Liaqat Ali Salaam, on January 9, 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-died January 26, 1985 in Paris, France) was a jazz drummer and an early innovator of the bebop style of drumming. As the house drummer at Minton's Playhouse in the early 1940's, he participated in the after hours jams that led to the birth of Be-Bop, which in turn lead to modern jazz. He is credited with creating the modern role of the ride cymbal as the primary timekeeper. Before, drummers kept time on the high-hat and snare drum ("digging coal", Clarke called it) with heavy support from the bass drum

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frank Basile / Sam Dillon Quintet: 2 Part Solution

Read "2 Part Solution" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If recent albums serve as an accurate guidepost, hard bop is making a broad and most welcome comeback. In the wake of high-octane albums by Adam Shulman, Gary Dudzienski, Cory Weeds (who doubles as producer-in-chief at Cellar Records), Marshal Herridge, the TNEK Jazz Quintet, Jerry Bergonzi, Keith Oxman, John Sneider and others comes 2 Part Solution, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Andrew Cyrille Quartet at Village Vanguard

Read "Andrew Cyrille Quartet at Village Vanguard" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Andrew Cyrille Quartet Village Vanguard New York, NY August 21, 2020 Drummer/composer/bandleader Andrew Cyrille opened this livestream from the venerable Village Vanguard jazz club speaking about the oddness of playing to an empty room, noting the absence of applause at the end of numbers. Or booing: “I've been booed, too" he ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jerry Granelli: Updating Music of Past Heroes

Read "Jerry Granelli: Updating Music of Past Heroes" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

"I've earned the privilege of not playing anything I don't want to play," says drummer Jerry Granelli, whose past is replete with the names of many greats in jazz for whom he supplied rhythmic support--sometimes force--over several decades. “That used to be a fear," he adds, “You figured if you turned something down, the ...

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...

Bill Stewart Interview

Read "Bill Stewart Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in May 2002. Upon joining The John Scofield group in the mid '80s it seemed like drummer Bill Stewart just appeared out of nowhere. They of course did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Chris May

Love Letter is the final album to be made by saxophonist Jimmy Heath, who passed in January 2020 aged 93. It was completeted just a month earlier. The title is well chosen: the album is a love letter to jazz, a love letter to ballads, and a love letter to Heath's surviving family members, friends and ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 1" reviewed by Chuck Israels

Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello ...


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