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Musician

Kenny Clarke

Born:

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

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Horace Silver: His Only Mistake Was To Smile

Read "Horace Silver: His Only Mistake Was To Smile" reviewed by Chris May


In his sleeve note for the audio restored Horace Silver album Live New York Revisited (ezz-thetics, 2022), British writer Brian Morton cut to the chase. “[Silver]'s only mistake," he wrote, “was to smile while he was playing... a challenge to the notion that jazz should be deadly serious and played with a pained rictus."

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Article: Album Review

Barney Wilen: Zodiac

Read "Zodiac" reviewed by Chris May


Tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen's Zodiac is the soundtrack for a mid-1960s film that never got off the storyboard. The backstory... Like other French jazzmen who came of age in the second half of the 1950s, Wilen benefited from the penchant nouvelle vague film directors had for jazz soundtracks. Aged twenty years, Wilen cut his filmic teeth ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Sonny Rollins: Ten Colossal Albums

Read "Sonny Rollins: Ten Colossal Albums" reviewed by Chris May


The history of modern jazz is a short one, but even so there are few musicians whose careers began in the bop era and who are still with us in 2022. Drummer Roy Haynes is one. Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins is another. Both players recorded with trumpeter Fats Navarro and pianist Bud Powell in 1949.

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Article: Extended Analysis

Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970

Read "Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970" reviewed by Peter Rubie


They called it the Cool School, but what's in a name? In this case, quite a lot as it happens. The Cool School included musicians like Chet Baker, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Dave Brubeck. Under the guidance of arranger and composer Gil Evans, it established itself in an unquestionable way ...

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Article: Interview

Bill Stewart: Ain't No Funk In Iowa

Read "Bill Stewart: Ain't No Funk In Iowa" reviewed by Mike Brannon


This article was first published 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. Of course, Scofield and Stewart did a number of tours and studio dates together while word got around about Stewart's unique ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Joe Henderson, Bill Evans, Jim Hall: Buried Treasure from Germany's MPS Label

Read "Joe Henderson, Bill Evans, Jim Hall: Buried Treasure from Germany's MPS Label" reviewed by Chris May


Between its founding in 1968 and sale in 1983, the original incarnation of the recently revived German label MPS—the initials stand for Musik Produktion Schwarzwald (Music Production Black Forest)—notched up around five hundred releases. Some were recorded in the US by American musicians, many more were recorded in Europe and featured bands made up of European ...

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Article: Interview

Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything

Read "Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Bill Goodwin is like a breath of fresh air blowing through jazz. From the time around 1954 when he was in jny: Los Angeles and just learning the drums, and inspired by Shelly Manne, to today, around his 80th birthday, he has loved jazz and the musicians unconditionally. He has befriended and worked with so many ...

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News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kenny Clarke

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kenny Clarke

All About Jazz is celebrating Kenny Clarke's birthday today! 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 ...

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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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