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Kenny Clarke

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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: 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: Under the Radar

A Different Drummer, Part 4: The Zildjian Legacy

Read "A Different Drummer, Part 4: The Zildjian Legacy" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


They are the oldest family-owned business in the world, recognized globally by musicians from every genre. The Avedis Zildjian Company--known simply as Zildjian --traces its history to the ancient cymbals of the Middle East and Asia. Almost four hundred years ago, Avedis, an Armenian metalsmith and alchemist in seventeenth-century Istanbul, discovered an alloy of tin, copper, ...

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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: Interview

Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist

Read "Franco Ambrosetti: Busy Businessman, Exquisite Artist" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Franco Ambrosetti, a horn player from Switzerland, has a unique perspective on music and art. Because his vantage point is different than many musicians, having held the position as CEO of a significant company in Europe. He plays trumpet and flugelhorn with a rich tone and an approach that has matured over time, shifting from a ...

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Article: In Pictures

Seeing Jazz: The Photography of Luciano Rossetti

Read "Seeing Jazz: The Photography of Luciano Rossetti" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


As a jazz venue, the mid-town Manhattan club Royal Roost had a short life span. The Royal Roost opened in 1948, but the jazz scene had moved past it less than two years later. In Greenwich Village, twenty-five-year-old photographer Herman Leonard had just opened his first photography studio to the south. A bebop fan, he was ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

A Tribute to Bobby Few

Read "A Tribute to Bobby Few" reviewed by Bob Osborne


A tribute to pianist, composer and improviser Bobby Few, who died in January 2021 aged 85. Whilst not well known outside of the jazz world he has a CV which many would envy working with some of the leading names in the business. There is music featured from across his career and impressive discography.

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Article: Interview

Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2

Read "Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2" reviewed by Chris May


As Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting and performing partner during the 1970s, keyboardist, composer and arranger Brian Jackson was co-author of some of the most galvanising liberation music of the era. Inhabiting the intersection of jazz, soul and spoken word, Jackson and Scott-Heron, who met while they were both students at Lincoln University, were a team from Pieces ...

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Parker: Be Bop Live

Read "Be Bop Live" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The name of the record label is ezz-thetics, which was also a composition by George Russell and an album of the same name (which featured Eric Dolphy) released by Riverside Records in 1961. Maybe a better moniker for the label is “Lest We Forget." Not that we could ever abandon Charlie Parker, but today when streaming ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...


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