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King Curtis

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Curtis 'King Curtis' Ousley was already a well-respected Jazz tenor saxophonist in 1952 when he moved to New York, to concentrate on doing session work for the growing Pop and R&B markets. Over the next decade, saxophone became the pre-eminent lead instrument within Rhythm & Blues/Rock n' Roll, and King Curtis became its leading exponent, spicing up massive numbers of hits with ear catching solos, sealing his reputation as one of the leading instrumentalists of that era. Perhaps he'll be most remembered as blowing that solo on The Coasters 1958 smash “Yakety Yak.” King Curtis was originally part of the late 40's honking Texas tenor sax brigade, counting Arnett Cobb, Earl Bostic, and Illinois Jacquet as influences

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Article: Album Review

Benjamin Koppel: The Ultimate Soul & Jazz Revue

Read "The Ultimate Soul & Jazz Revue" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Listen to music long enough, and it's almost bound to happen: You're not sure exactly what you want to listen to, but you know that whatever you listen to needs must bump and groove. The Ultimate Soul & Jazz Revue, an anthology of American jazz, soul and R&B recorded live at a Copenhagen music festival by ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Tributes, Tapestries, Trombones and Tempests

Read "Tributes, Tapestries, Trombones and Tempests" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Vasko Atanasovski Adrabesa Quartet Phoenix MoonJune Records 2020 Phoenix captures the voice of one of Eastern Europe's most acclaimed and creative musical ensembles, the Adrabesa Quartet founded and led by Slovenian maestro Vasko Atanasovski, and amplifies this unique voice throughout MoonJune Records' global distribution network. Phoenix ...

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Article: Album Review

Derek Brown: All Figured Out

Read "All Figured Out" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Tenor player Derek Brown has made a name for himself with a concept called “BEATBoX SAX," a method of playing saxophone in a continuous stream of pops, honks, melody and slap-tonguing that comes out like a hip-hop variation on Boots Randolph's old novelty tune. “Yakety Sax." He has put several videos on YouTube of him doing ...

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Article: Interview

Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat

Read "Benjamin Koppel: Curiosity Won't Kill This Cat" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Benjamin Koppel is an extraordinary Danish musician from an illustrious music family. He is all about music—of just about any kind. He's always absorbing it, discovering what there is to derive from it. A kind of restless desire to explore envelops him. He simplifies it in his own words: he's curious. It comes naturally to him. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

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 ...

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Article: Talking 2 Musicians

Talent, Tenacity, Tequila & a Tale of Two Texas Teenagers

Read "Talent, Tenacity, Tequila & a Tale of Two Texas Teenagers" reviewed by Alan Bryson


Train to Nowhere “Train to Nowhere" by Dave Dupree was the aptly named single released by Challenge Records on January 15, 1958. Newly founded by Gene Autrey, “The Singing Cowboy" of Hollywood fame, the jny: Los Angeles based label was looking to land its first hit record. The single itself was on the road to “nowhere" ...

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Article: Album Review

Rob Dixon: Coast to Crossroads

Read "Coast to Crossroads" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


"The album is called Coast to Crossroads because I'm based in Indiana, the Crossroads state, but I also work a lot on the West Coast and East Coast," explains saxophonist Rob Dixon, who leads this trio session with drummer Mike Clark and seven-string funk guitar maven Charlie Hunter (who also served as producer), plus occasional guest ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

One Day in Brazil, 50 Years in Germany

Read "One Day in Brazil, 50 Years in Germany" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Tony Adamo Was Out Jazz Zone Mad Ropeadope 2018 Some African cultures preserved their history not by the written but by the spoken word, kept by oral cultural historians known as griots. On Was Out Jazz Zone Mad, vocalist Tony Adamo aspires to serve in this same role, ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films

Read "John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films" reviewed by John Kelman


While hardly a new idea, with so many classic artists and recordings now hitting forty and fifty-year milestones, there's been a proliferation of deluxe and super deluxe editions of major albums from the '60s and '70s in recent years. While some are better (and better value for money) than others, the market for surround sound mixes ...


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