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Leo Parker

Born:

Leo Parker was the proud owner of a big, beefy baritone sax tone and a fluent technique that struck a great match between the gritty, down-home feeling of R&B and the advanced harmonies of bebop. At first, he studied alto in high school, even recording with Coleman Hawkins' early bebop band at age 18 on that instrument in 1944. Parker was very active during the 1940s in several bebop bands, like the Billy Eckstine Band, breeding ground for a lot of upcoming jazz musicians. When Billy needed a baritone saxophone player in his band, he gave one to Leo Parker, nicknamed The Kid, who played the alto sax up to that time

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Article: Radio

Savoy Almost Gave Me a Migraine & More!

Read "Savoy Almost Gave Me a Migraine & More!" reviewed by Marc Cohn


I promised to play more from that fabulous 1968 Houston Person release this week--so yeh, that's here (Soul Dance, Prestige 7621) with Boogaloo Joe Jones). It's criminally out-of-print, as is our Carmen McRae centennial feature (the classic As Time Goes By on JVC, issued for 'a minute' as an LP on Catalyst in the US many ...

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Article: Album Review

Anders Svanoe: State Of The Baritone Volume 2

Read "State Of The Baritone Volume 2" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Some people see a baritone saxophone and think it an obtuse and blunt instrument. Not Anders Svanoe; he sees his baritone saxophone as a sharpened, yet subtle tool. Evidenced by State Of The Baritone Volume 2, he communicates everything from shuffling boogaloos to energized free-jazz, post-bop, and folk music with an uncanny naturalness. All ...

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Article: Radio

Joy, Joy and More Joy

Read "Joy, Joy and More Joy" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Last week we were not quite done with our theme revolving around Jazz & Joy and playing tunes that either inspired joy or were inspired by the experience of joy by the artists who composed them. So here is more dopamine enhancing jazz for you. Music that should turn a grey day into a sunny one. ...

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Article: Radio

Mondo Jazz: Walking

Read "Mondo Jazz: Walking" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Welcome to the first Mixcloud podcast on All About Jazz. It contains the first episode of Mondo Jazz, a new radio show devoted to international jazz airing every Wednesday night from 10 PM to midnight on Radio Free Brooklyn. Mondo Jazz is dedicated to the proposition that jazz is a language that originated in ...

News: Recording

Leo Parker: Savoy, 1947

Leo Parker: Savoy, 1947

Leo Parker is one of the most under-recorded and under-appreciated baritone saxophonists of the bebop era. Like many jazz musicians in the late 1940s and early '50s, Parker succumbed to drug addiction and recorded far too little as a leader. He probably was more suited to be a sideman, leaving the responsibilities of contracting players, writing ...

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Article: My Blue Note Obsession

Leo Parker: Rollin' With Leo – 1961

Read "Leo Parker: Rollin' With Leo – 1961" reviewed by Marc Davis


What if I told you there's a saxman who was there at the birth of bebop--literally, he played on the very first bebop recording--and you've never heard of him? And what if I told you his life story is the very archetype of the tragic, drug-addicted jazz musician? Would you still want to hear ...

177

Article: Interview

Maxine Gordon: The Legacy of Dexter Gordon

Read "Maxine Gordon: The Legacy of Dexter Gordon" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Legendary tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was a focal point of the bebop and hard bop revolutions. Later in his career, he achieved the status of an American icon with his lead role in Bernard Tavernier's 1986 film, Round Midnight, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination. His “homecoming" in New York City, after living in Europe ...

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Video

Leo Parker

Featuring the music of Leo Parker
Duration: 3:16

325

Article: Album Review

Celine Bonacina: Way Of Life

Read "Way Of Life" reviewed by Chris May


It may not approach the freak-show proportions of the bass saxophone Adrian Rollini popularized in the 1920s, but the baritone is still an impressive beast, one that has frequently been employed as much for its visual impact as for the notes it produces. Ever since Little Richard introduced the unwieldy instrument to his touring band in ...


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