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Lester Young

Lester "Prez" Young was one of the giants of the tenor saxophone. He was the greatest improviser between Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong of the 1920s and Charlie Parker in the 1940s. From the beginning, he set out to be different: He had his own lingo; In the Forties, he grew his hair out. The other tenor players held their saxophones upright in front of them, so Young held his out to the side, kind of like a flute (see picture above). Then, there was the way he played: Hawkins played around harmonic runs. He played flurries of notes and had a HUGE tone that the other tenor players of the day emulated. Young used a softer tone that resulted In a soft, light sound (if you didn't know better, you would think the two were playing different instruments)

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Piano

Read "Piano" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Following his debut as a leader on, Wynton Kelly: New Faces -New Sounds (Blue Note, 1951), pianist Kelly surfaced again some seven years later, this time on Riverside Records, with the simply titled Piano. The length of time between leader recordings is a testament to the pianist's value in a supporting role for artists like Dinah ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

New Faces - New Sounds

Read "New Faces - New Sounds" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In the early 1950s, Blue Note Records introduced new artists in the label's series New Faces -New Sounds. It highlighted such young artists as Horace Silver (1952); Lou Donaldson (1952); Elmo Hope (1953); and Frank Foster (1954). All of these recordings were released as part of Blue Note Record's 5000 Modern Jazz Series, all on 10-inch ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard

Read "Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The term “ninety-two years young" is a bit cliché, but if the shoe fits (oops, another cliché). Saxophonist Frank Tiberi (pictured above playing with saxophonist and long time friend George Garzone to the left) spoke with the verve and energy of a much younger man. He got excited, as if being back in the moment, when ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

MY IRIS: MY IRIS Live!

Read "MY IRIS Live!" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Unable to undertake its scheduled April tour due to COVID 19, MY IRIS, the quartet led by saxophonist Trish Clowes, releases this live recording culled from gigs in Belfast and Galway in October 2019. Captured on Zoom recorder, Clewes has done an admirable job in producing a presentable sound on this digital-download, Bandcamp release. More importantly, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Lee Konitz: Il Ricordo di D'Andrea, Fasoli, Giuliani, Pieranunzi, Rava e Tommaso.

Read "Lee Konitz: Il Ricordo di D'Andrea, Fasoli, Giuliani, Pieranunzi, Rava e Tommaso." reviewed by Paolo Marra

Il sassofonista Lee Konitz è stato una delle figure più influenti del jazz moderno non solo per il suono unico al contralto e un senso dell'improvvisazione senza eguali, ma anche per essere rimasto nell'arco della sua lunga carriera sempre fedele a sé stesso ponendo la musica come protagonista assoluta della sua espressività, senza inutili esibizionismi.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Rupert/George Garzone: The Ripple

Read "The Ripple" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The Ripple refers to the infectious, warm, intimate, yet big sound developed by the great Lester Young, starting in the late 1930s. While Young pioneered improvisational creativity, Stan Getz later took the baton (well, it was actually a saxophone) and further expanded his idol's stylish approach with new and creatively open-ended visions. Young and Getz collectively ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Field Trip To The Vault!

Read "Field Trip To The Vault!" reviewed by Marc Cohn

After a dose of 21st century music from Dave Allen, Pat Metheny and Aziza, we continue to celebrate the life of Sonny Rollins with tracks from his last session for Prestige in 1956. Then it's deep into the vault for two 78rpm recreations from Charlie Parker (on tenor) with Miles & Erroll Garner's trio from the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

David Sanborn: Night Music and Beyond with Hal Willner

Read "David Sanborn: Night Music and Beyond with Hal Willner" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Could you imagine tuning in to national network TV today and finding a 60-minute weekly music show focusing on forward-looking musicians driven by a desire to push the envelope rather than to “entertain?" A music show sponsored by a beer company, on top of that? It's hard to believe today. But for two seasons at the ...


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