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Musician

Lester Young

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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)

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Article: Album Review

Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multi-National Crusade For Harmony

Read "The Boyé Multi-National Crusade For Harmony" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There is something inherently objectionable when a billionaire acquires an artistic masterpiece by say, Leonardo DaVinci or Claude Monet, only to sequester it from public view. You might feel the same about Julius Hemphill's recordings Dogon A.D. (Mbari, 1972) and 'Coon Bid'ness (Arista/Freedom, 1975). Both five star recordings, now out of print, cost a small fortune ...

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Article: Under the Radar

A Different Drummer, Part 2: Royal Hartigan

Read "A Different Drummer, Part 2: Royal Hartigan" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Drums of Life--Drums of DeathThe ruins of the Anasazi people stand undisturbed in the cliffs between the high mesas and the canyon floors of the southwest. Dating to 2500 B.C., the multi-story adobe pueblos and stone cities were the sites of the ancient indigenous peoples of North America. Archeologists have uncovered an assortment of percussion instruments ...

Article: Profile

La Jazz Poetry di Jayne Cortez

Read "La Jazz Poetry di Jayne Cortez" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Articolo originariamente pubblicato nel marzo 2003 e ora riproposto in occasione del mese dedicato al contributo femminile al jazz Per la sua spiccata componente di oralità, la Jazz Poetry è probabilmente l'espressione che meglio di altre connota—insieme al jazz stesso—l'esperienza artistica afroamericana del '900, in quanto trait d'union fra improvvisazione e composizione scritta.

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Article: Album Review

Schapiro 17: Human Qualities

Read "Human Qualities" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Following its splendid premiere recording, an exploration of Miles Davis' unrivaled album Kind Of Blue (Capitol Records, 1959), composer/arranger Jon Schapiro's 17-member ensemble broadens its horizons on Human Qualities, pairing seven of the maestro's astute and adventurous charts with the Roberta Flack best-seller, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." This time around, Schapiro proves ...

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Article: Interview

Tino Tracanna: L'arte della sintesi

Read "Tino Tracanna: L'arte della sintesi" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


La pubblicazione dell'ultimo album di Tino Tracanna, Distilled, che è anche il debutto discografico del nuovo trio, ci ha dato l'occasione per parlare con uno dei protagonisti del jazz in Italia. Alla presentazione del nuovo lavoro segue un'ampia discussione sugli elementi costitutivi della sua musica, sugli artisti a lui più cari, sulla didattica nei ...

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Article: Album Review

Kevin Sun: (Un)seaworthy

Read "(Un)seaworthy" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Kevin Sun brings a fresh energy and and sense of adventure to the saxophone trio format on this CD. In the company of bassist Walter Stinson and drummer Matt Honor, he plays around with tone, rhythm and tempo, creating exciting music which blends the traditional and the experimental. Sun's sax tone on “Seaworthy (Unseaworthy)" ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

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Article: Interview

Alex Clarke: She Does It Her Way

Read "Alex Clarke: She Does It  Her Way" reviewed by Chris May


Coming up fast behind the school of British saxophonists who emerged around 2015 is a younger group of players who are just beginning to get noticed. Among them is Alex Clarke, who was a finalist in Britain's public service broadcaster, the BBC's biannual Young Jazz Musician competition in 2020. In the televised final in November, Clarke ...

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Article: Album Review

Ivo Perelman Trio: Garden Of Jewels

Read "Garden Of Jewels" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The subtitle of the Ivo Perelman Trio's Garden Of Jewels should be The Pandemic Session. Recorded on June 17, 2020 in the midst of a pandemic when clubs and restaurants were shuttered and “six feet apart" was the clarion call of the moment, the music is a chronicle of the times. At least, that is the ...


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