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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)

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kevin Sun: (Un)seaworthy

Read "(Un)seaworthy" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he's a relative newcomer to the jazz world, having released his debut album, Trio (Endectomorph Music) in 2018, tenor saxophonist Kevin Sun is well on his way toward staking a major claim as a distinctive composer and soloist. After an excellent two-disc effort, The Sustain of Memory (Endectomorph) in 2019, he's now adding to his ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Night at the Jazz Circus! - Companion Mixtape

Read "A Night at the Jazz Circus! - Companion Mixtape" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

From Charles Gayle's alter ego, Streets the Clown, to the music performed by the Kamikaze Ground Crew for the Flying Karamazov Brothers, from the countless jazz renditions of the iconi themes that Nino Rota wrote for Federico Fellini's movies to the equally countless jazz tunes inspired by circus acts... Jazz and Circus have a long history ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dayna Stephens Quartet: Right Now! Live At The Village Vanguard

Read "Right Now! Live At The Village Vanguard" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

New York City's Village Vanguard has a history. Founded by Max Gordon in 1935 and, after his passing in 1989, operated by his wife Lorraine until her death in 2018, the venue became famous for launching jazz careers and hosting the recordings of more than a hundred jazz albums, including saxophonist Sonny Rollins' A Night At ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Melito/Dino Losito Quartet: You're It!

Read "You're It!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The album cover says “Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet." What it does not say is that drummer Melito and pianist Losito have at their beck-and-call an awesome secret weapon, Philadelphia-based tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna, a phenom from the Lester Young school of elegant swinging whose voice on the horn is as debonair and persuasive as ...

Meet Jonathan Glass

Read "Meet Jonathan Glass" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

New York, New York, we can't imagine our latest jazz Super Fan thriving anywhere else, inspired as he is by the sports teams, the museums, the art galleries, the theater, and the jazz clubs—-perhaps most of all, the jazz clubs. You might have spotted him, sketchbook in hand, capturing the spirit of the night's performance for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tim Garland: ReFocus

Read "ReFocus" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Strings and Tim Garland have always resonated well together. A leading figure of British jazz since the early 2000s, Garland emerged from a classical background, having studied classical composition at the Guildhall School of Music. His dual idioms have converged persuasively on albums such as If The Sea Replied (Sirocco Music Limited, 2005), Libra (Global Mix, ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable for free here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly an ...


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