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Musician

Little Richard

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One of the original rock & roll greats, Little Richard merged the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon. While numerous other R&B greats of the early '50s had been moving in a similar direction, none of them matched the sheer electricity of Richard's vocals. With his bullet-speed deliveries, ecstatic trills, and the overjoyed force of personality in his singing, he was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock & roll. Although he was only a hitmaker for a couple of years or so, his influence upon both the soul and British Invasion stars of the 1960s was vast, and his early hits remain core classics of the rock repertoire. Heavily steeped in gospel music while growing up in Georgia, when Little Richard began recording in the early '50s he played unexceptional jump blues/R&B that owed a lot to his early inspirations Billy Wright and Roy Brown

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Article: Album Review

Bob Dylan: Springtime in New York 1980-1985: The Bootleg Series, Volume 16 (5CD)

Read "Springtime in New York 1980-1985: The Bootleg Series, Volume 16 (5CD)" reviewed by Doug Collette


Generally speaking, revelations abound within the various installments of The Bootleg Series, Bob Dylan's ongoing archive initiative, and Volume 16 is no exception. But in listening to Springtime in New York, 1980- 1985, the epiphanies come in slow bursts, flashing over the course of the five CDs to generate a cumulative momentum that reaches a flash-point ...

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Article: Year in Review

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2020

Read "In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2020" reviewed by Maxim Micheliov


As 2020 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to Gary Peacock, Ennio Morricone, Keith Tippett, Henry Grimes, Bucky Pizzarelli, Wallace Roney and many others including NEA Jazz Masters Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Candido Camero, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Opinion

Renegade or Retrograde: Questioning Little Richard's Legacy

Read "Renegade or Retrograde: Questioning Little Richard's Legacy" reviewed by Jacob Bloomfield


In the many retrospectives on rock musician Little Richard since his death on 9 May 2020, some major narratives have emerged: he has been alternatingly cast as a queer forefather in the tradition of Oscar Wilde; a transgressive figure who broke racial, gender, and/or sexual boundaries; and a music pioneer largely defined by his influence on ...

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Article: Profile

Little Richard: 1932 - 2020

Read "Little Richard: 1932 - 2020" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


It has been often said that popular culture is like a McDonald's cheeseburger: something better consumed than considered. It is a dilemma then, when a pop culture event stirs the roiling cauldron of the 21st Century. It is even greater and more significant when that event signals the end of an era. In his tribute to ...

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Article: Album Review

Hey Exit: Arm's Reach (Else 3)

Read "Arm's Reach (Else 3)" reviewed by James Fleming


Writers have been creating worlds for centuries. J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, H.P Lovecraft, they all shaped worlds and mythologies and civilisations out of words. Few musicians, however, have created new worlds out of their music. Kraftwerk's albums and aesthetics form a unique world of Pop Art, industrialism, rhythms and electricity. But it's a world rooted in ...

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Article: Book Review

Rip it Up: The Specialty Records Story by Billy Vera

Read "Rip it Up: The Specialty Records Story by Billy Vera" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Rip it Up: The Specialty Records Story Billy Vera RPM Series 177 Pages ISBN: # 978-1947026360 BMG Books 2019 The best music writing makes the reader go listen to music. It is just that simple. Volume 4 of BMG's RPM Series: Rip It Up—The Specialty Records Story is ...

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Article: Interview

Monty Alexander: Still Rolling

Read "Monty Alexander: Still Rolling" reviewed by Geno Thackara


If there's one defining quality to Monty Alexander's music, it's joy. An unmistakable undercurrent of happiness has been constant across several decades, dozens of recordings and countless performances all over the world. He could be honoring classic jazz balladeers, exploring the danceable “riddims" of his native Jamaica or anything in between, and you can always hear ...

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Article: Live Review

The Music & Legacy of Jimi Hendrix: Experience Hendrix at NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Read "The Music & Legacy of Jimi Hendrix: Experience Hendrix at NYCB Theatre at Westbury" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante


The Music & Legacy of Jimi Hendrix: Experience Hendrix NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY March 28, 2019 Many describe Jimi Hendrix as the “GOAT" of the electric guitar--the greatest of all-time; the greatest and most influential guitarist who ever lived. James Marshall “Jimi" Hendrix was born Johnny ...


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