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Louis Jordan

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At the height of his career, in the 1940s, bandleader and alto saxophonist Louis Jordan scored 18 Number One hit records. Jordan exhibited a brilliant sense of showmanship that brought audiences first-rate entertainment without any loss of musical integrity. He performed songs that appealed to millions of black and white listeners. Able to communicate between these two audiences, Jordan emerged as one of the first successful crossover artists of American popular music. Born on July 8, 1908, in Brinkley, Arkansas, Jordan was the son of Jim Jordan, a bandleader and music teacher. Under the tutelage of his father, Jordan began studying clarinet at age seven, then saxophone

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Article: Extended Analysis

The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66

Read "The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66" reviewed by Skip Heller


Louis Armstrong officially returned to small band leadership May 17, 1947 via a triumphant concert at Town Hall that was less comeback than reaffirmation. It was even the dawn of his second great period, full of recordings that stood tall with his epochal 1920's output, and the subsequently-assembled Louis Armstrong and his All Stars would immediately ...

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Article: Book Review

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz

Read "This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz" reviewed by Ian Patterson


This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz Peter Jones 263 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78179 874 4 Equinox Publishing 2020 Few are the jazz singers accorded the fanfare usually reserved for the music's great instrumentalists. Jon Hendricks was one, taking scat and vocalese to unprecedented ...

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Article: Interview

Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures

Read "Rudy Royston: Little Steps, Big Pictures" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Everybody needs a helping hand now and then. Rudy Royston understands that. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused gigs to completely dry up for all musicians, and with that, their main income stream. Yet there are still mortgages, rents and bills to pay, and children to feed. It says something about the precarious finances of a jazz ...

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Article: Album Review

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Record label bosses probably do not hear the words “solo drum album" too often. Or if they do, judging by the paucity of such exemplars on the market, they likely only have to hear the phrase the once. After three impressive albums on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label, to wit, 303 (2014), Rise of Orion (2016) ...

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Article: Interview

Jerry Granelli: Updating Music of Past Heroes

Read "Jerry Granelli: Updating Music of Past Heroes" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


"I've earned the privilege of not playing anything I don't want to play," says drummer Jerry Granelli, whose past is replete with the names of many greats in jazz for whom he supplied rhythmic support—sometimes force—over several decades. “That used to be a fear," he adds, “You figured if you turned something down, the ...

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Article: Interview

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...

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Article: Reassessing

Back At The Chicken Shack

Read "Back At The Chicken Shack" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher


Back At The Chicken Shack celebrates 60 years since its recording date at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. The same session produced Midnight Special (Blue Note, 1961), though Back At The Chicken Shack would have to wait three years for its release. The label's co-founder, Alfred Lion, later revealed that the healthy sales of ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

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Article: Interview

Jonathan Goldman: Bump and Let It Slide

Read "Jonathan Goldman: Bump and Let It Slide" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


On Saturday February 29, Spanglish Fly will celebrate completing their tenth full year as America's leading producer and exporter of the wicked hot musical sauce known as Latin boogaloo with a special anniversary performance hosted by the legendary Brooklyn hotspot Barbes. The quintessential musical melting pot Spanglish Fly features musicians with roots in Puerto ...


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