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Musician

Major Holley

Born:

Jazz bassist Major “Mule” Holley, a Detroit native, began playing the violin at age 7 and learned the tuba and every other wind-related instrument in the bass family as well as piano during a 1940s stint in the Navy. His first professional gig was in San Diego in 1946 where he performed in an ensemble led by saxophonists Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon. He moved to New York after getting out of the service. Holley moved to England in the ‘50’s doing session work at the BBC. The same decade returning to the states he toured with Woody Herman in 1958 and with Al Cohn/Zoot Sims in 1959-60. In the 1960’s he garnered a distinguished reputation as a top notch studio player and sideman, playing with Duke Ellington in 1964 and with the Kenny Burrell Trio, Coleman Hawkins, Lee Konitz, Roy Eldridge, Michel Legrand, Milt Buckner, Jay McShann and Quincy Jones. He taught at Berklee College in Boston from 1967 to 1970 and toured Europe with the Kings of Jazz in the mid-70s. Holley was noted for singing along with his bass solos, a technique fellow bassist Slam Stewart had originated

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Article: Album Review

Alex Hitchcock: All Good Things

Read "All Good Things" reviewed by Roger Farbey


The Alex Hitchcock Quintet's first record, Live at the London and Cambridge Jazz Festivals, was released in 2018 as an EP on Mondo Tunes. But at around 40 minutes this could easily have passed muster as a pukka LP. It was also a very impressive debut indeed, captured live from gigs performed in 2016 and 2017 ...

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Article: Interview

Burt Eckoff: A Pianist's Close Encounters With the Greats of Jazz

Read "Burt Eckoff: A Pianist's Close Encounters With the Greats of Jazz" reviewed by Idelle Nissila-Stone


Active in the jny: New York City jazz scene since the 1960s, pianist Burt Eckoff played with many jazz greats, among them Howard McGhee, Maynard Ferguson, Art Blakey, Sonny Stitt and Archie Shepp. He is known for exceptional artistry in his work with vocalists Dionne Warwick, The Drifters, Eddie Jefferson, and most importantly Dakota Staton, with ...

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Article: Interview

Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand

Read "Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 World-renown trumpeter, saxophonist, musical director, producer and entrepreneur. These are but a mere handful of words that describe the vast talent in Glenn Zottola's bag of musical marvels. There are others: child prodigy, creative genius, “musical natural" and aural savant also percolate rapidly to mind. Now ...

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Article: Interview

Ron Aprea: Passion Supreme

Read "Ron Aprea: Passion Supreme" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Ron Aprea is a saxophonist's saxophonist. After all, none less than the late, great Frank Foster called him friend, confidant, section mate and leader. And Foster wasn't alone in this regard. Aprea has been a mainstay and graced the sax section in the bands of Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman and many others. A multi-faceted musician with ...

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Article: From Far and Wide

The National Jazz Museum In Harlem

Read "The National Jazz Museum In Harlem" reviewed by AAJ Staff


The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is at 104, E 126th Street, a few steps from the bridge that carries the Metro North trains to and from Connecticut from the 125th Street station. Situated on the second floor, the museum is primarily a suite of offices with a large front area that presents photographs, video documentaries ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Oscar Peterson: Debut: The Clef / Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951

Read "Oscar Peterson: Debut: The Clef / Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951" reviewed by Ken Dryden


Oscar PetersonDebut: The Clef / Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951Verve Music Group2010 Piano giant Oscar Peterson's professional career spanned approximately 60 years and produced a prolific amount of recordings, though most of what he waxed during his first two decades was for labels launched by jazz impresario Norman Granz. But Peterson's ...

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Article: Big Jazz Nerd

Shut Yo' Mouth

Read "Shut Yo' Mouth" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Yo, Dr. Pravitz, I say Slam Stewart and Major Holley were singers. My friend says they were bass players. Who's right? Bill Dunlop, Cambridge, Mass. Bill: Turns out you're both right. Stewart and Holley were bass players and contemporaries, and they both sang while they soloed on the ...

Album

Mule

Label: Black and Blue Records
Released: 2002

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Article: Multiple Reviews

The Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Editions

Read "The Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Editions" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


As far as jazz goes from the hard bop era, two names are synonymous with their groundbreaking work of the period-Blue Note Records and recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Blue Note released a canon of recordings that have been revered by collectors and musicians alike over the years and Van Gelder was the man behind the ...


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