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Musician

Marcus Belgrave

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Marcus Belgrave is Detroit’s internationally recognized jazz trumpet great. He came to prominence in the late 50’s, touring and recording with the late great Ray Charles’ Orchestra, at the height of Ray’s hit-making era. Marcus is heard as a trumpet soloist on some of Ray’s most famous “hits”... both albums and singles. He always pays tribute to Ray, who mentored him from the young age of 19. He is the only living member of Ray Charles’ small band horn section. He was also mentored by the Great Clifford Brown. Clifford’s early influence on the young Belgrave can still be heard in his tone

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Article: Album Review

The Paxton / Spangler Septet: Ugqozi

Read "Ugqozi" reviewed by Chris May


Ugqozi is a celebration of modern, urban African music, especially that from South Africa, with which co-leaders trombonist John “Tbone" Paxton and percussionist RJ Spangler have been in love for decades. It is also an affirmation of the vibrant Detroit scene of which the multi-generational Paxton / Spangler Septet is a part. Actually, ...

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Article: Interview

Kenny Garrett: The Value of Ancestors

Read "Kenny Garrett: The Value of Ancestors" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Saxophonist Kenny Garrett has always respected the music of his predecessors. He knows its importance. He knows the value of the tradition, knowledge and innovation passed on to new generations of musicians. He's recorded, for example, dedications to John Coltrane (Pursuance, Warner Bros., 1996), as well as Joe Henderson and Sonny Rollins (Trilogy, Warner ...

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Article: Interview

Dave McMurray: Blowing on the Edge of Grate-ness

Read "Dave McMurray: Blowing on the Edge of Grate-ness" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer


Saxophonist Dave McMurray's discography is reflective of the musical melting pot of his hometown jny: Detroit. Dave came up playing with everyone from bluesman Albert King, pianist Geri Allen, even Kid Rock. He is most known for his decades-long association with eclectic producer, and Blue Note label President, Don Was. Through Was, ...

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Article: Album Review

Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Read "@ Bremen 1964 & 1975" reviewed by Chris May


Four hours of previously unissued, premier-league music by Charles Mingus is something to shout about, and @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 is about as good as the bassist and composer's posthumously released live albums get. Four CDs chronicle two extended, intense performances recorded in Germany by Radio Bremen. Both gigs featured all-star bands and both are ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

It Takes Two to Jazz: Part I

Read "It Takes Two to Jazz: Part I" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This week we focus on the art of the duo. A challenging format as one does neither have the complete freedom of a solo nor the support of a larger band. Yet, in the hands of the right artists, it can produce magical music. Happy listening! Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme ...

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Article: Live Review

Charleston Jazz Festival 2020

Read "Charleston Jazz Festival 2020" reviewed by Martin McFie


Various Venues Charleston Jazz Festival Charleston, SC January 23-26, 2020 Jazz Festivals are like people, six years old is still in infancy, but everything has to start somewhere. Historically, the city which gave birth to the Charleston dance craze and was the inspiration for Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, deserves The Charleston ...

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Article: Year in Review

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...


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