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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

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

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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Article: Year in Review

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May


The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones. Yazz Ahmed Polyhymnia Ropeadope The eagerly ...

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Article: Album Review

Michael Dease: Never More Here

Read "Never More Here" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Trombonist Michael Dease released Bonafide (Posi-Tone Records) in 2018. The disc was a testament to some of his influences—pianist Geri Allen, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, trombonist J.J. Johnson. For his 2019 testament, Never No More Here, he tips his hat to saxophonist Charlie Parker. But he doesn't cover “Confirmation" “or “An Oscar For Treadwell" or “Segment," familiar ...

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Article: Album Review

Tribe: Hometown: Detroit Sessions 1990 - 2014

Read "Hometown: Detroit Sessions 1990 - 2014" reviewed by Chris May


Hot on the heels of jny: Detroit trombonist and co-founder of the Tribe Phil Ranelin's Phil Ranelin Collected 2003—2019 (Wide Hive, 2019), comes another funked up spiritual-jazz beauty from the collective. The music on both albums is about as good as jazz ever gets and, given the social divisions being encouraged by reactionary politicians on both ...


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