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Marty Paich

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One of the best-known arrangers of the post-World War II era, Marty Paich had much stronger jazz credentials than many of his peers, thanks to his active presence on the West Coast scene during the '50s. Paich was born in Oakland, CA, on January 23, 1925; he started out as a pianist, and was performing professionally at age 16. Along with the up-and-coming Pete Rugolo, he wrote arrangements for local bandleader Gary Nottingham. Tapped for military service in 1943, he continued to arrange while serving as the leader of the Army Air Corps band through 1946. Following his discharge, he used the G.I

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Article: Album Review

Doug MacDonald and the L.A. All-Star Octet: Overtones

Read "Overtones" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Doug MacDonald's mind is as active as his fingers. The Los Angeles-based guitarist divides his time between writing and playing, and he writes as well as he plays, which is impeccably. Overtones, on which he leads an All-Star Octet (we checked, and all-star is precisely the proper term), is MacDonald's fourth album in the last year ...

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Article: Album Review

Mace Francis Plus 11: Isolation Emancipation

Read "Isolation Emancipation" reviewed by Jack Bowers


After a brief pause to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions, Australian composer and arranger Mace Francis is back—with a brand new musical wardrobe, a new axe (trombone) and a pared-down ensemble reminiscent of the classic Art Pepper + Eleven album (with arrangements by Marty Paich) from 1960. Like that earlier album, Isolation Emancipation was written with Paich in ...

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Article: Album Review

Jazzlab Orchestra: Loguslabusmuzikus

Read "Loguslabusmuzikus" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The Jazzlab Orchestra, formed in 2004 and based in Montreal, Canada, lies somewhere short of orchestra-size. It's actually an octet—but don't let that deter you; the unison passages are generally robust and pleasing. Jazzlab does play jazz of a sort, music that may best be described as contemporary cerebral. In other words, this is not akin ...

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Article: Album Review

David Angel: Out on the Coast

Read "Out on the Coast" reviewed by Jack Bowers


David Angel, one of the West Coast's best-kept secrets, earns a long-overdue hour or three in the sun and makes every moment count on Out on the Coast, a superlative three-disc anthology that bundles fifteen of his luminous original compositions with seven jazz standards in an invariably pleasurable and charming package. When not teaching, writing or ...

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Article: Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any big-band album that opens with a rollicking Four Brothers-style saxophone soli is all but guaranteed to capture one's ear and interest. As it turns out, the buoyant “Fill in the Gap," on which the sax section sparkles, is but the first of many sonic delights on The Third Quarter, a marvelous new CD by Philadelphia-based ...

News: Video / DVD

Stan Kenton: Back to Balboa

Stan Kenton: Back to Balboa

Back in the early 1980s, I headed out to Los Angeles to visit a friend in Huntington Beach for a few days. For the summer trip—my first to the L.A. area—I packed my Sony Walkman and a bunch of West Coast jazz cassettes. The tapes weren't to entertain. My motive was more anthropological. I wanted to ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)

Read "The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Songs from what came to be known as the Great American Songbook, have been part of jazz perhaps since The Original Dixieland Jazz Band began recording Irving Berlin compositions. In the 1940s, singer Lee Wiley recorded several collections of 78s, known as “albums"--a name that stuck into the LP era, focused on the work of individual ...

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Article: Talking 2 Musicians

Talent, Tenacity, Tequila & a Tale of Two Texas Teenagers

Read "Talent, Tenacity, Tequila & a Tale of Two Texas Teenagers" reviewed by Alan Bryson


Train to Nowhere “Train to Nowhere" by Dave Dupree was the aptly named single released by Challenge Records on January 15, 1958. Newly founded by Gene Autrey, “The Singing Cowboy" of Hollywood fame, the jny: Los Angeles based label was looking to land its first hit record. The single itself was on the road to “nowhere" ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

Scenes from a life in Jazz

Read "Scenes from a life in Jazz" reviewed by Duncan Lamont


Part 1 | Part 2 About the author Duncan Lamont is one of the UK's musical treasures. I've known who he is for years, but finally through a friend, got to meet and play with him only this year (2018) at The Pizza Express in Soho, London. Sammy Cahn, the legendary lyricist, said about ...


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