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MUSICIAN Born:

Mercer Ellington

Mercer Ellington was born in Washington, D.C., the only child of Duke and Edna Ellington. He received formal music training and eventually led his own band as a trumpet player. Joining his father in Los Angeles in 1940 he began a period of study with the Duke Ellington Orchestra that lasted until he went into the service; this would be Mercer’s most productive period with regard to jazz standards. In Duke Ellington in Person: An Intimate Memoir, Mercer states, "There is nothing like practical experience, and when the band played arrangements I had written under [Duke’s] supervision, like “Moon Mist,” “Blue Serge,” “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” and “The Girl in My Dreams,” it was as instructive as gratifying." Mercer participated in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, at times in an administrative capacity, and then as band member in the 50’s and 60’s

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Falkner Evans: Marbles

Read "Marbles" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Falkner Evans has been gradually expanding the size of his recording projects. He started out with a couple of trio discs, then made one with a quintet. On this latest offering, he fronts a three-horn sextet scored to sound like a bigger and fuller unit. He uses a front line of Michael Blake ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The Los Angeles Jazz Institute (LAJI), under Ken Poston, has continued for some thirty years to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ed Neumeister & His NeuHat Ensemble: Wake Up Call

Read "Wake Up Call" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you are one of those restless wanderers who is searching high and low for easy listening, look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you are drawn to music that is more or less off the beaten path and challenges your mind and spirit, composer / arranger / trombonist Ed Neumeister's new album may well serve ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: Rotterdam 1969

Read "Rotterdam 1969" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Right up to the end Duke Ellington maintained an ability to surprise lesser mortals with his impish wit. In 1969 he visited the White House to celebrate his 70th birthday and kissed President Richard Nixon on the cheek four times. When Nixon asked why four times, Ellington replied, “One for each cheek." Tricky ...

NEWS: RADIO

Catherine Russell In Concert This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, Catherine Russell joins The Jim Cullum Jazz Band with frequent guest artist Dick Hyman on piano, at the historic Pearl Stable in San Antonio. They present a selection of songs from Catherine's recent CDs. Catherine talks about her beginnings as the daughter of a pioneering woman of jazz, to what she ...

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Jazz Poetry Of Pheralyn Dove In Center City Wed. April 9th!

Jazz Poetry Of Pheralyn Dove In Center City Wed. April 9th!

The Jazz Bridge Second Wednesdays Neighborhood Concerts Series at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia, presents poet Pheralyn Dove and her trio on Wednesday, April 9th. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For info: 215-517-8337 or visit Jazz ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

George Cables: The Pianist’s Dedication to the Group

Read "George Cables: The Pianist’s Dedication to the Group" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Anyone who is serious about jazz will tell you that George Cables belongs in the pantheon of the greatest jazz pianists. Everyone, that is, except George Cables. Exceptional in every way, he is yet a team player. He sees himself as part of the rhythm section, and has always emphasized the group over the soloist. He ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sandviken Big Band: In the Name of Freedom

Read "In the Name of Freedom" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This admirably performed two-CD set by Sweden's celebrated Sandviken Big Band, recorded live in 2009 and comprised for the most part of music composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, isn't without its ambiguous aspects. First, there's the title: while anyone who produces an album is free to assign any name that seems appropriate, In the ...


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