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Article: Live Review

Stormy Weather Doesn't Dampen Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Read "Stormy Weather Doesn't Dampen Jacksonville Jazz Festival" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

Jazz is unpredictable. So is Mother Nature. During the 2004 Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the two joined forces for an extended jam session along the banks of the St. Johns River. Sometimes it was musical bliss, other times it was a soaking mess. But the music still swung like crazy. For ...


Article: Album Review

The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration

Read "A Jazz Celebration" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

The Marsalis family--father Ellis on piano with sons Branford on tenor and soprano saxophones, Wynton on trumpet, Delfeayo on trombone, and Jason on drums--has put an indelible stamp on the world of jazz. One problem: they've never played together as a family. That changed in August 2001, when the University ...


Article: Album Review

Lizz Wright: Salt

Read "Salt" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

Please don't take Lizz Wright's song away. To do so would be blasphemous. The 23-year-old vocalist from Hahira, Georgia has been singing in jazz clubs in Atlanta for a few years, eventually hooking up with the band In the Spirit. Last year she caused a stir when she performed at Billie Holiday tribute ...


Article: Album Review

Ron Carter: Stardust

Read "Stardust" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

In an ever-expanding career encompassing nearly 3000 projects, jazz bassist Ron Carter has surrounded himself with some of the best musicians. Carter's latest album, Stardust, continues that tradition. Joining Carter in the studio are Benny Golson on tenor sax, Joe Locke on vibraphone, Sir Roland Hanna on piano, and Lenny White on drums. ...


Article: Album Review

Miles Davis: The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions

Read "The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

Miles Davis was an innovator from the moment he first picked up the trumpet. But for years, the public didn't have a clear enough picture of Davis' journey from jazz into the rock/funk sounds of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix as well as his use of electric instruments.At the time, all the public knew ...


Article: Album Review

Art Blakey: A Night At Birdland, Vols. 1 and 2

Read "A Night At Birdland, Vols. 1 and 2" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

We should all stand up right now and applaud Alfred Lion and Rudy Van Gelder of Blue Note Records for rolling the tapes at Birdland on a February night in 1954.Lion and Van Gelder captured drummer Art Blakey's quintet at the New York nightclub on a night when they were really cooking. Because of ...


Article: Album Review

Miles Davis: Live at Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time

Read "Live at Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

The crowd at the Fillmore East may have been puzzled after trumpeter Miles Davis finished his sets at the New York concert hall in March 1970. At the time, the audience was hearing something revolutionary and controversial pumping out of the loudspeakers.Little did they know that Davis was about to unleash the electric jazz/rock ...


Article: Album Review

Ron Carter: When Skies Are Grey

Read "When Skies Are Grey" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

The album cover for Ron Carter's When Skies Are Grey shows the jazz bassist contemplatively looking up toward an overcast New York City sky.Perhaps the title is in reference to how Carter felt during the recording sessions because his wife had died the week before. He attended funeral services over that weekend and came ...


Article: Album Review

Bobby Hutcherson: The Best of the Blue Note Years

Read "The Best of the Blue Note Years" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

Quick. Name some jazz vibraphonists.Most of you would pick the legendary Lionel Hampton, who played in Benny Goodman's band, among others. Some of you would name Milt Jackson, who's one-fourth of the Modern Jazz Quartet.But what about Bobby Hutcherson?Thumbing through some jazz history books, you might find a page or ...


Article: Album Review

Charlie Parker: The Washington Concerts

Read "The Washington Concerts" reviewed by Michael Fortuna

Only Bird could make a plastic saxophone sound amazing.Charlie Parker, the virtuoso alto saxophonist who started the bebop movement in jazz, gave a jaw-dropping performance with Joe Timer's orchestra at the Club Kavakos in Washington, D.C. in 1953.Eight songs taken from that concert (where Parker played a plastic saxophone) were released in ...


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