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Blackboard, Lit Screen and Red Hot Jazz

Read "Blackboard, Lit Screen and Red Hot Jazz" reviewed by Andrew J. Sammut

Teachers must find it hard to leave their job in the classroom, like Olympic runners find it hard to take their time. The best teachers educate out of reflex, and for Michael Steinman that reflex transcends classroom or course listing. Whether it's English at Nassau Community College or hot jazz on the World Wide Web, passion ...

ARTICLE: FILM REVIEW

Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate

Read "Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Ben Webster Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate Shanachie 2009 Although he looked like a frog or a bullmastiff (hence his nicknames Frog and The Brute), saxophonist Ben Webster was splendidly photogenic, his emotions nakedly on his face. This DVD brings together three concert performances and one documentary ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bing Crosby: The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings (1954-56)

Read "The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings (1954-56)" reviewed by Michael Steinman

When contemporary culture acknowledges Bing Crosby at all, it is as a relic of ancient pop, his musical conservatism epitomized by “White Christmas." Happily, a new seven-disc Mosaic Records set reminds us that Crosby always swung without strain. In the mid-1950s, when he had apparently been eclipsed by Sinatra, then by Elvis, Crosby was still singing ...

Oscar Peterson: The Complete Clef/Mercury Studio Sessions of the Oscar Peterson Trio (1951-1953)

Read "Oscar Peterson: The Complete Clef/Mercury Studio Sessions of the Oscar Peterson Trio (1951-1953)" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Oscar Peterson The Complete Clef/Mercury Studio Recordings of The Oscar Peterson Trio (1951-1953) Mosaic Records 2008 The late Oscar Peterson was technically dazzling, harmonically sophisticated and indefatigably rhythmic. His virtuosic command of the piano has never been questioned. Because of Norman Granz' enthusiasm for his work, Peterson recorded ...

ARTICLE: FILM REVIEW

Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon

Read "Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey  of Jack Sheldon" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Jack Sheldon Trying To Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon Bialystock & Bloom, Inc./February Films 2009Born in 1931, the near-legendary West Coast jazzman Jack Sheldon—trumpeter, singer, comedian, actor—has played and recorded with Stan Kenton, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, Bill Harris, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Webster: Ben Webster: The Brute & The Beautiful

Read "Ben Webster: The Brute & The Beautiful" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Ben Webster (1909-73), perhaps the least acknowledged of the great jazz tenor saxophonists, was fortunate enough to have a varied 40-year recording career. His ballads were immensely tender and his blues and faster tunes could be nearly violent in their intensity. Hence the title of this two-disc set, a centennial issue that celebrates this musical duality. ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Louis Armstrong: Integrale Vol. 5 & Live in Australia 1964

Read "Louis Armstrong: Integrale Vol. 5 & Live in Australia 1964" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Louis ArmstrongIntegrale Vol. 5 (CD) Fremeaux & Associes2008 Louis Armstrong Live in Australia 1964 (DVD) Medici Arts 2008 Some might assert that the Fremaux label's triple-CD set, containing almost everything ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

George Wein: George Wein Is Alive And Well In Mexico

Read "George Wein Is Alive And Well In Mexico" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Impresario George Wein has given the music he loves invaluable support for more than half a century and no one would dare question that. But Wein also insists on being taken seriously as a jazz pianist and bandleader of the Newport All-Stars. His taste in musicians is excellent and his groups have provided gigs and record ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various: The Influence of Bix Beiderbecke - Vol. One (USA)/ Vol. Two (Europe)

Read "The Influence of Bix Beiderbecke - Vol. One (USA)/ Vol. Two (Europe)" reviewed by Michael Steinman

Cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, perhaps jazz's most mythic figure, continues to receive much deserved attention. This beautifully-documented CD set, full of rarities, shows how deeply Beiderbecke affected musicians in the United States and Europe before his death in 1931. The first disc offers tributes by well-known players (Red Nichols, Manny Klein, Sterling Bose and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

David Berger Octet featuring Harry Allen and Joe Temperley: I Had The Craziest Dream: The Music of Harry Warren

Read "I Had The Craziest Dream: The Music of Harry Warren" reviewed by Michael Steinman

David Berger's credentials are wide-ranging and impeccable: transcribing 500 Ellington recordings, leading the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, teaching at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard. I Had the Craziest Dream is precise, hot and lively, honoring Harry Warren, a deserving 20th-century popular composer less well known than Berlin, Gershwin, or Porter. In addition to the ...


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