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Mike LeDonne


Pianist Mike LeDonne started playing piano at the age of 5 and was raised in his parent’s music store. By the age of 10 his father, a jazz guitarist, began booking him on gigs. He is now an internationally renowned pianist and organist with the unique experience of having played with a wide spectrum of jazz masters from Benny Goodman to Milt Jackson and Sonny Rollins. He has won praise not only from critics but from master musicians: Oscar Peterson picked him as one of his favorite pianists of today. At age 21, Mike graduated from New England Conservatory in 1979 and moved to New York City with the Widespread Jazz Orchestra


The Heavy Hitters

Label: Cellar Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Hub; New Day; Silverdust; Una Dia es un Dia; Big Richard; Chainsaw; This Is Something New; Cedar Land; Bluesit.


Heavy Hitters

Label: Cellar Music Group
Released: 2023
Track listing: Hub; New Day; Silverdust; Un Dia es un Dia; Big Richard; Chainsaw; This is Something New; Cedar Land; Bluesit.


Article: Album Review

Mike LeDonne: The Heavy Hitters

Read "The Heavy Hitters" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

There was a period back in the middle years of the 20th Century and beyond when All-Star Groups were quite common, including the Buck Clayton All-Stars, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars, and Gene Harris and the Phillip Morris Superband among several other similar aggregations. In today's musical environment, this kind of coming together of high profile musicians ...


Article: Album Review

The Heavy Hitters: The Heavy Hitters

Read "The Heavy Hitters" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Heavy Hitters. Hyperbole? A matter of fact? Or simply the name given by co-leaders Mike LeDonne and Eric Alexander to their newly minted sextet. The third statement is true--but so is the second. From pianist LeDonne and tenor saxophonist Alexander to fellow front-liners Jeremy Pelt (trumpet) and Vincent Herring (alto sax) and the Washingtons, Peter ...


Blues on Top

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2022
Track listing: Blues on Top; Stolen Moments; Lock It in the Pocket; Willow Weep for Me; Angel Eyes; C Jam Blues; Jacob’s Ladder; Birk’s Works; Can’t Buy Me Love.


The Stars of Jazz #2

Label: Arkadia Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Moanin’, I Want To Talk About You, My Favorite Things, Blue Motel Room, Tico Tico, My Funny Valentine, Joy Spring, Six Gun, The Law of Diminishing Returns, Out of Nowhere


Article: Album Review

Mike Clark, Leon Lee Dorsey: Blues on Top

Read "Blues on Top" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While drummer Mike Clark and bassist Leon Lee Dorsey are the nominal leaders on Blues on Top, the album's subtitle —"featuring Mike LeDonne"—speaks volumes about its import and rationale. Without LeDonne at the keyboard, Clark and Dorsey would have to amplify their rhythmic talents to compensate for the absence of a secure melodic presence. Luckily, they ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Music Is The Magic - Birthday Celebrations for Dorothy Ashby, Abbey Lincoln, Louis Armstrong And More

Read "Music Is The Magic - Birthday Celebrations for Dorothy Ashby, Abbey Lincoln, Louis Armstrong And More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This broadcast presents new releases from Mike Clark & Leon Lee Dorsey, vocalist Lauren Henderson and saxophonist Jessy J, with birthday shoutouts to jazz greats Dorothy Ashby, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Abbey Lincoln among others, plus a celebration of Joni Mitchell's remarkable performance at the Newport Folk Festival. Thanks for listening and ...


Article: In Pictures

A Tribute to Dr. Lonnie Smith

Read "A Tribute to Dr. Lonnie Smith" reviewed by Dave Kaufman

The great master of the Hammond B3 organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith, passed away in September 2021 at 79. Smith enjoyed a more than 50-year career at the vanguard of soul jazz. His influence extended far beyond that genre to electronic, hip-hop, and funk artists. Smith remained at the peak of his powers as a musician and ...


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