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Modern Jazz Quartet

The Modern Jazz Quartet was a major jazz institution, a band that, counting a seven-year “vacation,” lasted 43 years. During a time when jazz musicians were stereotyped as unreliable, rarely sober and erratic, the MJQ played at concert halls while wearing tuxedos. They are not known to have ever been late, missed a gig, or disappointed an audience. The Modern Jazz Quartet’s evolution began in the Dizzy Gillespie big band of 1946. Due to the complexity of the charts and the strain that it caused in the trumpet section, Gillespie featured his rhythm section on an occasional number

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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Article: Book Review

Komeda: A Private Life In Jazz

Read "Komeda: A Private Life In Jazz" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Komeda: A Private Life In Jazz Magdalena Grzebałkowska 456 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78179 945 1 Equinox Publishing2020 That it has taken over fifty years for the first English-language biography of Krzysztof Komeda to appear reflects the pianist/composer's underground status outside his native Poland. Yet no history of European ...

Musician

The Aubrey Wilson Quartet

In many ways, Aubrey Wilson was born to be a musician. Growing up, Wilson was immersed in jazz, soul, and show tunes without even knowing it; her father, a singer, was part of a successful barbershop quartet, which toured across Canada and the United States. Being around so much music – and accompanying her vocalist father to many of his shows – Wilson developed a natural affinity for performing. In addition to singing, she danced from a young age, performed with her high school jazz band, and, when deciding on her post-secondary education, elected to attend Mohawk College’s Applied Music program, where she studied with Carol McCartney and Bob Shields

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2020

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


2020 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27-30, 2020 Above all else the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a spectacular ten-day event: with around 2 million visitors and 500 concerts on 20 stages, it is ranked as the world's largest jazz ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

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Article: Radio

John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays

Read "John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn


May birthdays this week on G&M! Some big ones (of course): the John Lewis centennial, Dave McKenna @ 90, Arthur Blythe and Carlos Ward @ 80. It's also Stevie Wonder's 70th this month, and May celebrant salutes are in the house (Theo Hill, Ronnie Foster, Mel Lewis, and Groove Holmes) doing 'Wonderful' tunes. We also celebrate ...

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Article: Album Review

Ian Shaw, Iain Ballamy, Jamie Safir: What's New

Read "What's New" reviewed by Chris May


What's new? Not the dozen songs on this enchanting trio album. Most of them have been around for well over fifty years and people will likely still be enjoying them in another fifty. The composers include Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Van Heusen, Michel Legrand and Leonard Bernstein. Musically sophisticated and lyrically literate, the ...


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