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Mundell Lowe


BORN IN LAUREL, Mississippi, Mundell left home at the age of thirteen. After working in Nashville, he found his way to Bourbon Street in New Orleans and the beginning of his jazz career. While serving in World War Il, he met the influential John Hammond, who introduced him to Ray McKinley. Mundell worked with McKinley’s band for a year and a half, developing his distinctive instrumental style, and then moved on to work in New York at Café Society and stints at the Village Vanguard and The Embers, among others. Mundell worked with Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Helen Humes and Charles Mingus, to name but a few


News: Recording

Bill Evans: Waltz for Debby

Bill Evans: Waltz for Debby

Bill Evans performed his composition Waltz for Debby at dozens of clubs and concert halls and recorded it several times in the studio between 1955 and 1980. In my opinion, he aced it only once. Waltz for Debby sounds deceptively easy to play but it isn't. Having played Bill Evans transcriptions in my teens, I can ...


Article: Bailey's Bundles

An Embarrassment of Riches From Hamburg: Recent Releases From Nagel-Heyer

Read "An Embarrassment of Riches From Hamburg: Recent Releases From Nagel-Heyer" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

This article was first published at All About Jazz in February 2001. While Nagel-Heyer Records is breaking ground with contemporary jazz releases with their Nagel-Heyer 2000 Series, showcasing music by Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Byron Stripling, and many others, the Hamburg-centered label's catalog continues to populate itself with the fine traditional jazz recitals that ...


Article: Year in Review

2022: The Year in Jazz

Read "2022: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

Current events impacted the jazz world in significant ways throughout 2022. In its third year, the coronavirus pandemic continued to lurk in some settings, while others recovered in robust fashion. Russia's war on Ukraine was felt by musicians and triggered an outpouring of support for its victims. Initiatives to ensure greater equity in jazz advanced. The ...


Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May

For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...


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 ...


News: Obituary

Mundell Lowe (1922-2017)

Mundell Lowe (1922-2017)

Mundell Lowe, an impeccable jazz guitarist, arranger and talent scout who recorded on many important East Coast jazz albums and introduced Bill Evans to Riverside producer Orrin Keepnews in the mid-1950s, died on December 2. He was 95. Few guitarists played with as many jazz greats as Mundy. The list includes Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Billie ...


Poor Butterfly

Label: Two Helpins' O' Collards
Released: 2015
Track listing: Line For Lyons; Poor Butterfly; I Loves You, Porgy; Here's That Rainy Day; My Shining Hour; I'm Through With Love; Alice In Wonderland; Last Night When We Were Young; For All We Know; I'll Never Be The Same; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Uncle John.


Article: Album Review

Mundell Lowe / Lloyd Wells / Jim Ferguson: Poor Butterfly

Read "Poor Butterfly" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Mainstream jazz guitar doesn't get much better than this. Guitarist Mundell Lowe's long career includes sideman stints with Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, André Previn, and many others; he has composed film and TV scores as well. Co-guitarist Lloyd Wells also grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, giving the pair a hometown connection. The two previously collaborated on ...


Article: Album Review

Mundell Lowe / Lloyd Wells / Jim Ferguson: Poor Butterfly

Read "Poor Butterfly" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Few people could ever claim to have played and/or recorded with such a storied list of performers as Sarah Vaughan, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, and Lester Young. But Mundell Lowe can. In fact, that list barely scratches the surface when it comes to the ...


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