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Oliver Nelson

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Oliver Nelson needs to be reconsidered by music listeners for what he was - one of the most significant jazz voices of his generation, and an important big band composer and arranger of the 1960s. Perhaps the skill he mastered most keenly was his ability to turn listeners on. As difficult as his music might have been to play, and as hard as it is to analyze, it is extremely easy to listen to. Born June 4, 1932 in St. Louis, Oliver Nelson came from a musical family: His brother played saxophone with Cootie Williams in the Forties, and his sister was a singer-pianist. Nelson himself began piano studies at age six and saxophone at eleven

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Article: Album Review

Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra: Tales From The Jacquard

Read "Tales From The Jacquard" reviewed by Chris May


Reed player Julian Siegel has been an important part of the London jazz scene since the late 1990s, when he cofounded Partisans, a high-energy quartet completed by guitarist Phil Robson, bassist Thad Kelly and drummer Gene Calderazzo. The band is pretty much beyond category, although it is usually billed as jazz-rock. Unlike normative jazz-rock outfits, however, ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment

Read "Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment" reviewed by Chris May


Those of us for whom Impulse has been as important a part of our cultural lives as Blue Note, perhaps even a more important one, will not be satisfied until the label reissues its entire catalogue on remastered CDs and audiophile vinyl. In the meantime, it would be churlish to do anything other than applaud such ...

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Article: Album Review

Steven Feifke Big Band: Kinetic

Read "Kinetic" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Assimilare la tradizione per poi creare cose originali. È questo il percorso che hanno seguito e continuano a seguire i musicisti jazz, in forme e approfondimenti diversi. A 30 anni esatti il pianista Steven Feifke è ancora al primo passo ma in questo scintillante debutto orchestrale dimostra di avere tutte le carte in regola per sviluppare ...

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Article: Album Review

Elliot Bild & the Zone: ISMS

Read "ISMS" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


A textural and improvisational tour de force from Elliot Bild and the Zone, ISMS, recorded live, consists of ten selections—nine of which are Bild originals—and offers up an evening of intelligent and enlightening jazz. “Army of Aliens (Your Thoughts)" opens the set and is a classic hard-bop burner with Bild and saxophonist Hudson-Casanova lifting ...

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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 ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way

Read "Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most notably a jazz pianist, it comes as more than a surprise that Bill Cunliffe was not in the same orbit as jazz until he was in college. With the sheer volume of top shelf jazz he has written and recorded since, he would seem to have made up for any lost time. That time, those ...

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Article: So You Don't Like Jazz

Khruangbin: The Sly Art of Containment

Read "Khruangbin: The Sly Art of Containment" reviewed by Alan Bryson


It's a good bet that most of us have heard people say they don't like jazz, or even worse, drop the H-bomb, “I hate jazz." If you choose to engage, the key is to tread lightly and tailor an approach that considers the tastes and sensibilities of the other person. The “So You Don't Like Jazz" ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Thelonious Monk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Of Deep And Staggering Genius

Read "Thelonious Monk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Of Deep And Staggering Genius" reviewed by Chris May


Thelonious Monk's position in cultural history grows in stature with each passing year and every new generation. Lionised by jazz fans and a continuing influence on musicians, Monk in 2020 is also held to be a hero by the hip hop movement. While his music no longer has the power to shock that it once possessed, ...

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Article: Interview

Marvin Stamm: Team Player

Read "Marvin Stamm: Team Player" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Trumpeter Marvin Stamm is known for being part of a gazillion albums, having that ability to go into a studio and play exactly what's required, whether it's for a records by pop singers, jazz artists, Paul McCartney, Donny Hathaway or touring with Frank Sinatra. It's a reputation the highly skilled player earned with hard work.


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