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MUSICIAN Born:

Orrin Keepnews

"I have been deeply involved in the jazz record world for appreciably more than a half-century, and now that they have gotten around to labeling me a "jazz master" I guess I probably can't count on ending the association any time soon.  Not that I really would want to stop: I remain quite proud of what I have at times accomplished in a varied career — which might perhaps more accurately be considered an overlapping series of careers.  I have primarily thought of myself as a producer, which to me means working with a series of artists to help combine their talents with the realities of recording, editing, promoting, and in various other ways assisting them in achieving a reasonable degree of success and recognition."

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, ...

Yusef Lateef: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Blowing Cultural Nationalism Out Of The Water

Read "Yusef Lateef: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Blowing Cultural Nationalism Out Of The Water" reviewed by Chris May

A pioneer of global and modal jazz, the multi-instrumentalist and composer Yusef Lateef is only beginning to have his importance in the history of the music properly acknowledged. After languishing off-catalogue for decades, much of his output is being made available once more. A treasure trove of great jazz is out there waiting to be rediscovered. ...

Chet Baker: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Get Lost In

Read "Chet Baker: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Get Lost In" reviewed by Chris May

Chet Baker was born to a farmer's daughter and a hard-drinking, weed-smoking singer and guitarist in a Western Swing band in Yale, Oklahoma in 1929. Like many Okies, the family fared badly during the Great Depression but did a little better after moving to Glendale, California in 1939. Largely self-taught as a trumpeter, Baker honed his ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3

Read "My Early Years With Bill Evans, Part 3" reviewed by Chuck Israels

Bassist and composer, Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to his home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians. Chuck studied the cello ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2

Read "My Early Years with Bill Evans, Part 2" reviewed by Chuck Israels

Bassist and composer Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family. He studied the cello and played guitar in junior high school. Later musical training took place at Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts directed by his parents, and at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. A year at Massachusetts ...

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 ...

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

ARTICLE: THE VINYL POST

Summer Solstice

Read "Summer Solstice" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Founded in 1949 by Bob Weinstock, the Prestige label was home to some of the best hard bop, swing, and blues music of the '50s and '60s. The diversity of the catalog through subsidiary labels such as Swingville and Bluesville was nothing short of extraordinary. Be it spoken word albums, Southern blues, or the folk strains ...


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