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MUSICIAN Born:

Paul Bley

"Since the Montreal-born, long-US resident Bley's 50's debut with Mingus and Blakey, he's worked with more first-rate, wide ranging original musical minds than anyone but Miles..." —Howard Mandel, Downbeat, April 1995 Bley gave violin recitals at age five. By age seven he was studying piano. He went through numerous classical teachers—including one Frenchman that had him play, balancing filled water glasses on the tops of his hands. At age 11 he graduated from the McGill Conservatory—having taken on their musical curriculum in addition to his public school education. Bley, who was known as "Buzzy" in his early adolescence, formed a band and played clubs and summer hotel jobs in the Laurentian Mountains at age 13. Four years later he replaced Oscar Peterson at the Alberta Lounge. Bley founded the Montreal Jazz Workshop and brought Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Brew Moore and Alan Eager to Montreal inorder to perform with them. In 1950 Bley left for New York City. He studied at the Julliard School of Music from 1950-54. While at Julliard, Bley had a band with Jackie MacLean, Donald Byrd, Arthur Taylor, Doug Watkins. In this period he toured with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge and Bill Harris. He was a frequent visitor at the famed Saturday night sessions at Lenny Tristano's studio. Bley served as president of the Associated Jazz Societies of New York in 1952, which led to Charlie Mingus hiring Bley to conduct his ensemble. Mingus also recorded Bley's debut album, along with himself and Art Blakey, on his label, Debut Records.

ARTICLE: RADIO

A tribute to Gary Peacock

Read "A tribute to Gary Peacock" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This show is a tribute to the great double bassist Gary Peacock who passed in September this year. With a remarkable career, Gary's legacy is a discography featuring some of the key moments in jazz history. The list of musicians he has played with is impressive but I've focused on his ground breaking work with Keith ...

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: ALBUM REVIEW

Mirco Mariottini, Stefano Battaglia: Music for Clarinets and Piano

Read "Music for Clarinets and Piano" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Mirco Mariottini e Stefano Battaglia, due musicisti dalle frequentazioni abbastanza diverse ma accomunati dal gusto per la ricerca e dal forte rigore, si incontrano qui per dar vita a un disco di improvvisazioni dal sapore cameristico, ognuna delle quali dedicata a (e palesemente ispirata da) un musicista di estrazioni ed epoche molto diverse tra loro.

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable for free here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly an ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Russ Lossing

Pianist, composer and improviser Russ Lossing has been part of the New York jazz scene since 1986. Lossing played with drummer Paul Motian over a period of 12 years and was a member of the Paul Motian Quintet which played week long gigs at the Village Vanguard in New York. Russ Lossing has composed over 400 works and is in specialized demand as a world class jazz pianist and improviser. He has 18 CDs as leader and is featured on over 60 other CDs as sideman and collaborator with world acclaimed musicians. Lossing has 6 cds as leader on the storied Swiss avant-garde label HatHut Records in addition to releases on the Sunnyside, Cleanfeed, Fresh Sound, Double Time, Steeplechase and OmniTone labels as well as his own label Aqua Piazza Records

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

My Conversation with Gary Peacock

Read "My Conversation with Gary Peacock" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This article was first published at All About Jazz in October 1999. Having been in the political arena, I know first hand the power of celebrity's undertow. It has a way of casually siphoning the integrity of a candidate. Fame and power in politics, I find, is quite similar in our music, and that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Federica Michisanti Horn Trio: Jeux De Couleurs

Read "Jeux De Couleurs" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il fermento creativo dell'Horn Trio di Federica Michisanti (con Francesco Bigoni al clarinetto/sax tenore e Francesco Lento alla tromba/flicorno) compie nuovi passi avanti. L'estetica di fondo è ovviamente in sintonia con il precedente Silent Rides e in parte con Isk (Filibusta Records, 2016), registrato col sassofonista Matt Renzi e il pianista Simone Maggio. Alla libertà armonica ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sebastien Ammann's Color Wheel: Resilience

Read "Resilience" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Sebastien Ammann is originally from Switzerland but has been part of the New York City jazz scene since 2008, collaborating with musicians such as Kris Davis, Tony Malaby, Ohad Talmor and George Schuller. His current main focus is on his quintet, Color Wheel, whose second album is a kaleidoscope of fresh sounds and interesting musical ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mattias Risberg's Mining: Zauberberg

Read "Zauberberg" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg has teamed up with a range of well-known northern European born or based improvisers, including saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist and vocalist Jennie Abrahamson. He remains largely unknown in the U.S. but garnered well-deserved attention for And Now the Queen--A Tribute to Carla Bley (Lilalo records, 2016), a duo recording with Ljungkvist. Risberg ...


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