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Pee Wee Russell

Clarinetist Pee Wee Russell is one of those unique players that comes along only once in a lifetime, squawking his way quite expressively in an unpredictable fashion, carving out his own distinctive voice. Pee Wee was born Charles Ellsworth Russell in St. Louis and began playing clarinet in Muskogee Oklahoma which is famous for giving the jazz world pianist Jay McShann. Pee Wee's career in jazz began in the early 1920's in Chicago with Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer, cutting his first sides with Red Nichols and his Five Pennies in 1929. The band also featured Glenn Miller and Jack Teagarden on trombones, Bud Freeman on tenor sax and Eddie Condon on guitar. By the early 1930's, Pee Wee moved to New York where he found a steady home in the bands of Eddie Condon and jamming with a roster of hot jazz players including Bobby Hackett, Red Allen, Edmond Hall, Hot Lips Page, Jack Bland, Buster Bailey and Vic Dickenson

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Rebel Festival

Read "The Rebel Festival" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the morning of July 4, 1960, there were more than a few signs of the mayhem that had taken place the night before in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport's Millionaires Row woke up to broken store windows, overturned vehicles, and storm drains clogged with garbage and beer bottles. One-hundred-eighty-two people, mostly young, New England college students ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Free Association - Vol. 2 with Michael Blake

Read "Free Association - Vol. 2 with Michael Blake" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Free Association is a series of collaborative mixtapes curated by Mondo Jazz in association with musicians and selectors of various origins. Free Association mixtapes develop as a conversation. The first selector sends a tune cherry-picked to suit, and ideally surprise, the second selector who then, in turn, returns the favor. ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining

There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alex Hendriksen: / Fabian Gisler: The Song Is You

Read "The Song Is You" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Try as you might, you can't help but sing along, I got to get my old tuxedo pressed/I got to sew a button on my vest/'Cause tonight I gotta look my best, yeah/Lulu's back in town. Saxophonist Alex Hendriksen and bassist Fabian Gisler's rendition of “Lulu's Back in Town" may take you back to Leon Redbone's ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials

Read "March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We've got a nice slug of celebrants to honor in addition to our 'centennialins.' Our best wishes go out to Bill Frisell (playing here with Andrew Cyrille and Wadada Leo Smith), Joe Locke, Charles Lloyd, and Roy Haynes (backing Sarah Vaughan). A very special shout out to Jessica Williams! Enjoy the show! Playlist Joe ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Kris Tokarski Trio At The Jazz Corner

Read "Kris Tokarski Trio At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

Kris Tokarski Trio The Jazz Corner A Tribute To Lester Young And Pee Wee Russell Hilton Head Island, SC January 18 and 19, 2019 Kris Tokarski is a dedicated young pianist keeping the New Orleans and Chicago jazz traditions alive in a modern sophisticated style. His return to ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II

Read "Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2 Part 1 of Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands looked at the roots, drivers and challenges of the travelling groups who brought jazz music to the non-urban areas of the Southern Plains, through one-night-stands, in often impromptu venues. A black phenomenon, often misappropriated by white musicians, promoters, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Freexielanders: Looking Back Playing Forward

Read "Looking Back Playing Forward" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Due pezzi da novanta dell'avanguardia storica come Eugenio Colombo e Giancarlo Schiaffini, uno che da un po' di anni nel ramo si distingue a sua volta come Alberto Popolla, più altri cinque colleghi di età ed estrazione varia, hanno deciso di ribattezzarsi The Freexielanders (nome eloquentissimo che non ci attardiamo a illustrare) e lanciarsi in un ...


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