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Percy Heath

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The American jazz musician and bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Percy Heath, began his musical apprenticeship in 1946, after Air Force service. It was just the right time. Though the double bass had always been used sporadically in jazz, performers capable of advancing both its rhythmic and harmonic role into a distinctive jazz-bass language were arriving on the scene more slowly than trumpeters, saxophonists or pianists. But by the 1940s, the place of the bass had significantly changed. Swing specialists like Pops Foster, John Kirby and Walter Page had brought animation, drive and swing - as well as harmonic breadth - to bass technique, and Duke Ellington's young star, Jimmy Blanton, had added a soloistic agility that rewrote the book on the instrument

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Article: Interview

A Classic Jazz Curriculum with Label M's Joel Dorn

Read "A Classic Jazz Curriculum with Label M's Joel Dorn" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


This article was first published at All About Jazz in April 2001. Ah, the classics. In every art form painting, literature, architecture, dance, music there are works which possess timeless beauty, works with themes that resonate emotionally across decades, through centuries, and are masterfully presented. Joel Dorn's name is indelibly written in ...

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Article: Album Review

Darrell Grant's MJ New: Our Mr. Jackson

Read "Our Mr. Jackson" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Anyone missing the artistry and elegance of the Modern Jazz Quartet will warm quickly to pianist Darrell Grant's MJ New, which pays homage to the great vibraphonist Milt Jackson and, through him, the legendary MJQ, on Our Mr. Jackson. The instrumentation is the same as the MJQ, with Mike Horsfall sitting in for Jackson on vibraphone ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Bill Evans: Ten Essential Sideman Albums

Read "Bill Evans: Ten Essential Sideman Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Bill Evans attracts a special sort of fan. Clinically obsessive is a reasonable description. While far from undiscerning, we find something, usually plenty, to enjoy in every record Evans played on. And we want them all in our collection. Evans' hardcore fans include practically every musician who played with him. Eddie Gomez, his ...

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Article: The Revolution Will NOT Be Televised

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Read "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times" reviewed by William H. Snyder


Introduction“April is the cruelest month... “ so begins The Burial of the Dead section of T. S. Eliot's 100-year-old poem. “The Waste Land" laments the decline of culture in the world after World War I. In April of 2023, we lost Harry Belafonte and Ahmad Jamal. The loss of these two men is part of contemporary ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Percy Heath

Jazz Musician of the Day: Percy Heath

All About Jazz is celebrating Percy Heath's birthday today! The American jazz musician and bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Percy Heath, began his musical apprenticeship in 1946, after Air Force service. It was just the right time. Though the double bass had always been used sporadically in jazz, performers capable of advancing both its rhythmic ...

3

Article: Play This!

Art Farmer: Work of Art

Read "Art  Farmer: Work of Art" reviewed by Jon Block


My favorite (jazz) album is The Art Farmer Septet (1956 Prestige PRLP 7031 of 1953-54 sessions previously released on 10" disks). It features the arrangements and compositions of Art Farmer, Gigi Gryce and Quincy Jones. It still makes me move and groove, from the first clave click on the steaming hot Afro-Cuban “Mau Mau" all the ...

Album

Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Albums

Label: Contemporary Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: LP1 Something Else!!!!: Invisible; The Blessing; Jayne; Chippie; The Disguise; Angel Voice; Alpha; When Will The Blues Leave?; The Sphinx.

LP2 Tomorrow Is the Question!: Tomorrow Is The Question!; Tears Inside; Mind And Time; Compassion; Giggin'; Rejoicing; Lorraine; Turnaround; Endless.

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

From George Coleman to Meeco: Ten Overlooked Classics

Read "From George Coleman to Meeco: Ten Overlooked Classics" reviewed by Chris May


The only thread running through this installment of Building A Jazz Library is that of unsung quality. No particular artist is spotlighted, nor any particular genre. There are simply ten, randomly selected albums, recorded in the US and Europe between 1953 and 2021, which show jazz off at its finest, but which, for one reason or ...

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Article: Interview

Ilaria Capalbo: In Fearless Pursuit Of Her Muse

Read "Ilaria Capalbo: In Fearless Pursuit Of Her Muse" reviewed by Ian Patterson


After years playing in different bands and drawing widespread praise for her lyricism and rhythmic agility, double bassist Ilaria Capalbo has stepped up to front her own project. The Neapolitan's debut album, Karthago (Bluenord Records, 2022), is a remarkable statement of intent. Inspired by the ancient Mediterranean city of Carthage and its near-mythical figurehead, queen Alyssia, ...


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