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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

Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2

Read "Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2" reviewed by Chris May


As Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting and performing partner during the 1970s, keyboardist, composer and arranger Brian Jackson was co-author of some of the most galvanising liberation music of the era. Inhabiting the intersection of jazz, soul and spoken word, Jackson and Scott-Heron, who met while they were both students at Lincoln University, were a team from Pieces ...

8

Article: Book Review

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz

Read "This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz" reviewed by Ian Patterson


This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz Peter Jones 263 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78179 874 4 Equinox Publishing 2020 Few are the jazz singers accorded the fanfare usually reserved for the music's great instrumentalists. Jon Hendricks was one, taking scat and vocalese to unprecedented ...

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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: Building a Jazz Library

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May


Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

25

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 ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

6

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 ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

1

Article: Interview

Steve Swallow Interview

Read "Steve Swallow Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in January 2001. Steve Swallow may not be a household name, at least in most households, but if you've listened to contemporary jazz over the last thirty years, you've likely heard him on one side of the studio glass or the other. ...


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