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Musician

Percy Mayfield

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If Percy Mayfield had done no more than compose “Please Send Me Someone to Love,” he would merit a decent footnote in the history of popular music. A classically proportioned 32-bar blues-ballad with a deceptively simple melody and a lyric that subtly links an individual's yearning for affection with the troubled state of the world, Mayfield's song has been a favorite of saloon-bar singers for the past half-century. Singer-songwriter Percy Mayfield was known as "Poet Laureate of the Blues," and his widely recorded compositions, have become standards in American popular music. Born in Minden, Louisiana, Mayfield wrote poems as a boy and set them to music, but because his mother didn't approve of blues, he sang only in church

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Article: In Pictures

Diane Schuur at the American Theater

Read "Diane Schuur at the American Theater" reviewed by Mark Robbins


Add to pianist/vocalist Diane “Deedles" Schuur's, resume comedian as she had the audience of a little over a hundred in stitches during her stories between songs. Whether it was about flying first class years ago for the free booze, (she's been sober for 33 years, a feat she is, and should be, extremely proud of), landing ...

Article: Radio & Podcasts

Many Shades of Blues

Read "Many Shades of Blues" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This special episode deals with all manners of blues: piano blues, jump blues, harmonica blues, British blues, blues singers and more. Artists heard on the show go all the way from Memphis Slim and Big Mama Thornton to Cecile McLorin Salvant and The Microscopic Septet. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jon Hendricks: An Essential Top Ten Albums

Read "Jon Hendricks: An Essential Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Considering he reached the ripe old age of 37 before recording an album, Jon Hendricks' jazz legacy is remarkable. Although a singer, in his head he was more of an instrumentalist. When he improvised, he would imitate the tenor saxophone, the flute, the trombone, or the double-bass. His professional singing career lasted from 1932, when he ...

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Article: Album Review

Steve Maddock: The Blues Project

Read "The Blues Project" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


In the mid 1960's, there was a Greenwich Village, NYC pop band called The Blues Project which was primarily informed by folk, rhythm & blues, jazz and pop music of the day. One of their early success was entitled “Flute Thing," a tune from the group's 1966 album Projections (Verve / Folkways). Keyboardist / vocalist Al ...

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Article: Reassessing

Red Garland's Piano

Read "Red Garland's Piano" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Pianist Red Garland follows up his debut recording A Garland of Red (Prestige, 1956) with what might be his finest statement leading a jazz trio, Red Garland's Piano. Garland continues his association with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor forming his most durable rhythm section, and one that would record with him on ten of ...

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Article: Album Review

Cory Weeds Little Big Band: Explosion

Read "Explosion" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The size and makeup of a “little big band" depend above all on what the leader has in mind. In this case, leader Cory Weeds patterned his ensemble (four brass, four reeds, three rhythm) after similar groups led by tenor saxophonists Eddie “Lockjaw" Davis and Gene Ammons, and what he had in mind was a mid-sized ...

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Article: Album Review

Cory Weeds Little Big Band: Explosion

Read "Explosion" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Renaissance Man Cory Weeds has the Midas Touch. Since attaining Vancouver-local escape velocity with his Cellar Jazz Club and then his record label with the same imprint, the musical entrepreneur has parlayed his notice worldwide with excellent recordings of himself and other noted artists. Weeds' Cellar Jazz focus is what would be defined as an “Arbors ...

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the ...


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