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Phil Upchurch

Chicago-born guitarist and bassist Phil Upchurch has been backing jazz, blues, and pop stars for over 50 years. What magic formula has allowed him to record and perform with everyone from Otis Rush and Donny Hathaway to George Benson and Michael Jackson? Aside from Upchurch’s immense talent and versatility, it also has to do with the fact that the guitarist is very detail oriented"particularly when it comes to rhythmic and melodic phrasing. Whether comping or soloing, Upchurch thinks like a drummer and always plays with and not on top of the band. “If you listen to [drummer] Philly Joe Jones’ snare, you can get a lot of ideas for rhythmic comping on the guitar,” offers Upchurch, who also points to Miles Davis"with his masterful blend of sustained notes and silence"as essential listening for all aspiring jazzers

ARTICLE: RADIO

Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 1

Read "Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Stevie Wonder has more entries in the Real Book than any other pop musician, The Beatles included. It is not surprising therefore that his Songbook has been mined by hundreds of jazz musicians, including the likes of Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon or Herbie Hancock. To mark the 70th birthday of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Nicholas Payton, Carmen McRae's Centennial, Newk with Max Roach & More

Read "Nicholas Payton, Carmen McRae's Centennial, Newk with Max Roach & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Nicholas Payton appeared a few days ago at the Manship Theatre, downtown Baton Rouge. So, we thought it would be a fine idea to feature several selections from his most recent recording, Relaxin' with Nick. This week we start our Carmen McRae centennial celebration, featuring her with Jack McDuff, Phil Upchurch and Red Holloway 'live..'. a ...

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Kenney Polson On Tour In Hawaii July-August 2019 With New Album

Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Kenney Polson On Tour In Hawaii July-August 2019 With New Album

Sailing high on the success of his latest album, For Lovers Only, jny: Portland-based smooth jazz saxophonist Kenney Polson returns to Hawaii in July. His new sound merges the best of jazz and rhythm and blues into one cool and captivating blend. The 2019 release includes leading players such as guitarist Bruce Conte and keyboardist Roger ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kenney Polson: For Lovers Only

Read "For Lovers Only" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Saxophonist Kenney Polson may not be a household name but he has a lengthy pedigree in jazz and smooth jazz. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri to a musical family; a grandfather worked with Count Basie and Cab Calloway and an uncle sang with the Coasters. Polson's discography since 2010 includes Serendipity (2014, No Slop ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Guitarist Jack Allen Release Debut CD "Nawlins Boy"

Guitarist Jack Allen Release Debut CD "Nawlins Boy"

For Jack Allen the release of Nawlins Boy is a “culmination of my musical journeys to date and a tribute to my dad who was born in jny: New Orleans." With the title and opening track one might feel the spirit of the Big Easy as the tune seems to march in second line style during ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements at SFJAZZ

Read "Steve Coleman and Five Elements at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Steve Coleman and Five Elements SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA December 14, 2014 “The main thing that I consciously try to follow is things I find in nature, in universe. Basically I see the universe as sort of giant palette of forms within forms."--Steve Coleman He is a 2014 MacArthur ...

Take Five with Ted Sirota

Read "Take Five with Ted Sirota" reviewed by Ted Sirota

Meet Ted Sirota: Veteran Chicago drummer, Ted Sirota, has been playing the drums since 1980. Ted has lead his own band, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, since 1996. Rebel Souls have recorded five CD's for the Naim & Delmark labels. Ted has also played every Saturday night from 12:30-5:00am at Chicago's top jazz club, The Green Mill, ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

R.J. DeLuke's Best Releases of 2012

Read "R.J. DeLuke's Best Releases of 2012" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

A ton of fine music came out in 2012, like most years, making these year-end lists very difficult. A lot we don't get to hear, so that limits some. For example, I've not yet heard the 2012 disks of drummer Jack DeJohnette, trumpeter Christian Scott or guitarist John McLaughlin and the Fourth Dimension. Having seen each ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jazz Soul Seven: Impressions of Curtis Mayfield

Read "Impressions of Curtis Mayfield" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Paying homage to one of the most influential and important artists in the past century, the Jazz Soul Seven collective tips its hat to Curtis Mayfield on Impressions of Curtis Mayfield, an instrumental re-imagining of twelve of the R&B, funk and soul singer's most popular compositions. A voice of African-American pride, Mayfield was a socially-conscious artist ...


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