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MUSICIAN Born:

Ray Nance

Ray Nance was a multi-talented individual. He was a fine trumpeter who not only replaced Cootie Williams with Duke Ellington's Orchestra, but gave the "plunger" position in Duke's band his own personality. In addition, Nance was one of the finest jazz violinists of the 1940s, an excellent jazz singer, and even a dancer. He studied piano, took lessons on violin, and was self-taught on trumpet. After leading a small group in Chicago (1932-1937), spending periods with the orchestras of Earl Hines (1937-1938) and Horace Henderson (1939-1940), and a few months as a solo act, Nance joined Duke Ellington's orchestra

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May

The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time

Read "Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time" reviewed by Arthur R George

Fifty years ago this past year, Coleman Hawkins, considered the father of tenor saxophone in jazz, passed away. Thelonious Monk was pacing back and forth in the hallway outside Hawkins' hospital room when the saxophonist succumbed at age 64 on the morning of May 19, 1969, from pneumonia and other complications. Monk was holding a short ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Marcus Shelby: Transitions

Read "Transitions" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Considering ambition and musical vision, bassist/bandleader Marcus Shelby has a single peer: Wynton Marsalis. Both men have a healthy reverence for the past and big imaginations for large-scale works. Shelby is struck by history, much of which he incorporates into this larger works like Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2011) ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays

Read "Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays" reviewed by Arthur R George

Sociologist, anthropologist, historian: storyteller, raconteur, entrepreneur and griot, in the guise of a deejay. Registrar, dean, professor: The jazz class of Sonny Buxton is barely concealed as entertainment within his weekly radio program every Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time on San Francisco Bay Area FM station KCSM 91.1, streaming live on kcsm.org.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tomoko Omura: Post Bop Gypsies

Read "Post Bop Gypsies" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Think about your favorite jazz violinist. Now think about what style or sub-category of jazz that person would most easily fall into. Was your answer bebop? Probably not, I would venture to guess. It's not that I know your answer. This isn't a magic trick. For all I know it could've been Stéphane Grappelli, Jenny Scheinman, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kenny Burrell: Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's

Read "Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Guitarist Kenny Burrell, who isn't generally known for hanging out with big bands, now has one of his own: the Los Angeles-based Jazz Orchestra Unlimited, for which he serves as music director on its debut album, Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's. While the ensemble is splendid, individually and collectively, there's no doubt that Burrell is the ...

Ab Baars e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Ab Baars e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

All About Jazz: Il tratto principale della mia musica. Ab Baars: Allegramente ostinata. AAJ: La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano con me. A.B.: Grandi orecchie e una storia da raccontare. AAJ: Come musicista, il momento in cui sono stato più felice. A.B.: ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Rex Richardson: Bugles Over Zagreb: The Music of Doug Richards and Blue Shift

Read "Rex Richardson: Bugles Over Zagreb: The Music of Doug Richards and Blue Shift" reviewed by Ken Hohman

Rex Richardson Bugles Over Zagreb: The Music of Doug Richards Self Produced 2014 Master class trumpeter virtuoso Rex Richardson is one of a rare breed of jazz musicians who can successfully straddle the worlds of classical and jazz without sounding like he's a mere overnight guest when performing in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nora Germain: Little Dipper

Read "Little Dipper" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Jazz fiddlers are not exactly household renowned. Joe Venuti, Ray Nance, Stephane Grappelli, Michal Urbaniak, Svend Asmussen, Jean-luc Ponty and Regina Carter pop to the forefront, but then the list falls off quickly. Presently there emerges one Nora Germain (a name made to be in lights if there ever was one) who not only fiddles but ...


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