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NEWS: RECORDING

Paul Desmond & His Canadians, The Complete Set At Last

Paul Desmond & His Canadians,  The Complete Set At Last

Mosaic Records reports that the first release of Paul Desmond–The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings has sold out. The seven-CD set features the former Dave Brueck Quartet alto saxophonist with his prized Canadian rhythm section of guitarist Ed Bickert, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Jerry Fuller. Mosaic’s Michael Cuscuna says that he expects the next batch of ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Lee Konitz, 1927-2020

Lee Konitz, 1927-2020

Lee Konitz died today in a New York City hospital. He was 92. Known primarily for the individualism of his alto saxophone work, Konitz in his later years also played soprano saxophone. Using aspects of phrasing, rhythm and tonal quality adapted from the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young, Konitz in the 1940s developed into one of ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Ellis Marsalis Is Gone

Ellis Marsalis Is Gone

The death this week of Ellis Marsalis recalls dozens of enounters with him when he was one of New Orleans’ premier jazz musicians. Long before Ellis became famous as the father of Wynton, Branford, Jason and Delfeo, he established himself as a nonpareil pianist and educator. I remember hearing the the young Marsalis when he was ...

NEWS: RECORDING

A Brent Jensen Desmond Reissue

A Brent Jensen Desmond Reissue

Curious about the unannounced and unpromoted reissue of a Brent Jensen album eighteen years after its debut, I asked Origin Records chief John Bishop in Seattle about its reappearance. The CD is Jensen’s The Sound Of A Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond, first issued in 2002. Mr. Bishop replied: “That record has been popular since it ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Bill Smith And McCoy Tyner Are Gone

Bill Smith And McCoy Tyner Are Gone

James Moody told me that his Georgia-born grandmother said one morning while looking through the newspaper, “Folks is dyin’ what ain’t never died befo’.” The trend continues, as It always has and, if human suscsceptibility is a guide, always will. Recently, the parade of departures resumed when the jazz world lost two giants in their nineties, ...

NEWS: RECORDING

The Complete Woody Herman Decca, Mars and MGM Sessions (1943-1954)

The Complete Woody Herman Decca, Mars and MGM Sessions (1943-1954)

The Complete Woody Herman Decca, Mars and MGM Sessions (1943-1954) (Mosaic) Woody Herman and his band were most closely associated with the Columbia and Capitol labels, but in the 1940s and ’50s the clarinetist, saxophonist and influential leader also recorded for the companies you see named in the headline above. The Mosaic label has issued a ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Roberto Magris And Two Good Czechs

Roberto Magris And Two Good Czechs

An Italian of Slovenian ancestry who grew up in Trieste, pianist Roberto Magris frequently tours in Europe with colleagues from a variety of European nations. He also works in in the United States, where he operates the record label called JMood. Here, we see and hear Magris a few weeks ago in the Birdland Jazz Club ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Recent Listening: Lyn Stanley Revisits Julie London

Recent Listening: Lyn Stanley Revisits Julie London

Los Angeles singer Lyn Stanley frequently appears in L.A. with a big band of Swing Era veterans. However, in the recording we are sampling today, her accompanists are six of Southern California’s busiest veteran players of modern jazz. Called for this album, the Jazz Mavericks, they are guitarist John Chiodoni, pianists Otmaro Ruiz and Mike Lang, ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Jimmy Heath And Claudio Roditi Are Gone

Jimmy Heath And Claudio Roditi Are Gone

The last thing any of us at Rifftides wants is for our endeavor to become an obituary service. Life goes on, however, as does its opposite. So we continue to note the passing of musicians who have enriched listeners around the world. Recently, we lost American saxophonist, bandleader and composer Jimmy Heath and Brazil’s Claudio Roditi, ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

Here’s an item purloined (with his permission) from bassist Bill Crow’s column “The Band Room” in Allegro, the publication of New York Local 802 of the American Federation Of Musicians. Zoot Sims was one of the many tenor saxophonists who took Lester Young’s style as a starting point for their own development. But Zoot also idolized ...


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