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Sahib Shihab

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Besides being one of the first jazz musicians to convert to Islam and change his name (1947), Sahib Shihab was also one of the earliest boppers to use the flute. But he was also a fluent soloist on the alto, as well as the baritone sax, the latter being the instrument with which he became most frequently associated. Shihab first worked professionally with the Luther Henderson band at the age of 13 while still studying with Elmer Snowden. At 16, he attended the Boston Conservatory (1941-1942) and later worked as the lead alto in the 1944-1945 Fletcher Henderson band, billed as Eddie Gregory. After his religious conversion, he fell in with the early bop movement, recording several now-famous sides on alto with Thelonious Monk for Blue Note in 1947 and 1951, and playing with Art Blakey in 1949-1950 and the Tadd Dameron band in 1949

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Article: Album Review

Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra: The Unreleased WDR Jazz Recordings 1957 - 1974

Read "The Unreleased WDR Jazz Recordings 1957 - 1974" reviewed by Chris May


This 3xCD collection of recordings by Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra is culled from over three thousand individual tracks recorded under the auspices of Cologne, Germany radio station WDR over close on twenty years. It is, as the expression goes, a curate's egg. That is to say, parts of it are excellent and parts of it ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

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Article: Album Review

Don Cherry: Cherry Jam

Read "Cherry Jam" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In the same year that composer/multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry recorded his milestone Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1966) he took his cornet to the studio of Danish National Radio. Cherry had established himself by the early 1960s, playing with Steve Lacy, Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley, John Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler and Ed Blackwell. Copenhagen began ...

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Article: Under the Radar

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...

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Article: Album Review

Mal Waldron: Free At Last

Read "Free At Last" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The sensitivity reflected in much of Mal Waldron's music was a deep aspect of his psyche. The Harlem-born pianist, who died in Brussels, Belgium, in 2002, worked downtown with saxophonist Ike Quebec at Café Society in the early 1950s and went on to record on several Charles Mingus recordings including Pithecanthropus Erectus (Atlantic), Jazz Composers Workshop ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


A labor of love, Cosmic Forest was compiled by Italian musician, producer and DJ Nicola Conte to both revisit and present to a new audience Conte's favorite “spiritual jazz" recordings from MPS Records' 1965--'75 catalog. Eight of these thirteen pieces came from albums released as part of the MPS label's mid-1970s “Jazz Meets the World" series ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Put It Where You Want It (But Find It Where You Put It)

Read "Put It Where You Want It (But Find It Where You Put It)" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Hip Spanic All-Stars Old-School Revolution Self-Produced 2018 If you think that Old School Revolution sounds both familiar and new, you're right. In the late 2000s, bassist and singer Happy Sanchez, saxophonist Norbert Stachel (Tower of Power), percussionist Karl Perazzo (a longstanding member of Santana), ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" reviewed by Chris May


The description “spiritual jazz" means different things to different people. It was first applied to the predominantly African American style platformed by the Strata-East and Muse labels in the early and mid 1970s. The tag was not introduced until a decade later, and a better one would have been “cultural jazz," despite the tautology--for although every ...

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Article: Album Review

Anders Svanoe: State Of The Baritone Volume 2

Read "State Of The Baritone Volume 2" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Some people see a baritone saxophone and think it an obtuse and blunt instrument. Not Anders Svanoe; he sees his baritone saxophone as a sharpened, yet subtle tool. Evidenced by State Of The Baritone Volume 2, he communicates everything from shuffling boogaloos to energized free-jazz, post-bop, and folk music with an uncanny naturalness. All ...


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