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Sam Woodyard

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Sam Woodyard gained his recognition and popularity behind the drum throne of the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1955 to 1966. Woodyard born on Jan. 7, 1925, hailed from Newark, was self taught, and by the '40s, he was playing with local bands . He played R&B in Paul Gayten's band around 1950.By the early '50s, Woodyard had played with tenor saxophonist Joe Holiday, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, and pianist Milt Buckner. His most productive and defining period of course were the ’55-’66 years with the Duke. After his time with Ellington, Woodyard played drums for Ella Fitzgerald, and then moved to Los Angeles, after which he settled in Paris. In the 1970s he played less due to health problems, but recorded with Buddy Rich and toured with French pianist Claude Bolling

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Chuck Redd

Read "Take Five with Chuck Redd" reviewed by Chuck Redd


About Chuck Redd Chuck Redd is an internationally well-known performer on both drums and vibraphone. He began his career when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. He also became a member of the Great Guitars (Barney Kessel, Byrd, and Herb Ellis.) To his credit are 25 European tours and six ...

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Article: Interview

Victor Lewis: The Drummer's Spirit

Read "Victor Lewis: The Drummer's Spirit" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


For several decades, Victor Lewis has been one of the most in-demand drummers of the post-bop era and beyond. He has performed with Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson, Chet Baker, George Cables, Woody Shaw, Kenny Barron, Bobby Watson, and others of similar stature. On account of his exceptional ability to push the envelope of musical ...

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Article: Live Review

Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival 2013

Read "Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival 2013" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival Various Venues Barcelona October 29-November 3, 2013 A short quote, repeated to me more than once over the course of a few days in Barcelona, proved to be at the heart and soul of the 45th Barcelona Voll-Damm Internacional Jazz Festival. It goes something like this--"On the ...

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Article: Big Band Report

After 15 Years, a "Caravan" Ends Its Journey

Read "After 15 Years, a "Caravan" Ends Its Journey" reviewed by Jack Bowers


For nearly fifteen years now, I've been writing two monthly columns here at All About Jazz: this one (Big Band Report) and Big Band Caravan. That is about to change. Starting next month, the two will be pared down to one inclusive column using as its title Big Band Report. So rather than searching the AAJ ...

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Article: Record Label Profile

Storyville Records: A Treasure Trove of Swinging Jazz

Read "Storyville Records: A Treasure Trove of Swinging Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


Since its foundation during the European revivalist movement of the early 1950s, Copenhagen-based Storyville Records has grown into a major repository of New Orleans, big band and mainstream recordings. With something approaching 600 releases in its back catalogue, the label is a treasure trove of jazz that swings. Founded in 1952 by Danish jazz ...

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Article: Music and the Creative Spirit

John Gilbreath: Within Earshot

Read "John Gilbreath: Within Earshot" reviewed by Lloyd N. Peterson Jr.


Over the past 90 years, a music scene has been developing in the northwest corner of the US that has provided a fertile imprint on jazz. It may not be as critically important within a historical context as that of New York and New Orleans, but Seattle has a landscape that has been developed and nurtured ...

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Article: Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Duke Ellington Tames The Savage Beasts: Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Gazelles!)

Read "Duke Ellington Tames The Savage Beasts: Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Gazelles!)" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


I begin this edition of Old, New, Borrowed and Blue with a confession. I have an unabashed love for the music of Duke Ellington. From his brilliantly scored compositions, to the singular instrumental personalities in his band(s)--with Ellington, Jimmy Hamilton and Johnny Hodges ranking at the top of my list--Ellington seems to transcend the “big band" ...

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Article: Album Review

Flat Earth Society: Cheer Me, Perverts!

Read "Cheer Me, Perverts!" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Fifteen-piece Belgian big band Flat Earth Society is the sonic equivalent of a freak show--weird, wonderful and like nothing you've come across before. Cheer Me, Perverts! is bursting with the energy of punk--sharing some of the anarchy, too--yet the CD exhibits intricate section harmonies and wonderful contrapuntal melodies. The soloists revel in their freedom, and the ...

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Article: Album Review

Svend Asmussen: Rhythm Is Our Business

Read "Rhythm Is Our Business" reviewed by Chris Mosey


Once, as they were jamming, Duke Ellington's drummer Sam Woodyard called out to Danish violinist Svend Asmussen, “Man, you play your ass off," to which The Fiddling Viking replied, with that charmingly naïvely innocent wit so typical of his homeland, “From now on then my name is only Mussen." There is just one ...


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