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Musician

Samuel Chell

Born:

I'm a college teacher and DJ a weekly jazz show on WGTD, the local NPR/Public Radio outlet. The emphasis is on the past 80 years of recorded jazz, from Armstrong to the present, as well as on the Great American Songbook. Demonstration copies are welcome.

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Article: Live Review

Lest We Forget: Remembering Myrna Lake at the Lenox Lounge 2006

Read "Lest We Forget: Remembering Myrna Lake at the Lenox Lounge 2006" reviewed by Daniel Kassell


In his All About Jazz review of Yesterdays (Jazzing Music, 2008), Samuel Chell described singer Myrna Lake's recording as “an exploration of the power of memory itself, a musical narrative yielding the discovery that memory, like the songs that are eventually designated standards, is a moment in the present, an instant distinguished by heightened awareness ...

641

Article: Album Review

Mort Weiss: Raising the Bar: The Definitive Mort Weiss

Read "Raising the Bar: The Definitive Mort Weiss" reviewed by Samuel Chell


In late 2006, clarinetist Mort Weiss told his unusual story to R. J. Deluke in an exclusive interview for All About Jazz, appropriated titled “Mort Weiss: Sets Sail with Clarinet." His narrative is the timeless, archetypal journey of the hero's circular route to hell and back--much like that of Homer's legendary mariner, Ulysses, except that in ...

242

Article: Album Review

Coleman Hawkins: The High and Mighty Hawk

Read "The High and Mighty Hawk" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Recorded in England in 1958, this little-known session, originally released on the obscure Felsted label, is an inarguable gem. Perhaps even the word “masterpiece" is not too much of a stretch. It's doubtful that the putative “father of the tenor saxophone," Coleman Hawkins, made a better recording in the age of long-playing records, and it's just ...

331

Article: Album Review

Myrna Lake: Yesterdays

Read "Yesterdays" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Another album by a female vocalist, another familiar playlist. But hold the assumptions. This is the first and only commercial album by septuagenarian singer Myrna Lake, but that's not the real story here. The recording is noteworthy above all because it refuses to mistake youth for vitality, slickness for substance, or newness for originality. ...

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Article: Record Label Profile

Resonance Records: Non-Profit Jazz Label with a Mission

Read "Resonance Records: Non-Profit Jazz Label with a Mission" reviewed by Samuel Chell


It's a story often heard before: musically, these are the best and worst of times. Only this time, in 2010, it seems different. Even as the pool of fresh talent expands, jazz continues to witness a dearth of venues along with the slump in CD sales. Uncounted numbers of talented musicians, young and otherwise, are reduced ...

1,598

Article: Extended Analysis

Artie Shaw: Classic Bluebird and Victor Sessions

Read "Artie Shaw: Classic Bluebird and Victor Sessions" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Artie ShawClassic Bluebird and Victor SessionsMosaic Records2009Shortly after its critically acclaimed box set comprising clarinetist Benny Goodman's essential recordings-- The Columbia and Okeh Benny Goodman Orchestra Sessions (2009), which was released to coincide with the centenary of the “King of Swing"--Mosaic Records has done it again. The Classic ...

412

Article: Album Review

Patti Page: Patti Page with Pete Rugolo and His Orchestra

Read "Patti Page with Pete Rugolo and His Orchestra" reviewed by Samuel Chell


The Classic Jazz Calendar 2010, with photographs by Chuck Stewart--a full-page devoted to each of 12 jazz greats--includes a striking photo of Patti Page, representing the month of May. While her inclusion may strike many as unexceptional, for jazz followers who remember the best-selling female singer of the 1950s, her name would seem a problematic fit. ...

1,033

Article: Film Review

Clint Eastwood Presents Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me

Read "Clint Eastwood Presents Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Johnny Mercer Clint Eastwood Presents Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me TCM 2009 Film director Clint Eastwood's love of jazz and American popular song is far from a secret, especially following his feature-length biopic about alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (Bird, 1988), during which the ever restless Eastwood got the idea ...

542

Article: Multiple Reviews

Roberta Gambarini: Learning to Love Jazz

Read "Roberta Gambarini: Learning to Love Jazz" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Not long ago a veteran Chicago jazz disc jockey played a track from a female vocalist's new CD only after complaining on the air about the seemingly unending stream of new recordings by female singers sent to his notice each week. The exception to his policy not to play them was due, he explained, to the ...


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