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Musician

Sonny Criss

Born:

Alto saxophonist {{m: Sonny Criss = 5984}} is a rather tragically overlooked figure in Jazz. Born in Memphis in 1927, he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 15 where he remained much of his playing career. When he became a professional player after finishing school, he joined various bands visiting the West Coast and performed with such artists as Billy Eckstine and Johnny Otis. He also featured in Gene Norman's "Just Jazz" concerts alongside stars such as Howard McGhee, Stan Getz and Wardell Gray. In 1948 Criss was a part of Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic tour package. In the mid-1950s Criss played with Buddy Rich's quintet and recorded a fine session with Rich and Wynton Kelly live in Chicago "Sonny Criss at the Crossroads", but his base in LA generally left him isolated

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News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

All About Jazz is celebrating Vince Guaraldi's birthday today! By Derrick Bang Like most so-called overnight successes, Vincent Anthony Guaraldi—who forever described himself as “a reformed boogie-woogie pianist"—worked hard for his big break. The man eventually dubbed “Dr. Funk" by his compatriots was born in San Francisco on July 17, 1928; he graduated from Lincoln High ...

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Article: Album Review

Amos Gillespie: Unstructured Time for Jazz Septet

Read "Unstructured Time for Jazz Septet" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Chicago-based composer/educator/alto saxophonist Amos Gillespie's CD, Unstructured Time, employs a variety of time signatures but is anything but unstructured--in fact, the opposite may reasonably be opined, as taut structure is clearly front and center on the album's four instrumental and five vocal numbers. In other words, “unstructured" in Gillespie's lexicon bears absolutely no resemblance to “free" ...

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Article: Interview

Kenny Garrett: The Value of Ancestors

Read "Kenny Garrett: The Value of Ancestors" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Saxophonist Kenny Garrett has always respected the music of his predecessors. He knows its importance. He knows the value of the tradition, knowledge and innovation passed on to new generations of musicians. He's recorded, for example, dedications to John Coltrane (Pursuance, Warner Bros., 1996), as well as Joe Henderson and Sonny Rollins (Trilogy, Warner ...

2

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

All About Jazz is celebrating Vince Guaraldi's birthday today! By Derrick Bang Like most so-called overnight successes, Vincent Anthony Guaraldi—who forever described himself as “a reformed boogie-woogie pianist"—worked hard for his big break. The man eventually dubbed “Dr. Funk" by his compatriots was born in San Francisco on July 17, 1928; he graduated from Lincoln High ...

8

Article: Album Review

Idit Shner: Live at the Jazz Station

Read "Live at the Jazz Station" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Alto saxophonist Idit Shner is a professor of saxophone and jazz studies at the University of Oregon. On Live at the Jazz Station, she offers her students (and others) a master class in how to translate academic theory into performance art—and she does it live, without a net, at Portland's Jazz Station. The ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May


Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

Jazz Musician of the Day: Vince Guaraldi

All About Jazz is celebrating Vince Guaraldi's birthday today! By Derrick Bang Like most so-called overnight successes, Vincent Anthony Guaraldi—who forever described himself as “a reformed boogie-woogie pianist"—worked hard for his big break. The man eventually dubbed “Dr. Funk" by his compatriots was born in San Francisco on July 17, 1928; he graduated from Lincoln High ...

6

Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)

Read "The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Songs from what came to be known as the Great American Songbook, have been part of jazz perhaps since The Original Dixieland Jazz Band began recording Irving Berlin compositions. In the 1940s, singer Lee Wiley recorded several collections of 78s, known as “albums"--a name that stuck into the LP era, focused on the work of individual ...

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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.


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