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Sonny Greer

Despite the fact that he was an important member of one of the most famous bands in the history of jazz, and during its finest period, drummer Sonny Greer has not been especially well served by jazz historians. He was born William Alexander Greer on 13 December, probably in 1895, in Long Branch, New Jersey. It was in his home state that he made his first professional appearances but by 1919 he was playing in Washington, DC. It was there that he first encountered a local musician who was to change not only the drummer's life, but the lives of everyone who played in his band over the coming decades

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

John Engels: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Read "John Engels: Looking Back, Moving Forward" reviewed by Joan Gannij

Drummer John Engels has the energy of two forty-year olds, which is pretty impressive, since he will soon be turning 80. He will celebrate this auspicious occasion with the Vogel Vrij (Free as a Bird) tour, a series of concerts at diverse venues throughout jny: the Netherlands (with saxophonists Benny Golson and Benjamin Herman) which began ...

ARTICLE: FILM REVIEW

A Great Day in Harlem: The Spirit Lives - 50 Years On

Read "A Great Day in Harlem: The Spirit Lives - 50 Years On" reviewed by Ian Patterson

This encore presentation from January 2009 celebrates Jean Bach, director of A Great Day in Harlem. Ms. Bach died on May 27th at her home in Manhattan. She was 94.It is probably the most celebrated ensemble jazz portrait of all time. Fifty-seven of the greatest jazz musicians gathered together on the steps of a ...

NEWS: RECORDING

"Complete" Louis, Duke, Bessie and Charlie Boxes Coming in October

The ultimate year-round jazz festival of Legacy Recordings continues to set a new industry standard with four more Complete Album Collections from the Sony Music archives family of labels, by the greatest names in jazz and blues: LOUIS ARMSTRONG – THE COMPLETE OKeh COLUMBIA & RCA VICTOR RECORDINGS 1925-1933 (OKeh/Columbia/RCA/Legacy) 10 titles, 10 CDs; CHARLIE CHRISTIAN ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Terell Stafford: This Side of Strayhorn

Read "This Side of Strayhorn" reviewed by Kevin Davis

The preservation of traditional values in jazz has long been at the core of the art form's most bittersweet dichotomy, which is essentially a spin on the age-old idea that even moderate-level progressions in any given field require ideological breakdowns that generally make everyone mad. Miles Davis, for example, decried this preservation outright, and the jazz ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Modern Jazz Quartet: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64

Read "Modern Jazz Quartet: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

The Modern Jazz Quartet The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of The Modern Jazz Quartet 1956-64 Mosaic Records 2011 They were diverse in talent and temperament. John Lewis, the quiet and determined westerner, who told sound stories with his linear and logical blues-based pianisms; Milt “Bags" Jackson, the baggy eyed, Motor ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Loren Schoenberg: From Benny Goodman to The Savory Collection

Read "Loren Schoenberg: From Benny Goodman to The Savory Collection" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Saxophonist, band-leader and writer Loren Schoenberg, now Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, spent an interesting childhood and teenager-hood growing up in New Jersey in the 1970s, meeting and befriending both Teddy Wilson and Hank Jones, and ultimately becoming employed by Wilson's famous '30s boss, Benny Goodman. Schoenberg was first an assistant to ...

Jazz Oracle: Portal to Antiquity

Read "Jazz Oracle: Portal to Antiquity" reviewed by Nathan Holaway

“Life would be no better than candlelight tinsel and daylight rubbish if our spirits were not touched by what has been."--George Eliot The world will never be able to hear exactly how Beethoven or Bach played their instruments, but it can hear how artists such as clarinetist Wilbur Sweatman and clarinetist and ...

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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