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Sonny Rollins

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It’s no state secret that Sonny Rollins has never been fond of the recording studio. Never mind that he’s recorded his full share of gems there—not only early, celebrated albums such as Saxophone Colossus and Way Out West, but also digital-era efforts such as Old Flames and This Is What I Do. The man often embraced as the greatest living improviser requires too much creative freedom to start playing, as he puts it, “when the red light comes on.” And his perfectionism makes it difficult, sometimes painfully so, to go through multiple takes in search of what he thinks is the least flawed one.

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News: Recording

The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions Now Available on Mosaic Records

The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions Now Available on Mosaic Records

When you get your copy of Mosaic’s new five-CD collector’s set, The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions, you’ll be holding a master key to unlocking 1960s jazz. That’s a big statement. But when you consider how much was happening from 1963 to 1966, the years covered by this collection, and contemplate how many different ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1

Read "Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1" reviewed by Skip Heller


There are certain musicians who embody eras, even if they're not the player with their picture on the cover. In our contemporary musical climate, Greg Leisz comes to mind. Since 1991, he has popped up on hundreds of acclaimed albums, and without ever really changing his style, he has become centrifugal beyond the considerations of genre ...

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Article: Interview

Adam Kahan: Capturing the Essence of Jazz in a Film

Read "Adam Kahan: Capturing the Essence of Jazz in a Film" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Too many are the documentaries produced and directed in a formulaic way using archival clips, photos, and hastily staged interviews that are intended to make a series of facts evident and bring out a few key points. At their best, they give a reasonably realistic illustrated depiction of people, places, and things. That is why a ...

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Article: Album Review

Sam Braysher Trio: Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man

Read "Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher


It was back in 2017 when we were first introduced to Sam Braysher with his debut release Golden Earrings (Fresh Sound New Talent), performed alongside pianist, Michael Kanan and featuring a collection of reinterpreted songs from the Great American Songbook. Braysher is now following his own footsteps by releasing a trio album with a similar theme. ...

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Article: Interview

Gli Unscientific Italians e l'arte della meta-sintesi Friselliana

Read "Gli Unscientific Italians e l'arte della meta-sintesi Friselliana" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Se Nanni Moretti fosse nato nel 1973 invece che nel 1953, la famosa scena di Caro Diario che lo vede in sella ad un vespone per le strade vuote di una languida Roma ferragostana avrebbe avuto come colonna sonora la musica di Bill Frisell piuttosto che quella di Keith Jarrett. Perchè ogni epoca viene definita da ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums

Read "John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums" reviewed by Chris May


This article is a companion piece to John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums, which listed ten albums widely regarded as essential items in John Coltrane's discography and discussed another ten of comparable importance. John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums narrows the focus to club and concert recordings. Coltrane's live performances had a ...

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Article: Album Review

Martial Solal: Coming Yesterday: Live At Salle Gaveau 2019

Read "Coming Yesterday: Live At Salle Gaveau 2019" reviewed by Chris May


In 2010, a British writer travelled to Paris to interview the pianist Martial Solal. The address he had been given was in the affluent suburb Chatou. On arrival, Solal's house struck the writer as something quite unlike the home of any other jazz musician he had ever visited, an haute bourgeoisie villa surrounded by an ornamental ...

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Article: Interview

Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future

Read "Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future" reviewed by Chris May


Though he is far too modest to make any such claim himself, most observers agree that saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings is the standard-bearer for the new wave of jazz musicians who have emerged in London since around 2015. Hutchings is a few years older than most of the cohort. He made his debut recording in ...


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