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Sonny Rollins

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.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Another (Mostly) Sax Attack

Read "Another (Mostly) Sax Attack" reviewed by Marc Cohn

The doctor had a sax attack this week having 'overdosed' on the just-arrived, absolutely gorgeous (and mostly previously unreleased) Paul Desmond box from Mosaic (and I'm more of a 'Phil Woods kind of guy'!). One thing led to another: our chronological Sonny Rollins celebration (The Sound of Sonny); Kenny Garrett with Miles 'live'; Miguel Zenon; Don ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho

Read "Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho" reviewed by Chris May

Charles Tolliver has played with practically every major African American jazz stylist of his generation, and composed for some of them, too. In addition, he is the co-founder of Strata-East, the most influential label at the intersection of hard bop and spiritual jazz during the 1970s. Tolliver's long and distinguished career continues to flourish, with a ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

Read "4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition" reviewed by Ian Patterson

4th Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Cricoteka Museum, Kraków, Poland/Various international locations on-line July 8-10, 2020 When the fanfare and drum roll had died down the big moment arrived. After three days of on-line competition, the six finalists waited anxiously in front of their screens, in Israel, The USA, Austria, ...

NEWS: EVENT

Virtual Concert Celebrates the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters on August 20, 2020

Virtual Concert Celebrates the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters on August 20, 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with SFJAZZ, will host a special online-only concert in honor of the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters—Dorthaan Kirk (A.B. Spellman Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy), Bobby McFerrin, Roscoe Mitchell, and Reggie Workman—on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Highlights of Jazz in the Late 2000s (2004 - 2010)

Read "Highlights of Jazz in the Late 2000s (2004 - 2010)" reviewed by Russell Perry

This is the 98th of 100 programs in the Jazz at 100 series. The programs have chronologically followed the history of recorded jazz and, as we approach the present, the question of historical perspective becomes relevant. Just how well can we predict what will endure? What will have lasting importance? We are in the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Clovis Grognuz: Young Man with Horn of Plenty

Read "Clovis Grognuz: Young Man with Horn of Plenty" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With thousands of viewers and followers on Facebook and You Tube, Swiss saxophonist Clovis Grognuz has become a worldwide saxophone-playing sensation. Astonished eyes and ears have witnessed this talented and dedicated young man performing the legendary saxophone solos--those of John Coltrane ("Giant Steps"), Charlie Parker ("Just Friends"), et al--simultaneously and note for note with the great ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Into the ‘Now’s The Time’ Warp & Much More

Read "Into the ‘Now’s The Time’ Warp & Much More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Oh, what a show for you! We start with twenty-first century New-Orleans-centric sounds from Charlie Dennard on the B-3, Billy Martin's Wicked Knee, Binker Golding, and a sexy song from Herlin Riley. We celebrate the life of Sonny Rollins with tracks from his Jazz Contrasts sideman gig with Kenny Dorham. And then there are two really ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...


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