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Musician

Sonny Sharrock

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The career of the late Sonny Sharrock is unique in modern jazz. He first aspired as a doo-wop singer, determined to take music as his vocation after listening to Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue." Aspired to play saxophone but instead took up guitar in his early 20's due to asthmatic conditions, nonetheless he emulated his guitar styling after the energy players such as Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. He appeared as a cameo in Mile Davis' "Jack Johnson" album and Wayne Shorter's "Super Nova" album as well. His most notable appearance was his duel with Sanders on "Taulid" and "Izipho Zam." His primal tone with gusto was indeed a one-of-a-kind

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Article: Interview

Logan Richardson: To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before

Read "Logan Richardson:  To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before" reviewed by Chris May


In a 2016 interview, jny: Kansas City-born alto saxophonist Logan Richardson said: “Jazz will constantly change because there's constantly a new us, new times. There will always be a fight from the conformists--but they don't represent where the tradition is coming from." Richardson was talking not long after the release of his adventurous Blue Note album, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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Article: Book Review

Hear My Train A Comin': The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix

Read "Hear My Train A Comin': The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Hear My Train A Comin':The Songs Of Jimi Hendrix Kevin Le Gendre 240 Pages ISBN: 97818000500143 Equinox 2020 Few artists have burned as briefly and brightly as Jimi Hendrix, the Afro-American guitarist and singer who set the late 1960s alight with his virtuosity and showmanship. Fifty years after he ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

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Article: Album Review

Noah Preminger: Contemptment

Read "Contemptment" reviewed by Mark Corroto


If you followed saxophonist Noah Preminger's early career you might have read an interview where he revealed his fascination with boxing. The fact that he trained in the sweet science for nearly a decade while making music is evident in the pugilistic blues heard on self-released albums Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar (2015) and Dark ...

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Article: Interview

Matt Gold: A Guitarist in Songwriter's Disguise

Read "Matt Gold: A Guitarist in Songwriter's Disguise" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann


Combining improvisational concepts with Americana aesthetics is one thing, but enveloping this blend in a songwriter approach is another story entirely. The first concept is common practice these days, the second however represents the unique character which the up and coming jny: Chicago-based guitarist Matt Gold has to offer on his compelling debut effort, Imagined Sky ...

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Article: Radio

August Birthdays

Read "August Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn


August birthdays this week, celebrating the centennials of Charlie Parker, singer Jimmy Witherspoon and bassist George Duvivier. George only did one session as a leader for a French label, which I have never been able to find. So, we pair him with other August celebrants: Jimmy Rushing, Lester Young, Arnett Cobb and Art Farmer. We also ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May


There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...


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