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Stanley Cowell

Stanley Cowell can best be described as an intellectual pianist. From his early classical roots to collaborations with premier jazz artists to his creative solo career, Cowell’s music has been defined by integrity and taste. With an agile left hand and a relentlessly imaginative approach to standards and his own compositions, his solo concerts are events to be savored. Stanley Cowell, was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1941. He studied piano there with Mary Belle Shealy and Elmer Gertz, and pipe organ with J. Harold Harder. By the age of fifteen, he was a featured soloist with the Toledo Youth Orchestra in Kabelevsky's Piano Concerto No

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2

Read "Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2" reviewed by Chris May

As Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting and performing partner during the 1970s, keyboardist, composer and arranger Brian Jackson was co-author of some of the most galvanising liberation music of the era. Inhabiting the intersection of jazz, soul and spoken word, Jackson and Scott-Heron, who met while they were both students at Lincoln University, were a team from Pieces ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Joe Chambers: Samba De Maracatu

Read "Samba De Maracatu" reviewed by Chris May

Drummer Joe Chambers was unusual among the drummers who emerged on the Blue Note label in the mid 1960s in that not only did he generate a powerful beat, he wrote strong tunes, too. He played on, and often composed pieces for, albums by such Blue Note luminaries as saxophonists Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson, vibraphonist ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn

Read "Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn" reviewed by Chris May

After five years without the release of any newly recorded material, the British trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has returned in winter 2020 with a fresh new band and a sparkling new album, Salute To The Sun, on his Gondwana Records label. It is more than good to have him and his music back.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Spike Wilner, Count Basie, Clark Terry and more

Read "Spike Wilner, Count Basie, Clark Terry and more" reviewed by Joe Dimino

The world of jazz is in survival mode. The shift from live shows to livestream is now how the art form is coping. This week we open with club owner Spike Wilner and a cut off a new Live at Smalls CD. The rest of the episode focuses on artists with new material and how they ...

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Tolliver: Connect

Read "Connect" reviewed by Chris May

Put out more flags. Connect, the first release from trumpeter Charles Tolliver in over a decade, is a monster. From the Saturday-night goodtime opener “Blue Soul" through to the intense, Spanish tinged, serpentine closer “Suspicion," the album finds Tolliver still at the top of his game in a recording career which began in the mid 1960s. ...

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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