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Musician

Stevie Wonder

Born:

b. Steveland Judkins, 13 May 1950, Saginaw, Michigan, USA. Born Judkins, Wonder now prefers to be known as Steveland Morris after his mother's married name. Placed in an incubator immediately after his birth, baby Steveland was given too much oxygen, causing Steveland to suffer permanent blindness. Despite this handicap, Wonder began to learn the piano at the age of seven, and had also mastered drums and harmonica by the age of nine. After his family moved to Detroit in 1954, Steveland joined a church choir, the gospel influence on his music balanced by the R&B of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke being played on his transistor radio. In 1961, he was discovered by Ronnie White of the Miracles, who arranged an audition at Motown Records

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Article: Album Review

Dan Wilson: Vessels Of Wood And Earth

Read "Vessels Of Wood And Earth" reviewed by Chris May


Dan Wilson's Vessels Of Wood And Earth starts well. Just over a minute into track one, the guitarist launches into a lightning-speed solo which sounds a little like Wes Montgomery channeling Charlie Parker on speed. On track two, Stevie Wonder's well named “Bird Of Beauty," he rings the changes, exchanging Montgomery and Parker for Pat Metheny ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way

Read "Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most notably a jazz pianist, it comes as more than a surprise that Bill Cunliffe was not in the same orbit as jazz until he was in college. With the sheer volume of top shelf jazz he has written and recorded since, he would seem to have made up for any lost time. That time, those ...

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Article: Interview

Pino Palladino: The Craftsman from Wales

Read "Pino Palladino: The Craftsman from Wales" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Refined craftsmanship is in small supply in today's music business, especially in the music business that fills sports arena or large music venues. Pino Palladino belongs to the small guild of refined craftsmen whose membership is reserved to musicians who do not seek the spotlight but pursue beauty through art, because that is what they were ...

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Article: Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Adventures of the Wildflower

Read "Adventures of the Wildflower" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The seeds of pianist-composer Yelena Eckemoff's Adventures Of The Wildflower were planted in 2013, when she traveled to Hollola, Finland, to record Blooming Tall Phlox (L&H Productions, 2017) with a group of young Finnish musicians. Several Eckemoff albums came about after that recording, but the experience with her Finnish friends must have exerted a sort of ...

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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, ...

8

Article: Album Review

Diego Rivera: Indigenous

Read "Indigenous" reviewed by Kyle Simpler


The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words" might be a cliché, but it also contains an element of truth. Some of the most powerful messages come across without relying on words. And when it comes to music, lyrics are not always needed to convey a message. Such is the case with Diego Rivera's ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Chick Corea: In The Present Tense

Read "Chick Corea: In The Present Tense" reviewed by Jim Worsley


This article was originally published at All About Jazz on November 12, 2020. RIP, Chick. What can you say about music icon Chick Corea that hasn't already been said? His past, his career has been honored, dissected, and revered. As it should be. A composer and pianist of unparalleled skills and accomplishments, Corea's place ...

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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 ...

10

Article: Album Review

Chris Nordman Trio: High Wire

Read "High Wire" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Time was when people retired to Florida to bask in the sunshine, play some golf and tend their backyard gardens. That was then; this is now. Pianist and organist Chris Nordman, who has roamed the world for more than half a century as a working musician and now calls Florida home, has no plans to rest ...


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