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Tadd Dameron

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Tadd Dameron as a composer and arranger was the man who in the 1940s and ‘50s was among the first to use the sometimes raw and undisciplined devices of the then- new style of jazz called bebop in well-developed arrangements for big bands and small groups. Perhaps more than any other musician, Dameron added form to the then-emerging style of bop. Born in Cleveland in 1917, Dameron grew up with music all around him, his mother first taught him to play piano, "not to read, but by memory." But, it was Dameron’s older brother, Caesar, a saxophonist, who got his brother interested in jazz by listening to the records of the big bands of the 1930’s like Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, and the Casa Loma band that was playing unique arrangements at the time. Cleveland jazz musician Andy Anderson said he first heard Dameron in the 1930s when Caesar brought his kid brother to a nightclub, and asked if the boy could sit in with the Snake White Band

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

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


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future

Read "Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future" reviewed by Matthew Alec


Cleveland, Ohio. Having lived here for my entire life, the word “city" does not quite describe what Cleveland truly is. There is of course a downtown urban area, one filled with noteworthy neoclassic architecture and an overall stately appearance that is often overlooked by those who live here. That said, most “Clevelanders" don't actually live within ...

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Article: Profile

Gigi Gryce

Read "Gigi Gryce" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in 2002. Gigi Gryce was a special kind of musician—the kind often overlooked by the mainstream jazz world today, but widely respected by those familiar with his all too brief time under the jazz spotlight of the 1950s. More often rated as ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May


Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2020

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


2020 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27-30, 2020 Above all else the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a spectacular ten-day event: with around 2 million visitors and 500 concerts on 20 stages, it is ranked as the world's largest jazz ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

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Article: Reassessing

Sonny's Crib

Read "Sonny's Crib" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


From the outset, pianist Sonny Clark's sophomore effort as a leader is crisp, white-hot hard bop. Leading a standard bop trumpet-tenor saxophone quintet (Donald Byrd, John Coltrane), supplemented with trombone (Curtis Fuller), Clark and his most reliable rhythm section of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor carve five dictionary examples (with alternate takes on the ...

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News: Obituary

Prolific Austin composer, first call pianist Rich Harney dies suddenly at 66

Prolific Austin composer, first call pianist Rich Harney dies suddenly at 66

jny: Austin is mourning the loss of one of its finest and most beloved musicians, pianist Rich Harney. Harney passed away on January 5, 2020, just before a Sunday night trio gig at The Elephant Room. Born in Champaign, Illinois, Harney was a prolific composer first inspired by the recordings of Oscar Peterson. Influences include Thelonious ...

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Article: Album Review

Lolly Allen: Coming Home

Read "Coming Home" reviewed by Jack Bowers


There was a time, and it wasn't that long ago, when women in jazz—apart from singers and the occasional pianist—were seen by many observers as unsolicited interlopers whose impact in what was essentially a male bastion could be no more than minimal at best. Needless to say that is no longer the case, as women's voices ...


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