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Thelonious Monk

With the arrival Thelonious Sphere Monk, modern music— let alone modern culture—simply hasn’t been the same. Recognized as one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre, Monk achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate. His musical vision was both ahead of its time and deeply rooted in tradition, spanning the entire history of the music from the “stride” masters of James P. Johnson and Willie “the Lion” Smith to the tonal freedom and kinetics of the “avant garde.” And he shares with Edward “Duke” Ellington the distinction of being one of the century’s greatest American composers

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones

Read "Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

There always seem to be albums coming out that pay tribute to accomplished jazz composers. Here are some newer ones, three on very familiar names and one on an often overlooked musician. John Di Martino Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn Sunnyside Records 2020 Pianist John ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Landrus: For Now

Read "For Now" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On For Now, his tenth album as leader, multi-reed specialist Brian Landrus gives voice to the many faces of romance, using as his means of expression a talented core quintet, amplified on several themes by a four-member string section, with arrangements by the notable opera composer Robert Aldridge. While Landrus plays four instruments including flute and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band: The Intangible Between

Read "The Intangible Between" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Pianist Orrin Evans has a deep understanding of the unshakeable bond between fellowship, humanity and the creative process. That knowledge has guided him through creating a remarkable catalog of music as both a leader and sideman, along the way, experiencing the fellowship of a collective of musicians he often refers to as “The Village."

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sun Ra Arkestra: Live In Kalisz 1986

Read "Live In Kalisz 1986" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In December 1986, the Sun Ra Arkestra performed at the 13th International Jazz Piano Festival in Kalisz. The Arkestra was making its first ever appearance in Poland and the historic occasion was duly recorded for posterity. The tapes, however, languished in a basement, unloved and forgotten, until they were unearthed over three decades later. Thanks to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Bacon / Michael McNeill / Danny Ziemann: Refractions

Read "Refractions" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The Thelonious Monk canon has proved to be fertile ground for jazz musicians' explorations. The reasons range from a sincere and deep appreciation of Monk's melodic and harmonic approaches to a sort of a quirky fascination with the eccentricity of some of Monk's off-center sounds. Pianist Michael McNeill's trio effort, Refractions, is less a hagiography of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio: Angels Around

Read "Angels Around" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

In addition to recognition among modern jazz's most talented guitarists, Kurt Rosenwinkel has earned a reputation as a thoughtfully skilled interpreter of jazz standards. This stirring release should deservedly elevate his status to even higher levels as bassist Dario Deidda and drummer Greg Hutchinson add punch and precision to every piece. Rosenwinkle revisits classic compositions from ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra

Read "Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra John F. Szwed 512 Pages ISBN: 978-1-4780-0841-5 Duke University Press 2020 Of all the 20th century jazz figures, perhaps only John Coltrane and Miles Davis have achieved greater cult status than Sun Ra. Unlike Coltrane, Ra lived into ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Time for Listeners’ Favorites

Read "Time for Listeners’ Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn

It's a show with a number 5 in it (show 425 to be precise). So, it's time for listeners' favorites from shows 411-420. See if yours made the list. Toes tappin' mask on! Enjoy! Playlist Gary Burton “Boston Marathon" from Good Vibes (Atlantic) 00:00 Jack McDuff “Hunk O' Funk" from To Seek a ...


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