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Tom Harrell

Praised by Newsweek for his pure melodic genius, Tom Harrell is widely recognized as one of the most creative and uncompromising jazz instrumentalists and composers of our time. Even with a discography of over 260 recordings and a career that spans more than four decades, Harrell has managed to stay fresh and current as he continues to actively record and tour around the world. He is a frequent winner in Down Beat and Jazz Times magazines' Critics and Readers Polls and a Grammy nominee. Harrell is also a Trumpeter of the Year nominee for the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Awards. His warm, burnished sound on the trumpet and the flugelhorn, and the unparalleled harmonic and rhythmic sophistication in his playing and writing, have earned Harrell his place as a jazz icon to aspiring musicians and devoted fans alike. Following the success of his first four albums with the current members of his quintet - a remarkably cohesive unit that includes tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Danny Grissett, drummer Johnathan Blake, and his bassist of 13 years, Ugonna Okegwo, Harrell’s latest quintet offering, NUMBER FIVE, was released in May 2012. The quintet's previous albums, THE TIME OF THE SUN (2011), ROMAN NIGHTS (2010), PRANA DANCE (2009) and LIGHT ON (2007), received wide critical acclaim and won SESAC awards four years in a row for topping the radio charts in the U.S. In contrast to his signature recordings during the RCA/BMG years (1996 - 2003) where much of his focus was on projects involving large ensembles, the latest albums on Highnote demonstrate Harrell's skills as a leader of a smaller unit that calls to mind the energy and rapport of Art Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s bands

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gregory Dudzienski Quartet: Beautiful Moments

Read "Beautiful Moments" reviewed by Jack Bowers

There are many Beautiful Moments on Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Gregory Dudzienski's second CD under his name, some of which enfold his warm-blooded tenor, others the spirited give-and-take with his blue-chip quartet whose other members are pianist Chris White, bassist Kelly Sill and drummer Jeff Stitely. Yes, Dudzienski is heavily influenced by the music of the 1950s ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Spanish Harlem Orchestra: The Latin Jazz Project

Read "The Latin Jazz Project" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

When last heard from, the salsa powerhouse Spanish Harlem Orchestra was celebrating fifteen years of playing together with Anniversary (ArtistShare, 2018). There have always been elements of Latin jazz in the group's music, and Artistic Director Oscar Hernández is a noted Latin jazz pianist, so it was only a matter of time until they presented a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Like many jazz musicians in 2020, drummer/composer Rudy Royston has felt the direct effects of living in the coronavirus world. The Texas native, now a New Jersey resident, found his streams of income drying up without gigs, but then experienced a fortunate twist of fate that stood him up. Head above water, the artist pays it ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tom Harrell

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tom Harrell

All About Jazz is celebrating Tom Harrell's birthday today! Praised by Newsweek for his pure melodic genius, Tom Harrell is widely recognized as one of the most creative and uncompromising jazz instrumentalists and composers of our time. Even with a discography of over 260 recordings and a career that spans more than four decades, Harrell has ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Carl Saunders: Jazz Trumpet

Read "Jazz Trumpet" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Septuagenarian trumpeter Carl Saunders, whose horn served and enhanced the music of Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and numerous other icons, has been a steady presence on the Summit Records imprint. Whether exploring rare Bill Holman charts or crafting a program with a patriotic shine, acting as a featured guest with the Gary Urwin Jazz ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2000. In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has ...

Take Five with Markus Rutz

Read "Take Five with Markus Rutz" reviewed by Markus Rutz

Meet Markus Rutz Markus Rutz plays trumpet with bluesy, soulful style and a tone that has been called gorgeous. He composes music from his home base in jny: Chicago, Illinois where he also performs modern jazz. As described by Downbeat's J.D. Considine, with his “big, dark tone and a fluid ease to his phrasing," trumpet player, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Oded Tzur: Here Be Dragons

Read "Here Be Dragons" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his previous releases, Like a Great River (Enja, 2016) and Translator's Note (Enja, 2017), New York-based tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur amalgamated Eastern and Western elements and deep, balmy phrasing which drew sincere comparisons to John Coltrane. Not surprisingly, Manfred Eicher took notice and signed the Tel Aviv native to ECM for his third album, Here ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: Newvelle Muri

Read "Newvelle Muri" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Swiss drummer/percussionist and composer, Stephan Diethelm lived in Zimbabwe for several years and was musically influenced by the African rhythms he heard. He had appeared on four albums when he launched the Muri Series, an ongoing succession of concerts that began in 2002, sometimes called Musig im Pflegidach. Pflegidach is a monastery that dates to the ...


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