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NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Bill Evans: Munch Museum, 1966

Bill Evans: Munch Museum, 1966

I'm convinced that if we're going to get through the coronavirus pandemic together, it will be because of Bill Evans. The hope and humanity in his playing instills a sense that one day this will be over and we will resume our lives as they were meant to be lived, enjoying each other up close, food, ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

10 Latin Albums for the Heat

10 Latin Albums for the Heat

When the temperature closes in on 95, as it did yesterday in New York, I put on Latin music. Growing up without air conditioning in Manhattan's Washington Heights in the 1960s, heat meant the thumping beat of a big square electric fan, a wash cloth, and boogaloo and early salsa. You could hear the music walking ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Johnny Mandel in 20 Tracks

Johnny Mandel in 20 Tracks

Yesterday, I posted my complete 2008 interview with Johnny Mandel. But what did his music sound like over the decades and what made him so special? Here are my 20 favorite arrangements by Johnny, starting in 1944: Here's Johnny's arrangement of Magic Is the Moonlight for Boyd Raeburn in 1944... Here's Johnny's arrangement of his Krazy ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

YouTubers Dig Wes Montgomery

YouTubers Dig Wes Montgomery

In 2019, I posted on YouTube clips of students working out on transcriptions by guitarist Barry Galbraith. In 2018, I did the same with piano students playing Red Garland. Yesterday, I stumbled onto videos of guitar students playing Wes Montgomery. Here are eight videos plus a cover by a professional trio: Here's Audrey playing Four on ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Kenny Dorham in 10 Tracks

Kenny Dorham in 10 Tracks

Trumpeter Kenny Dorham never received the recognition he deserved. I'm not sure why. Part of the problem, I suppose, is that he was a gentler soul among hotter players such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown and others. He certainly was on plenty of remarkable recording sessions, and his playing was pretty and ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Jimmy Gourley: American in Paris

Jimmy Gourley: American in Paris

Jazz guitarist Jimmy Gourley spent much of his career in France, creating the impression for many jazz fans that he was French. He wasn't. He was born in St. Louis and grew up a high school band mate of alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. After Gourley's father bought him a guitar, Gourley picked up the basics by ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Helen Merrill and Bill Evans

Helen Merrill and Bill Evans

In February 1958, singer Helen Merrill recorded five tracks backed by Bill Evans, who was part of a superb quintet. The tracks would be their only studio recordings together. Evans would move on to the Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet that May and then form his own trio at year's end. Helen would spend 1958 and ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

10 tracks: Niehaus and Brass

10 tracks: Niehaus and Brass

With the recent passing of alto saxophonist and arranger-composer Lennie Niehaus, I spent yesterday listening to his Stan Kenton and sideman sessions and arrangements. During this period, Lennie used a wonderful device on up-tempo arrangements, opening with a heavy, dark riff and then cutting the cord and letting the song float into bright swing. On ballads, ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Greek Legend Manolis Mikelis

Greek Legend Manolis Mikelis

Today, jazz flourishes in Athens—or at least did before the virus lockdown. Many clubs dot the city, and gifted Greek jazz musicians perform there. Greek jazz greatness begins with a pianist whose name might be new to you—Manolis Mikelis. That's because Mikelis barely recorded, preferring to play live throughout Europe during his lifetime. Back in the ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

More Harry James in Hi-Fi

More Harry James in Hi-Fi

Throughout the 1950s, Count Basie saw Harry James in his rear-view mirror. For James, Basie was an inspiration and a model on which to record. Their connection dated back to 1939, when James recorded Two O'Clock Jump, a trumpet-driven interpretation of Basie's popular One O'Clock Jump credited to Basie, James and Benny Goodman. The update became ...


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