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Musician

Wardell Gray

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Wardell Gray was one of the truly great, yet by now almost obscure, bebop tenor saxophonists. With a smooth mellow and consistent tone, he created a tenor style that veered from swing to bebop, a style that was elegant, sure-footed, mature and distinctive. His premature death under mysterious circumstances in 1955, robbed the jazz world of another unique player, and cast him into distant recollection, though his talent deserves greater recognition. Born in Oklahoma City, Gray grew up in Detroit, playing locally as a teenager. He was a member of the Earl Hines big band during 1943-1945 before moving to Los Angeles in 1945

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Article: Album Review

Craig Davis: Tone Paintings

Read "Tone Paintings" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The subtitle of pianist Craig Davis' second album, Tone Paintings, is “The Music of Dodo Marmarosa." For those who may be inclined to ask, “Dodo who?" the album offers a mini-biography of Pittsburgh-born Michael (Dodo) Marmarosa, an exceptionally talented pianist whose promising early career was cut short by the crushing weight of mental and emotional problems ...

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Article: Album Review

Dave Green Trio plus Evan Parker: Raise Four

Read "Raise Four" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Bassist Dave Green recorded this set for the BBC Radio 3 programme Somethin' Else in 2004. In the interview included here with the show's presenter Jez Nelson, Green reflects on a forty year career in jazz. It is fitting that this fine record, only his fourth as leader, sees its release in the year Green marks ...

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Article: Profile

Hasaan Ibn Ali: Requiem (And Praise) For A Heavyweight Pianist

Read "Hasaan Ibn Ali: Requiem (And Praise) For A Heavyweight Pianist" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


"The new release of Hasaan's Retrospect In Retirement Of Delay: The Solo Recordings (Omnivore Recordings, 2021), which features him in privately recorded performances from 1962 to 1965, reveals his profundity, his overwhelming power, his mighty virtuosity. It does more than put him on the map of jazz history—it expands the map to include the vast expanse ...

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News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Wardell Gray

Jazz Musician of the Day: Wardell Gray

All About Jazz is celebrating Wardell Gray's birthday today! Wardell Gray was one of the truly great, yet by now almost obscure, bebop tenor saxophonists. With a smooth mellow and consistent tone, he created a tenor style that veered from swing to bebop, a style that was elegant, sure-footed, mature and distinctive. His premature death under ...

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Article: Interview

Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything

Read "Bill Goodwin: Not Less Than Everything" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Bill Goodwin is like a breath of fresh air blowing through jazz. From the time around 1954 when he was in jny: Los Angeles and just learning the drums, and inspired by Shelly Manne, to today, around his 80th birthday, he has loved jazz and the musicians unconditionally. He has befriended and worked with so many ...

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Article: Year in Review

2021: The Year in Jazz

Read "2021: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The jazz world continued grappling and adjusting in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Jazz Day again went virtual for the most part. Singer Tony Bennett put the final stamp on his touring—and likely recording—career after his Alzheimer's disclosure. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was headed to federal prison. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four ...

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Article: Album Review

Doug Lawrence: Doug Lawrence & Friends

Read "Doug Lawrence & Friends" reviewed by Jack Bowers


If the name Doug Lawrence doesn't sound familiar, the name Count Basie surely should. What is the Lawrence- Basie connection? Well, for more than two decades Lawrence has been the featured tenor saxophone soloist with the renowned and still- active Count Basie Orchestra, a chair once impressively occupied by the likes of Lester Young, Eddie “Lockjaw" ...

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Article: Album Review

Houston Person: Live in Paris

Read "Live in Paris" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The greatest jazz musicians have one trait in common; they make everything sound so ridiculously easy that listeners are liable to lose sight of the blood, sweat and tears which brought them to that pinnacle. Tenor saxophonist Houston Person, an octogenarian who keeps sidestepping every obstacle including Father Time, is one such master; regardless of groove ...

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Article: Album Review

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown: Quartet Sessions

Read "Quartet Sessions" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The Quartet Sessions (there are two of them) mark the eighth recording as leader by New York-based tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, an heir-apparent to an acclaimed dynasty of hard-boppers whose monarchs include Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons, Charlie Rouse, Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins and their peers, and embraces such contemporaries as Eric Alexander, Don Menza ...


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