If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Especially in this world of fragmented formats such as the abominable "smooth jazz," Berklee-trained performer and instructor Willie Myette has chosen an ambitious and even hubric title for his debut album. Though he may not cover all the Basies, and though he may occassionally seem as if his sense of "Jazz" as an entire genre disappeared with Gershwin, Myette mixes standard compositions with more contemproary insights for a collection which, if not encyclopedic, is at least a good primer for his students and listeners.
From old school standards such as a heart-tugging take on Rogers and Hart’s "Little Girl Blue," a softly swinging solo-led setup of Levant and Heyman’s ‘Blame It On My Youth" and a peppy pop through Johnny Mercer’s "Autumn Leaves" to newer pieces like Oscar Peterson’s "Hymn To Freedom" (made all the younger with the help of a Guiraldi-esque children’s choir), Myette mixes flavors of old and new in a bold attempt at introducing and encapsulating as much of jazz as possible into one nine-track album. Throwing in one original for good measure ("Ella’s Song," a tribute to his daughter, if not also the first lady of jazz), Myette deals with many of the great composers and constructs of jazz. However, in limiting himself to nine songs and a trio, Myette also misses many of the lements which have made jazz the broad, nearly undefinable and certainly uncapturable musical mystery it has become. Even so, as an instructor of the American idiom, Myette appears well poised to build on his own work through his students and to sustain and feed the heart and soul which make jazz one of a kind.
I love jazz because there are so many styles and ways to interpret the music--so much room for creativity.
I was first exposed to jazz at a very young age, listening to great artists such as Nat King Cole and Lena Horne.