Jazz

Gimme Five: Overlooked jazz organists Larry Goldings, Big John Patton, Charles Earland, Larry Young, Lonnie Smith

by S. Victor Aaron Here, we take a look at the mighty Hammond B-3. To make it a bit challenging, no records by the organ jazz godfather Jimmy Smith will be on the list.

Branford Marsalis – Bloomington (1992)

The jazz ideal is this: a hard-blowing, maybe bluesy horn player, sweat drops dripping down his nose, fronting a filterless rhythm section. And the scene, no doubt, is this: Dim and sticky room in the middle a bustling mileau, with taxis and tourists groaning outside, businessmen passing vagrants near the front door, steam rising from the sewer grates. Well, onRead More

The Crusaders – Rural Renewal (2003)

by S. Victor Aaron Soul-jazz was never a major genre, even in its seventies heyday, but the boys from Houston who called themselves The Crusaders were doing it better than just about anyone else then…and now.

Something Else! Featured Artist: Charlie Parker

by Nick DeRiso Spring time. That means sudden storms, stingingly bright flowers — and birds. Or, for me, Bird. Here are a few recommended Charlie Parker sides to while away the sunshine and showers … “The Legendary Dial Masters, Vols. 1 & 2,” from 1996 on Jazz Classics For beginning listeners, start here instead of Rhino’s two-CD “Yardbird Suite: TheRead More

Lists: Underrated jazz pianists Michael Wolff, Hampton Hawes, Monty Alexander, Sonny Clark, Joe Sample

by S. Victor Aaron Piano records are tough to pick, because there’s always the temptation to include records by Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Bill Evans: 1) The Michael Wolff Trio; Jumpstart (1995)Before this guy was twenty, he was already good enough to be playing in Julian “Cannonball” Adderley’s band. For this session, he employs Christian McBride and Tony WilliamsRead More

Gimme Five: More overlooked Miles Davis recordings

Here’s my handful of Miles Davis recordings, following Victor’s terrific list, that you might not have already grown dead-dog sick and tired of: 1. “Amandla,” from 1989.The old man still had it. Don’t believe me? The band (as always) says it all: new altoist Kenny Garrett, pianist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, tenor Rick Margitza, pianist Joe Sample. “Mr. Pastorius”Read More

Lists: Jazz rhythm standouts Peter Erskine, Christian McBride, Tony Williams, Dave Holland

by S. Victor Aaron PETER ERSKINE, Sweet Soul (1991) I’ve got scads of records led by John Abercrombie that show Erskine’s prowess on the skins better than this record. But here, Erskine does such a great job leading an ensemble that shifts from track to track. On some, we are treated to Kenny Werner’s inspired keyboard work and on others,Read More

Something Else! sneak peek: Miles Davis – The Complete 'In a Silent Way' Sessions (2001)

by S. Victor Aaron On the Columbia re-release of Miles Davis’ “The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions” … This 3 cd set covers Miles Davis’ recoding sessions from September, 1968 to February, 1969, chronicalling the line of demarcation between “acoustic Miles” and “electric Miles”. It is an important piece of work for historical reasons, making the listener a flyRead More

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – Fire of the Fundamentals (1994)

by Nick DeRiso While it doesn’t have the cohesiveness of 1992’s “Portraits of Ellington,” this makes its own kind of statement. The playlist is an evocative pairing of older, traditional big-band selections by composers like Billy Strayhorn, with more modern tunes from Miles, Monk and Coltrane. In that way, the CD nearly mirrors the band’s own makeup.

Something Else! Featured Artist: Jean Luc Ponty

by S. Victor Aaron LIFE ENIGMA (2001): Born in Avranches, France, in 1942, classically-trained violinist Jean Luc Ponty discovered Miles and ‘Trane in his twenties and became a pioneer in the fusion movement of the late-sixties and throughout the seventies. He was — and still is — arguably the finest electric violinist in the world. Oops, did I say “arguably”?Read More

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