jazz Archive

Rebirth of the Firecracker Jazz Band

This is the second of three short features on Asheville-based artists releasing new albums in March 2020. As the 21st century enters its third decade, the Firecracker Jazz Band is doubling down on a music style that enjoyed its heyday a century ago. But guitarist and banjo player Jason Krekel believes he knows why 1920s-style

Kat Edmonson: Old Fashioned Dreamer

In the era before rock ‘n’ roll, pop music was for adults. And while adult pop continued as a force through the ’60s – witness the careers of Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis and Engelbert Humperdinck as well as Frank Sinatra’s continued run of top 40 hit singles – the category was largely moribund by the

30 Days Out, March 2020 #2: Sister Ivy, Graham Nash, Wham Bam Bowie Band, Eilen Jewell

UPDATE March 17: It looks as if all live shows are canceled for the foreseeable future. Please support these and other artists by buying their music online, viewing (and paying for) livestreams .. .whatever they may have on offer. We’re all in this together. Because of the worldwide challenge posed by the spread of the

Q&A with Freddy King Cole

The last name may sound familiar: Pianist and singer Freddy Cole is, in fact, the youngest brother of the late Nat “King” Cole, the jazz musician who scored more than 100 pop hits during his lifetime. But Freddy Cole — immortalized in the award-winning 2006 documentary film The Cole Nobody Knows — is no also-ran.

Album Review: Louis Armstrong and His All Stars — Live in 1956

Though he had certainly been massively popular before, in the middle 1950s jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong was near the top of his game. In 1947 he broke up his big band and formed a new group, the All Stars made up primarily of former leaders of other bands. Louis Armstrong and His All

Ottmar Liebert: Combining Traditional and Modern

Five-time Grammy Award nominee Ottmar Liebert is German-born. His music is rooted in the traditions of Spain. And he lives in the American Southwest. Somehow, those disparate elements combine to make guitar-based music that has one foot in tradition, the other in modern, pop-style accessibility. Though he’s a technically accomplished and ambitious musician, Liebert says

30 Days Out: February 2020 #1: André Cholmondeley, Mike Dillon Band, Kamasi Washington, Rich Nelson Band

If you’re in and/or around Asheville, N.C. in the next 30 days, you’d do well to catch these shows. Artist: André Cholmondeley Venue: The Mothlight Date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Door: $5 André is something of a renaissance man. His myriad musical activities include leading a Frank Zappa tribute band (Project Object), working as

Hundred-word Reviews for January 2020

Every so often – pretty often, in fact – I find a stack of CDs has accumulated on my desk. They’ve made the cut as albums deemed worthy of sharing with my readers. In the space of just one hundred words, I endeavor to convey what’s noteworthy or even special about these releases. Each of

Album Review: Bill Bruford’s Earthworks — Heavenly Bodies: The Expanded Collection

Bill Bruford is a hero in the world of progressive rock. Though it’s something of an oversimplification, the short story on him is that he found drumming for Yes not challenging enough, so at the peak of that group’s popularity, he left to join King Crimson. Either way, before and after he made that move,

Justin Ray: Singing and Swinging

Asheville-based trumpeter Justin Ray has been a member of pop singer Michael Bublé’s band for 15 years. After a long string of tours around the world, Ray decided that he’d create some new arrangements of classic tunes from the big band era, with the ultimate goal of getting Bublé to use those arrangements in his