jazz Archive

Album Review: Duke Ellington Orchestra – Big Bands Live

Duke Ellington is one of the most important figures in American music, let alone within the jazz idiom. Bandleader, arranger, pianist, composer, popularizer of jazz…Ellington’s influence is incalculable. His vast catalog of work is filled with essential gems. My own first conscious/intentional exposure to his work was via a used vinyl copy of Ellington at

Old (But Previously Unreleased) Jazz, New Vinyl

Recently, I devoted an entire week’s worth of coverage to vinyl releases. But as it turns out, a clutch of recent jazz releases on the new-but-already-venerable Jazzhaus label are also available on vinyl. The full review of two of these new albums of music from Zoot Sims, Dizzy Gillespie and my personal favorite Cannonball Adderley

Album Review: Clayton Brothers and Friends – The Gathering

Over the last several years, I’ve been developing a taste for – and appreciation of – jazz. Not the smooth “jazz flavours” stuff of 70s/80s late-night FM radio; my new-found tastes lean more toward hard bop, big band, fusion. My collection – both on CD and vinyl (the latter remaining my preferred medium) is growing,

One You May Have Missed: Miles From India

I don’t claim to understand jazz. I think, I believe — and this is the thought, the belief of a rock fan, please understand — that at its most successful, its most transcendent, jazz is the intersection of mathematics and soul. It’s the crossroads of mind and spirit, of intellect and feeling. I don’t claim

Archival Recordings from Jazzhaus

This decade is looking to be an important one for unearthing of landmark vintage jazz recordings. Resonance has unearthed an early Wes Montgomery set and a pair of amazing Bill Evans shows, and I’m anxiously awaiting news about what they’ll release next. And when I first learned of the launching of the German-based Jazzhaus label,

The Very Best Of…Concord Jazz Artists

Because Concord Music Group has acquired the licensing to some of the most venerable labels in all of music (Stax, Fantasy, Riverside, Prestige, and others) as well as large chunks of the work of some of the world’s most important artists (Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra), they have – in addition to their excellent reissues

Catching Up With Modern Jazz, Part Two

A quick roundup of some notable jazz releases, from your friendly neighborhood jazz novitiate who nonetheless knows what he likes… Toots Thielemans – Yesterday & Today (Universal Music) My first – and for many years only – exposure to the Belgian harmonica player’s music was his work on Billy Joel‘s kinda cheesy “Leave a Tender

Catching Up With Modern Jazz, Part One

As many readers know, I’m a relative latecomer to appreciation of jazz. Other than a copy of Weather Report‘s Heavy Weather LP, my record collection was all but jazz-free until I picked up a good condition (monaural) vinyl copy of Cannonball Adderley‘s Somethin’ Else at a garage sale sometime in the early 90s. Though it

Album Review: Vince Guaraldi – The Very Best of Vince Guaraldi

The music of Vince Guaraldi could well be described as “jazz for people who don’t like jazz.” And even knowing what little I do about Guaraldi the man, I strongly suspect that he’d be pleased with that description. He was a hipster-looking pianist who created arguably the most accessible body of work in the jazz

Album Review: Ray Charles — Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection

The word Genius is thrown around far too cavalierly. At this writing, Michael Jackson (the self-proclaimed King of Pop) has been dead only a few days, and tributes everywhere call the onetime child star a genius. Oh yeah? I recently sat through Martin Bashir’s 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson (an icky title in light