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Mark E. Gallo

Mark E. Gallo

The DVD has become an enormously popular and cost efficient way to get music films into consumer homes over the past few years. Music Video Distributors, based out of Oaks, PA, has released an extraordinary collection of classic jazz on this format over the past few months. Most are pretty bare-boned no fat booklets. Most have nothing in the box but a disc, but this is definitely offset by a very affordable price. These are generally lumped under the Jazz Legends and Swing Era series. Among the …
Blue Note has been the standard by which most jazz labels have measured themselves since Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff founded the record label in 1939. Blue Note has chronicled some of the most important jazz musicians and movements of the past century, most notably those of the mid-50s to the late 1960s, though certainly they remain vital in the new millennium, as well, as evidenced by a roster that includes such stellar players as Stefon Harris, Medeski Martin and Wood and Norah Jones.

The …

I’ve been compiling "Best Of" lists for most of the 25-plus years that I’ve writing about jazz and blues. This year’s lists cover the wide spectrum of music that excites my ears, and I hope there is something here that might inspire some added listening for readers. You’ll note that Pyeng Threadgill, the most exciting new artist of the year, is listed in both the jazz and blues categories. The daughter of the great Henry Threadgill recorded a tribute to blues icon Robert Johnson, but really defi …
North America’s largest free jazz festival is one of the most heavily attended jazz festivals in the world. This year’s extravaganza is, typically, jam-packed with a Who’s-Who of internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Most notable are:

Friday, August 30:

Straight Ahead. The all-woman quintet led by bassist Marion Hayden is Detroit-based and internationally renowned. They recorded a trio of albums for Atlantic and served as a launching pad for violinist Regina Carter.

Mavis Staples.

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