Mark E. Gallo

Mark E. Gallo

Pianist Tim Lyddon is a major voice on jazz piano and I've Traveled So Far is simply one of the most delightful piano trio sets of the past few years. The New York-…
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Doug Talley and his able quartet of pianist Wayne Hawkins, bassist Tim Brewer and drummer/vibist Keith Kavanaugh are doubtlessly a popular att…
Some of the most exciting music being recorded around the world is on independent labels, often only available through websites. These are a few that have caught my ear lately.


Johnny A: Sometime Tuesday Morning; Favored Nations (PO Box 550. Salem, MA 01970. 562-989-8707) ***

Johnny A is a Boston-based guitarist who defies easy categorizations. He reminds at times of Danny Gatton, simply for the fluidity of his playing and the seeming effortlessness of crossing stylistic …
Delmark Records was founded in 1953 and claims to be the oldest independent record label in the country. Owner Bob Koester also owns and operates what he claims to be the biggest jazz and blues record store in the country, The Jazz Record Mart, also in Chicago. Mr. Koester’s claims are, of course, quiet probably true. The jazz catalog includes everything from straight-ahead to traditional to avant-garde. The AACM (Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Muhal Richards Abrams, et. al.) m …
Berkley, California-based Fantasy records has been in the music business for more than half a century. Formed in 1949, the first artist they recorded was pianist Dave Brubeck. In short order they had Chet Baker and Cal Tjader on board. That they’ve developed one of the most impressive jazz rosters in the business is an understatement. The label is umbrella to Prestige, Riverside, Milestone, Contemporary and Pablo, as well as R&B and blues labels Stax, Takoma, Kicking Mule and Specialty. They are …
29.01.2011

Jazz Independence

Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Musicians have been struggling with the means to reach a broader audience and supplement incomes since the earliest recordings were made nearly a century ago. Given that roughly 75% of jazz recordings released each year qualify as independently released product, this obviously is the norm rather than the exception. Outside of Blue Note, CBS/Sony, Verve, RCA, WEA, Fantasy, Telarc, etc., just about every jazz player who records does so for a small regional or home-made label and is booking studio …
I’ve been listening to male vocalists lately and wondering if it’s a vanishing breed. Not that the male voice has ever been as prominent as its female counterpart over the past century or so. Consider the greats: Nat Cole, Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Arthur Prysock, Big Crosby, Tony Bennett, Little Jimmy Scott, Mel Torme, Johnny Hartman

Then look at the list of the gals: Ella, Sarah, Billie, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Nancy Wilson, June Christy …

29.01.2011

Jazz Independence

Published in Jazz Viewpoints
There are a lot of jazz fans who refuse to listen to the blues because it’s perceived as "too rowdy," and just as many blues aficionados who are sure that jazz is "too crazy." Talk about some misinformed ears!

There is a disc jockey on the public radio station in Detroit (Gene Elzy, WDET-FM) who plays what he terms "the jazzy side of blues and the bluesy side of jazz." The coexistence of the two has been inextricable forever. The intersection has always been a busy one, with frequent and glee …

A couple of months ago, Wayne Shorter submitted a Desert Island Disc piece to Jazzreview.com. Beside the fact that it was a rare opportunity to read the jazz maestro’s thoughts, it lit a fire. Knowing I’m not in the minority and that there are actually millions of closet list makers among us, it seemed a fine time to lay bare this obsession. I’ve engaged in this exercise many times over the years. My lists don’t vary much. John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, Frank Zappa, Doc Watson, Stevie Wonder and M …
29.01.2011

Boogie Woogie 101

Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Boogie woogie, a piano style that has been in an out of favor with audiences a few times over the past century, is an excruciatingly complex combination of a dancing bass line (it sure isn’t just walking) supplied by the left hand and dazzling runs from the right, and usually played on an upright piano. The ability to combine the two hands in a complimentary and cohesive fashion is what separates masters from pretenders and is why the list of the former remains relatively short.

History trace …