As any regular reader of this site knows, there are many super-fine musicians that soar beneath the discerning radar of even the jazz world. Perhaps they don’t want to move to NYC, Los Angeles, London, or Paris; they’ve no feeling for the "business" side of the music biz, don’t tour much (or at all), or in some cases, a player has a parallel career.
Take Denny Zeitlin-not only is he an aces-back-to-back jazz pianist but also a practicing psychiatrist. Zeitlin also did the electronics-l
Is there anyone that doesn’t know Ornette Coleman is one of the most important jazz musician/composers of the 20th century? For those that don’t, thumbnail sketch: In the late 1950s Coleman developed an alternative method of jazz improvisation, far looser/flexible in terms of harmony and chord progression. His approach was "freer" than other saxophonists yet was based firmly in the blues (the feeling, if not structurally). At the time, some critics, listeners, and musi
If there's one thing there's not a shortage of, it's tenor saxophonists. There are many, but few are at all like Branford Marsalis. Many saxophonists can be summed-up in a few glib words, but Branford (I hope he forgives my familiarity) has a style that reflects many styles, many "schools," many eras, yet there's nothing pastiche about him. Classic pre-bop styles (Coleman Hawkins, Georgie Auld, Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet), proto-bop icons (Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon), hard-bop-through-f
This young Mr. Chris Potter has proven his tenor saxophonic mettle on many recordings, both on his own and in the service of Dave Holland and Dave Douglas. Though he has several fine discs under his own leadership, the only one (thus far) that’s knocked me for a loop is his latest, Underground (Sunnyside), which has my vote for the year’s most dazzling disc du jazz. While even edgiest musicians these days prove themselves to be predictable, Potter is
For those who’ve been taking an extended nap, drummer Matt Wilson has been establishing himself as, in the words of serious-minded critics, an exciting presence on the American scene. Whether he’s tapping the tubs for big daddies such as Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, and Denny Zeitlin or leading a couple of very different but engaging quartets, Illinois-bred drummer/leader/composer Wilson is indeed a major contender.
How? Why? The answer lay on a cold, rain, snow, and slee