Tag: jazz

Sunday Jazz: The incredible Wes Montgomery

Sunday Jazz: The incredible Wes Montgomery

Music, Sunday Jazz
Man, all these Sunday Jazz pieces and not one about Wes Montgomery? Well that has to change now. Here's a great clip of Wes performing one of my favorite numbers, "Four On Six," from 1965. The film quality is superb and you can really see how he employed his unique thumb technique. Here he's backed by Rick Laird (bass), Stan Tracey (piano), and Jackie Dougan (drums). Enjoy! (Spotify users — you can listen to these and other featured Sunday Jazz songs by subscribing to my GFS Sunday Jazz playlist.) Related articles Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue (grayflannelsuit.net) Sunday Jazz: Star-spangled jazz (grayflannelsuit.net) Alternate realities - 'dreamsville' (jon4jaz.wordpress.com)
Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday Lester Young

Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday Lester Young

Music, Sunday Jazz
Yesterday was the 102nd birthday of saxophone immortal Lester "Pres/Prez" Young who was born in 1909 in Woodville, Mississippi. His contributions to jazz are immeasurable, and his story is typically tragic. Young was in the grip of alcoholism for the last years of his relatively brief life, and he died at the age of 49 on March 15, 1959. Prez's lyrical and relatively subdued sound is cited as a major influence of not only later players like Charlie Parker and Stan Getz, but of the entire Cool/West Coast Jazz sound. His pre-World War II recordings tend to have a little more fire in them, but there is plenty worth hearing from his late '40/early '50s period as well. The notion that Young's experience in the U.S. Army robbed him of his ability has by now been thoroughly debunked. The fi...
Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue

Sunday Jazz: Warren Wolf debuts on Mack Avenue

Music, Sunday Jazz
I'm happy to report that, despite what many think, jazz is indeed alive and well. Further proof of that can be found in the new, self-titled album from vibraphonist Warren Wolf (out now on Mack Avenue Records). After just one listen I knew this was a lock for my year-end best of list. Do yourself a favor and pick up Wolf's album today. But if you're one of those cautious types who needs a little proof, I've got you covered. Follow this link to SoundCloud to hear two tracks from the album -- "427 Mass Ave." and "Señor Mouse." "427 Mass Ave." puts me in mind of the Modern Jazz Quartet -- and it's no surprise that Wolf cites Milt Jackson as an influence -- but there's nothing retro or backward-looking about it. "Señor Mouse" is a Wolf solo showcase and as you might expect, it sports a s
Sunday Jazz: Herbie Hancock, “Wiggle Waggle”

Sunday Jazz: Herbie Hancock, “Wiggle Waggle”

Music, Sunday Jazz
Would you like to add a little funk to your Sunday Jazz? Good, 'cause I'd like to as well. Here's one of the best cuts off of Herbie Hancock's inspired 1969 LP, Fat Albert Rotunda -- "Wiggle Waggle." Instead of blathering on about this excellent disc myself, I'll let AllMusic Guide's Richard Ginell take it from here: Centered around some soundtrack music that Herbie Hancock wrote for Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoon show, Fat Albert Rotunda was Hancock's first full-fledged venture into jazz-funk -- and his last until Head Hunters -- making it a prophetic release. At the same time, it was far different in sound from his later funk ventures, concentrating on a romping, late-'60s-vintage R&B-oriented sound. with frequent horn riffs and great rhythmic comping and complex solos from ...
Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Internet, Links
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days or so: Supposedly this is the first ever designed album cover, designed by Alex Steinweiss for a George Gershwin collection. (It's a Small Web) Remembering the devastation in Hiroshima, Japan, on the 66th anniversary of the atomic bomb explosion (Fans in a Flashbulb) An interesting essay by Neil deMause on the apparent collapse of the sports ticket market, and what it may mean for fans (Slate) LinkedIn users -- learn how to opt out of having your images used for marketing purposes (Boing Boing) Burger King's bizarre 1970s-era attempt to compete with McDonald's by creating the Burger King Kingdom; and you thought The King was creepy before? (Thought Catalog) An absolutely fantastic li
Sunday Jazz: Duke Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1956

Sunday Jazz: Duke Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1956

Music, Sunday Jazz
This weekend sees the continuation of one of the greatest musical celebrations around -- the Newport Jazz Festival. It was founded by George Wein in 1954 and in its half-century-plus history has showcased some of the greatest talent in jazz, as well as other genres. But in just its third year, 1956, the Newport Jazz Festival was the setting for a truly legendary performance. For it was that year that Duke Ellington and his band took the stage and delivered a show for the ages. I'll let this clip from Ken Burns' Jazz documentary miniseries tell the story... The band's performance of "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" -- punctuated by tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' famous solo -- became the defining moment of Ellington's late career, and led to a creative and commercial resu...
Sunday Jazz: Vince Guaraldi, “Freeway”

Sunday Jazz: Vince Guaraldi, “Freeway”

Music, Sunday Jazz
If you pressed me to name my favorite jazz pianist of all-time, it'd be a tough call. But it's really a toss-up between Hank Jones and Vince Guaraldi. Neither of them sounded like the other, but I've never heard a piece of music from either that I didn't like at least a little. So today is Vince's day. It's been 35 years since Guaraldi died of a heart attack at age 47, and when I think of all the music he had left in him it makes me sad. But he did leave behind so much great stuff, like today's track. It's "Freeway," from his 1963 live album In Person. The album was recorded live in 1962 at Sausalito's Trident Lounge with Fred Marshall on bass, Eddie Duran on guitar, Colin Bailey on drums, and Benny Velarde on scratcher. It features Vince's sense of rhythm and melody that is often imita...
Listening booth — Trombone Shorty, “Encore” (feat. Warren Haynes)

Listening booth — Trombone Shorty, “Encore” (feat. Warren Haynes)

Listening Booth, Music
Hot off the presses (or whatever the music equivalent of that is), it's the lead single from Trombone Shorty's upcoming album, For True. Here's "Encore", co-written by Trombone Shorty and the legendary Lamont Dozier, and featuring Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule) on guitar. Encore by knitstitchmedia For True (Verve Forecast) drops September 13. Here's hoping it's every bit as awesome as Backatown was. Related articles Trombone Shorty: New Album in Sept (jambase.com) Trombone Shorty rocks the Cistern (charlestoncitypaper.com) Another Day, Another Trombone Flamethrower (geekologie.com) Warren Haynes: Sept. Tour (jambase.com)
Sunday Jazz: Cannonball Adderley, “Jive Samba” 1963

Sunday Jazz: Cannonball Adderley, “Jive Samba” 1963

Music, Sunday Jazz
Is it possible that I've been posting Sunday Jazz segments all this time and haven't gotten around to possibly my favorite saxophonist ever? Well a search of the archives says yes, so today I will correct that oversight. Here's a clip of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley leading one of his most potent groups ever -- brother Nat Adderley (cornet), Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, oboe, flute), Joe Zawinul (piano), Sam Jones (bass), and Louis Hayes (drums). This is from a 1963 TV appearance I can't place, performing Nat Adderley's "Jive Samba." Cannonball clearly is in the Charlie Parker school, but carved out a sound all his own. Listen to that trill at around the 2:26 mark. Awesome. The whole sextet is in the zone here, but Cannonball in particular is in complete control. He makes it look so dam...