Tag: Wes Montgomery

A Child’s Introduction to Jazz, Narrated by Cannonball Adderley

A Child’s Introduction to Jazz, Narrated by Cannonball Adderley

Music, Sunday Jazz
School is almost out for the summer for a lot of kids in the U.S., but they can still learn! And what better topic to learn about than jazz? That's what Julian "Cannonball" Adderley must've thought, as he narrated a 1961 album called A Child's Introduction to Jazz. It was released on Riverside Records (RLP 1435) as part of their "Wonderland" series, designed to teach kids about a variety of topics in an entertaining way. Throughout, Adderley narrates the history of jazz and talks about the genre's roots in work songs, blues, and ragtime, and brings the listener through Dixieland, Swing, and Bebop. He also explains the instrumental makeup and musical structure of jazz. Numerous songs and clips back up his lessons, which makes the whole experience rather rich and informative. Some of t
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)
In Concert: Hank Jones at Birdland, 8/8/08

In Concert: Hank Jones at Birdland, 8/8/08

Music
When I was starting my exploration of jazz about eight or so years ago, Hank Jones was one of the first musicians I gravitated toward.  By complete chance I was listening to a local jazz radio station and heard a studio version of one of his original compositions, "Interface", and made it my mission to hear more from the man who had written such a wonderful song. Although I never did track down that album (The Oracle, long out of print), I did develop an even greater appreciation for Jones's music, and in turn for jazz in general.  So when I discovered, quite by chance, that he was scheduled for a run of shows at New York's famed Birdland jazz club in celebration of his 90th birthday, there wasn't even a thought of not going.  It's not every day you get to witness a living legend perfor
Album cover of the week: A Day in the Life

Album cover of the week: A Day in the Life

Album Cover of the Week
An album cover doesn't have to be pretty to be great.  And that's certainly the case with jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery's A Day in the Life, released in 1967. I'm not sure what the inspiration was behind this rather striking cover photo was, as I don't imagine it would have appealed to people in the late '60s, even though smoking was obviously much more acceptable then.  I know Montgomery was a smoker, so that likely played a part. Anyway, this was Montgomery's debut for A&M Records, and came out a year before his untimely death at age 43.  By the time of A Day in the Life's release, Montgomery had all but abandoned jazz for more straightforward pop.  This is partially reflected in the song selection, which featured contemporary hits like "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "W