By Devon Wendell Phil Woods was not just a musician; he was a force of nature to be reckoned with. He was tough, full of grit, and always ready to defend the music that he loved and played so effortlessly with all of his might. I’ve seen Phil reduce mere mortals to ashes when they… Read More An Appreciation: Phil Woods
By Don Heckman I was so sorry to hear that Gunther Schuller had passed away on Sunday. A composer, teacher, world-class French Horn player, journalist, author, and much more, he was a true Renaissance man who had a powerful effect on music, worldwide, from the last part of the 20th century and well into the… Read More An Appreciation: Gunther Schuller
By Devon Wendell Ornette Coleman; they called him “atonal”, they said he played “out”, and was “avant-garde.” People tried to force these labels on me as I was discovering his music in my youth. They did the same thing when I got my first records by Monk, ‘Trane, and Dolphy, and Bird. All I knew… Read More Ornette Coleman: A Remembrance
by Brick Wahl A jazz promoter asked a fascinating question: Do you think Bird would have dug Ornette? I have wondered about this. Not that Bird is the ultimate arbiter of good and bad, but Ornette was arguably the next major innovator in the music and Bird died JUST before Ornette came on the national… Read More Ornette Coleman: An Appreciation
By Don Heckman Obituaries are never fun to write. Especially when the subject is something more than a public figure. Ornette Coleman was a lot more than that for me. He was a musical inspiration, a creative challenge, a true pathfinder. And a good friend. But his obituary had to be written for the L.A.… Read More Ornette Coleman: An Obituary
By Devon Wendell I just cannot process the fact that B.B. King is no longer on this earth. How can it be? It’s like trying to imagine life without oceans, trees, and air to breathe. No one in history changed the approach and sound of the electric guitar like B.B. King. Sure, there were T-Bone… Read More An Appreciation: Remembering The King
By Don Heckman I’m still experiencing some of the stunned feelings I had last weekend when I received an email from Bobby Colomby telling me that Lew Soloff had died. And to say that I couldn’t believe it doesn’t at all describe my reaction. Lewie died?! How could that be? This great trumpet player, irresistible… Read More An Appreciation: Lew Soloff, R.I.P.