by James DeFrances Frank Sinatra Jr., beloved son of superstar singer Frank Sinatra died suddenly Wednesday evening March 16th, in Daytona Beach Florida while on tour. He was 72. Growing up in a celebrity household Sinatra Jr. or “Frankie” as his confidantes called him got to experience many of the legends of Hollywood’s golden age… Read More An Appreciation: Frank Sinatra Jr.
By Devon Wendell Paul Bley, who passed away at the age of 83 on Sunday, January 3, was always different. His polytonal approach to the piano stood out from the flocks of imitators copying Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Herbie Hancock. There was this amazing dissonance to his playing that reminded me of Bud… Read More An Appreciation: Paul Bley
By Mike Finkelstein Rock ‘n’ roll has always been the province of bad-asses. For the misunderstood, the misfits, and black sheep, rock’n’ roll is a sanctuary. It’s not that you have to be a badass to play it, but to live the lifestyle you’d better have that gear ready to go. And living it does… Read More An Appreciation: Lemmy of Motorhead
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