By Devon Wendell “Blowing sessions” are a pivotal aspect of jazz history. You get a bunch of musicians together to jam, have fun and show off their chops. Sometimes it’s about competing and the actual compositions are really not important. Blowing over a simple blues progression is all that is needed. At Prestige records, producer… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Hard-Bop: Gene Ammons All-Stars – “The Happy Blues” (Prestige)
By Don Heckman It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving Day has arrived. And here’s my annual, continual and growing list of the many reasons I have to be thankful. Let’s start with my most important reasons to be thankful: For my beautiful, loving, caring wife: Faith For my two incomparable children: Allegra and Alex… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: The Music (And More) That I’m Thankful For
By Devon Wendell Bobby “Blue” Bland was truly the last of the stand and deliver blues crooners. Since Bland started recording in Memphis in the mid-‘50s — as part of the thriving blues scene that included Roscoe Gordon, Rufus Thomas, Junior Parker and B.B. King — he changed the world of modern blues and soul… Read More An Appreciation: Bobby “Blue” Bland
By Don Heckman Let’s start with full disclosure: I haven’t always been a fan of B-3 organ jazz. But what I’ve realized over the years is that the problem hasn’t been the instrument, but a few of the instrument’s players. All of which was fully clarified last night at Vitello’s with the stellar performance of… Read More Live Jazz: Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart at Vitello’s
Charles “CD” Davis 24 Hour Blues (Blues House Records) By Brian Arsenault If I told you Eddy Arnold’s torch song “You Don’t Know Me,” done as a big band blues number on Charles Davis’ 24 Hour Blues is but one of this album’s delights, would you buy it? You should. In this dickless era of… Read More CD Review: Charles “CD” Davis and Friends
Dion Tank Full of Blues (Blue Horizon) By Brian Arsenault I was in kind of a bad mood and prepared to take a real snooty attitude about Tank Full of Blues by old rocker Dion. Then these clean guitar licks kicked off the album and it was like I just walked into a darkened blues… Read More CD Review: Dion’s “Tank Full of Blues”
. . “Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music. Modern Jazz… Read More Quotation of the Week: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.