By Devon “Doc” Wendell On March 6, 1960, Art Blakey and his most recent incarnation of his ever- changing Jazz Messengers were on fire. The Messengers consisted of the young trumpet wizard Lee Morgan, who emerged from Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band in 1957 and had made two previous recordings with Blakey & The Messengers: The… Read More Doc’s Prescription For Hard-Bop: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers-The Big Beat (Blue Note)
By Devon Wendell So much is written about the life and music of John Coltrane. Everyone has their favorite Coltrane period. Most fans and journalists focus on the ‘60s modal and “free” Coltrane eras. My favorite music of “Trane’s” career is his rebellious hard-bopper faze of the late ‘50s, when he was playing with Miles… Read More Doc’s Prescription for ‘Trane: John Coltrane-The Believer
By Don Heckman Jazz of every stripe, from New Orleans to Smooth, with all stops in between, has always been America’s gift to the world. Honored in countries reaching from Asia to Europe, South America, Africa and beyond, it has also stimulated a flow of unique creativity from musicians in every part of the globe.… Read More CD Review: Leonardo Amuedo’s “Guitar Stories” (Sony-Masterworks)
By Devon Wendell It’s no news that Hank Mobley was one of the most under appreciated tenor saxophonists and composers to emerge from the post bop revolution in terms of press coverage. But Mobley didn’t need the assistance of the often obtuse jazz journalism world to be heralded as one of the prime innovators of… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Hard-Bop: Hank Mobley’s “No Room For Squares” (Blue Note)
By Norton Wright Los Angeles, CA. Trying to review a performance of pianist Alan Broadbent is like trying to describe lightning in a bottle. Broadbent’s playing is electrifying, so charged with power, substance, and beauty that descriptions like “swinging,” “groovy,” “funky,” etc. are wholly inadequate. On Saturday night at the elegant and so well-suited Zipper… Read More Live Jazz: Alan Broadbent At Zipper Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
By Devon Wendell So the year 2015 is quickly winding down. And although there are no signs of any healthy seasonal changes here in the belly of Hollywood California, the cold and heartless calendar never lies. This means the Grammy awards are rapidly approaching. It has become an invalid and overly predictable cliché to bash… Read More The Grammy Awards: Hope, Love, and Jazz
By Devon (Doc) Wendell There is no genre in jazz that has become as disrespected, forgotten, and dismissed as big band jazz. Generations of brainwashed lazy music dabblers often come to this warped and naïve conclusion that the entire history of jazz is made up exclusively by the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Big Band Swing: “Count Basie At Newport” (Verve)