Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Big Band Swing: “Count Basie At Newport” (Verve)

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)

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Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop Bone: The Curtis Fuller Sextette’s “Imagination” (Savoy)

By Devon Wendell When it comes to purchasing an essential jazz recording, one often only has to look at the group of musicians listed on that specific record sleeve to know that the music is going to be incredible. That’s one of the great joys of being obsessed with this music; looking for that perfect… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop Bone: The Curtis Fuller Sextette’s “Imagination” (Savoy)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bebop: Art Farmer’s “Early Art” (Prestige)

By Devon Wendell Romance is deadly. No matter how it’s glamorized in books, poems, songs, plays, or movies, it’s a dangerous state of being. It’s chaos driven by pure impulsivity without measuring the consequences of what waits for you on the other side of it all. For a musician it means exposing your vulnerabilities for… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bebop: Art Farmer’s “Early Art” (Prestige)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Hard-Bop: Jackie McLean — “Jackie’s Bag” (Blue Note)

By Devon Wendell When I think of Jackie McLean; the word modern comes to mind. Jackie was always beyond hip. His slightly pitchy alto sax tone, daring compositions, and that unrelenting energy (quite often driven by the blues) made him one of the most original artists to stem from the bebop era. His earliest recordings… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Hard-Bop: Jackie McLean — “Jackie’s Bag” (Blue Note)

Book Review: “Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music” by Patty Farmer (Beaufort Books)

By Devon Wendell Patty Farmer’s insightful book, Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music, tells the story of how Hugh Hefner changed the way jazz and American music were perceived and accepted by an ever changing culture. The intellectual male “jet setters” were Hefner’s initial target audience but “Hef” attracted… Read More Book Review: “Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music” by Patty Farmer (Beaufort Books)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop: Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore “Blowing In From Chicago” (Blue Note)

By Devon Wendell There’s nothing quite like a gritty Chicago tenor saxophone battle, especially during the post war hard-bop era. By the mid ‘50s, Players like Johnny Griffin, Gene Ammons, Von Freeman, and John Neely were blowing at each other with this insatiable hypo-manic bop that would make your head spin. What these men played… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop: Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore “Blowing In From Chicago” (Blue Note)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop And Beyond: “Freddie Hubbard: Without A Song-Live In Europe 1969” (Blue Note)

By Devon Wendell Freddie Hubbard was the quintessential Renaissance man of the trumpet during the 1960s. Hubbard’s superior technique, beautiful tone, and sheer confidence enabled him to do anything. From the start of the decade, he made bebop records with Dexter Gordon and Kenny Drew and hard-bop albums with Jackie McLean, Art Blakey & The… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop And Beyond: “Freddie Hubbard: Without A Song-Live In Europe 1969” (Blue Note)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Saxophone BeBop: “Julian Adderley Quintet – Portrait Of Cannonball”

By Devon Wendell Julian “Cannonball” Adderley was making major waves in the jazz world by 1958. He was in the hippest band in the world; Miles Davis’ Sextet with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. Like most alto sax players of that time, Adderley was often dismissed by critics as an… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Saxophone BeBop: “Julian Adderley Quintet – Portrait Of Cannonball”

Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Swing: “Pres And Teddy-The Lester Young And Teddy Wilson Quartet” (Verve)

By Devon Wendell The sound of Lester Young’s tenor saxophone is sheer ecstasy. “Pres” (as he was nicknamed by Billie Holiday) was one of the most important, original, and brilliant musicians in the history of jazz. There’s not much in life better that listening to “Pres” blowing that sweet and burning Kansas City swing in… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Swing: “Pres And Teddy-The Lester Young And Teddy Wilson Quartet” (Verve)