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 Devon Wendell I’ve had this deep, lifelong obsession with the trumpet. I’ve written about some of the greatest musicians to ever pick up the instrument like Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer, Clifford Brown, and Wild Bill Davison, to name a few. I’d trade my right foot and… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Hard-Bop Trumpet: Donald Byrd’s ”Byrd In Hand” (Blue Note)
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)
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)
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)
By Devon Wendell It’s still hard to believe that Kenny Dorham is not mentioned alongside such fellow trumpet masters as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard. Dorham was one of the most extraordinarily unique musical thinkers to pick up the trumpet in the entire history of jazz. He… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Trumpet Bop: Kenny Dorham’s “Whistle Stop” (Blue Note)
By Devon Wendell When I think of Horace Silver I think of how challenging it must have been to bring that old style of blues and gospel back into jazz during the heyday of bebop. Sure the blues was a part of bop; Bird, Dizzy, Miles, and Monk loved it, played it, and used it… Read More A Remembrance: Horace Silver
By Devon Wendell For tenor sax players, the late ‘50s and early ‘60s were a time for hard blowing, fitting in as many notes as possible within a few bars, and trying to break free from familiar patterns. Sonny Rollins was the reigning king of articulation and might on tenor sax until Coltrane’s second stay… Read More A Twist Of Doc: Hank Mobley – The Unsung Hero Of Bop.
By Devon Wendell Pianist and composer Helen Sung has quickly established herself as a jazz veteran over the past decade, performing and recording with icons such as; Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, T.S. Monk, Lonnie Plaxico, and Terri Lyne Carrington to name a few. She is one of the most consistently brilliant recording artists… Read More CD Review: Helen Sung “Anthem For A New Day” (Concord Jazz Records)
By Michael Katz There is nothing like driving around in a remote area to underline the virtues of good music. So I’d like to say a few kind words about Sirius XM. And also Avis, whose rental car was equipped with it. I recently spent a week in Yellowstone National Park, the setting for my… Read More Radio Jazz: Time To Get Sirius?