Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Ultimate Bop: “Miles Davis/Collectors Items”

By Devon (Doc) Wendell In my late teens, my goal was to find the ultimate bop recordings. I was an obsessive “completist” of the works of Bird, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon and of course Miles Davis. The harder and more complex the music was, the better. There are… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Ultimate Bop: “Miles Davis/Collectors Items”

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Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Bebop: “Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Streets” (Emarcy)

 By Devon Wendell Although I despise the whole concept of “desert island discs,” top ten, twenty, or 100 “Greatest” lists and that kind of lazy and pedantic journalism, I do accept the fact that there are certain recordings that I simply cannot live without. The Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet is the perfect band of the… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Bebop: “Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Streets” (Emarcy)

Live Musical Theatre: “Guys & Dolls” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Through December 20

By Jane Rosenberg Entering into the gambler’s paradise that is Guys & Dolls, with its beloved songs, is like sinking into a warm bath: comforting and rejuvenating all at once. In a pared down version by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Mary Zimmerman and happily ensconced at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing… Read More Live Musical Theatre: “Guys & Dolls” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Through December 20

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Hard-Bop Trumpet: Donald Byrd’s ”Byrd In Hand” (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)

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 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”

Keeping the GAS (The Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “The Way You Look Tonight”

by Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION When Chelsea Clinton got married, her father, the jazz-loving Bill Clinton showed up with a recording of Frank Sinatra singing the  Jerome Kern-Dorothy Fields’  “The Way You Look Tonight.” This was the ex-President’s choice for the Bride-Father dance. (“Good selection, Mr. President.”) Fred Astaire introduced this lovely, warm song in the… Read More Keeping the GAS (The Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “The Way You Look Tonight”