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”

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)

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 Saxophone Bop: “The Johnny Griffin Sextet” (Riverside)

By Devon Wendell By 1958, Johnny Griffin was known as the fastest tenor saxophonist to emerge from the hard-bop era. Griffin’s dexterity combined with his ability to make you feel every soulful note that he played made him one of the most spectacularly brilliant and original musicians in the world. Griffin had replaced John Coltrane… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Saxophone Bop: “The Johnny Griffin Sextet” (Riverside)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Trumpet Bop: Kenny Dorham’s “Whistle Stop” (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)

Live Jazz: “A Tribute To Miles” with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Marcus Miller, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Sean Jones at Disney Hall

By Devon Wendell Los Angeles, CA. Any tribute to Miles Davis really goes against Miles’ core belief in always growing and never looking back at past ideas and concepts.  But when you gather five musicians (three of whom — Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Marcus Miller — played with Miles) who are constantly  pushing themselves… Read More Live Jazz: “A Tribute To Miles” with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Marcus Miller, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Sean Jones at Disney Hall

The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

The 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, features the rare presence of three world class female jazz drummers.  Writer/musician Devon Wendell describes his reaction when he first saw the Festival line up.   By Devon Wendell Growing up, I always thought of the drums as being this potent… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins