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Jimmy Heath in 10 Tracks

Jimmy Heath in 10 Tracks

The late Jimmy Heath had a crisp and deliberate sound on his tenor saxophone. His solos and double-and triple timing were fluid, seemingly effortless and never short on ideas. His soprano saxophone was insistent and his flute was divine. His compositions were melodic and sophisticated, and his arrangements were engaging, always taking the listener's short attention span into consideration. Though his name isn't generally thought of in the same breath as Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley and Stan Getz, ...

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: In the tradition with Aaron Diehl

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: In the tradition with Aaron Diehl

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring pianist Aaron Diehl, who's coming to St. Louis to perform on Friday, January 31 at the 560 Music Center. The event is a solo piano recital presented by Washington University as its “Annual Carlin Concert," honoring the legacy of Seth Carlin, the internationally renowned pianist who taught at Wash U for 37 years. Carlin was a classical pianist who also enjoyed listening to jazz, and so in keeping with the ...

Hoagy Sings Carmichael

Hoagy Sings Carmichael

Hoagy Sings Carmichael has been called many things. I used to refer to the album as a recording by an aging songwriter singing his own songs in the shower. Others have likened Carmichael's voice to something on a fence you throw shoes at to get it to stop. Or a saloon-song album sung by swinging doors that need oiling. All funny and unfair. Carmichael's voice on the album may sound rusty and off-kilter, but he's still the guy who wrote ...

Hank Mobley: Blue Note, 1963-70

Hank Mobley: Blue Note, 1963-70

Between 1963 and 1970, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded 12 albums' worth of hard bop. Seven were released by Blue Note during this period, while the rest wound up sidelined in the vaults. When discovered in the CD era by producer Michael Cuscuna, the lost Mobley tracks were assembled and released as five additional albums. Now, Mosaic Records (with Michael producing) has released The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions, 1963-70, an eight-CD box with a lush booklet and poignant ...

Carl Saunders: New Standards

Carl Saunders: New Standards

Carl Saunders is one of jazz's best-kept secrets, and he kind of likes it that way. Born in 1942, Saunders is a trumpeter, composer and educator of the highest order who has worked with a long list of jazz giants, from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson. Many factors set Saunders apart, including his skills as a player-composer, his warm tone and his exquisite taste. Even more significant is his vast catalog of original compositions ...

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

Here’s an item purloined (with his permission) from bassist Bill Crow’s column “The Band Room” in Allegro, the publication of New York Local 802 of the American Federation Of Musicians. Zoot Sims was one of the many tenor saxophonists who took Lester Young’s style as a starting point for their own development. But Zoot also idolized Coleman Hawkins. He once told me, “Hawk never played a wrong note in his life.” Zoot had a classic Volvo that he was very ...

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Matthew Shipp

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Matthew Shipp

Today, StLJN's video spotlight is focused on pianist Matthew Shipp, who will be performing a solo concert presented by New Music Circle and Washington University on Friday, January 24 at 560 Music Center. Shipp also will present an “artist talk" that will be free and open to the public at 3:00 p.m. that Friday in room 102 of the Music Classroom Building on the Wash U campus. With a distinctive style that defies easy comparisons, Shipp has said he sees ...

Maxine Sullivan in 10 Clips

Maxine Sullivan in 10 Clips

The female jazz vocal starts with Maxine Sullivan. No knock on Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday or other great vocalists of the 1930s and '40s, but they were really show-time swing singers at the time. Sullivan was first to bring a conversational intimacy to the jazz vocal that was better suited to small rooms than theater stages. She began her singing career in the mid-1930s and her first recordings were in June 1937, with Claude Thornhill. Two months later, she had ...


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