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Jazz Musician of the Day: Paul Desmond

Jazz Musician of the Day: Paul Desmond

All About Jazz is celebrating Paul Desmond's birthday today!

Paul Desmond was revered for the pure, gentle tone of his alto saxophone, and the elegant lyricism of his improvisations. For seventeen years he was the lead soloist in the most commercially successful jazz combo ever, the Dave Brubeck Quartet. In an era that worshipped the frenetic, bebop style of Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond found his own sound, a tone that he claimed imitated a “dry martini." It was a sound ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Teddy Wilson

Jazz Musician of the Day: Teddy Wilson

All About Jazz is celebrating Teddy Wilson's birthday today!

His airy, effortless style, with its emphasis on lightly accompanied right-hand melody, was a key element in the transition from swing to bebop, and many modern jazz pianists took Wilson's approach as their starting point. His early recordings were percussive and forceful, but as he matured his technique became graceful, almost elegant. He was a gifted artist who used the full range of his instrument to his advantage. His recordings with ...

Once Upon a Summertime

Once Upon a Summertime

One of the most difficult songs to sing well is Once Upon Summertime. Written in 1954 by Michel Legrand, French music producer Eddie Barclay and French songwriter Eddy Marnay, the slow waltz originally was entitled La Valse des Lilas (or The Lilac Waltz). In the late 1950s, the song was given English lyrics by Johnny Mercer to make the melody accessible to singers in the American and English markets. Blossom Dearie was first to record the song with Mercer's words ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Emil Viklicky

Jazz Musician of the Day: Emil Viklicky

All About Jazz is celebrating Emil Viklicky's birthday today!

Emil Viklicky was born in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), where in 1971 he graduated from Palacky University with a degree in mathematics. While a student he devoted much time to playing jazz piano. In 1974, he was awarded the prize for best soloist at the Czechoslovak Amateur Jazz Festival, and that same year he joined Karel Velebny's SHQ ensemble. In 1976, he was a prizewinner at the jazz improvisation ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gunther Schuller

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gunther Schuller

All About Jazz is celebrating Gunther Schuller's birthday today!

The composer Gunther Schuller is, famously, a man of many musical pursuits. He began his professional life as a horn player in both the jazz and classical worlds, working as readily with Miles Davis and Gil Evans as with Toscanini; he was principal horn of the Cincinnati Symphony from age sixteen and later of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra until 1959. In the 1950s he began a conducting career focusing largely on ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Coleman Hawkins

Jazz Musician of the Day: Coleman Hawkins

All About Jazz is celebrating Coleman Hawkins' birthday today!

Coleman Hawkins single-handedly brought the saxophone to the prominence in jazz that the instrument enjoys. Before he hit the scene, jazz groups had little use for the instrument. One player (forgot who) said, “with all due respect to Adolph Sax, Coleman Hawkins invented the saxophone." Hawkins, or “Bean", as he was known as, started playing cello at a young age before switching to the saxophone. He was a lifelong listener of ...

Irene Kral: Live in 1977

Irene Kral: Live in 1977

In 1975 and '78, singer Irene Kral released what were arguably her finest small-group albums—Where Is Love and Gentle Rain, respectively, for the Choice label. She was accompanied only by pianist Alan Broadbent. [Photo above of Irene Kral with daughters Jodi, left and Melissa, from Being Irene Kral's Daughter by Jodi Burnett] A month after the second album was recorded and a bunch of months before it came out in 1978, Kral and Alan appeared with bassist Frank De La ...

JazzWeek Radio Chart: November 23, 2020

JazzWeek Radio Chart: November 23, 2020

All About Jazz publishes the weekly JazzWeek radio chart. Discover new releases, track chart movement, and learn what is being played on jazz radio stations around the United States. Enjoy!

TW LW 2W Artist TW LW Move Add Rpts Peak Wks 1 1 1 Artemis Artemis (Blue Note) 291 282 +9 1 46 1 9 2 2 2 Gregory Porter All Rise (Blue Note) 267 275 -8 0 39 1 12 3 5 3 Conrad Herwig The Latin Side of Horace ...


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