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Jazz Musician of the Day: Fats Navarro

Jazz Musician of the Day: Fats Navarro

All About Jazz is celebrating Fats Navarro's birthday today!

“Fats was a spectacular musician because, in a time when cats arrived on the scene with nothing, he came on with everything: he could read, he could play high and hold anybody's first trumpet chair, he could play those singing, melodic solos with a big beautiful sound nobody could believe at the time, and he could fly in fast tempos with staccato, biting notes and execute whatever he wanted with apparently ...

Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto

Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto

There are no bad recordings of pianist Thelonious Monk together with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Well, maybe two—when they were in a top-notch group assembled in the late 1940s to back a so-so vocalist named Frankie Passions, who recorded two lackluster pop songs. But starting in the fall of 1958, at New York's Five Spot, they began a working and recording relationship that lasted until 1969. Fortunately for us, most of their sessions were live. A new entry in the ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Coltrane

Jazz Musician of the Day: John Coltrane

All About Jazz is celebrating John Coltrane's birthday today!

John William Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. At the age of three his family moved to High Point, NC, where young Coltrane spent his early years. His father, John Robert Coltrane, died in 1939, leaving twelve year-old John and his mother on their own. His mother, Alice Blair Coltrane, moved to New Jersey to work as a domestic while John completed high school. John played ...

10 by Mancini in 1960

10 by Mancini in 1960

Hollywood composer, arranger and conductor Henry Mancini released four albums in 1960—two soundtracks and two instrumental LPs. The scores were for the film High Time and the TV series Mr. Lucky. The instrumentals were The Blues and the Beat and The Mancini Touch. Their cool swing, jauntiness and instrumental textures were in sync with the minimalist space-age feel of the year and the palm-lined breeziness of Beverly Hills. [Photo above of Henry Mancini courtesy of Ginny Mancini] Here are 10 ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Vandermark

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ken Vandermark

All About Jazz is celebrating Ken Vandermark's birthday today!

For the past 20 years, Ken Vandermark has been exploring and working to expand the possibilities of improvised and composed music in North America and Europe. Since moving to Chicago from Boston in 1989, he's performed and recorded in a variety of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians. Past groups of significance include the NRG Ensemble, the DKV Trio, AALY, FME, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., School Days, Cinghiale, Witches ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Chico Hamilton

Jazz Musician of the Day: Chico Hamilton

All About Jazz is celebrating Chico Hamilton's birthday today!

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Foreststorn ‘Chico’ Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six ...

San Gabriel 7: Red Dress

San Gabriel 7: Red Dress

What would Tower of Power sound like if we swapped out Lenny Williams for Femi Knight and added an eye-dropper of the Jazz Crusaders? Obviously, we'll never know, but the San Gabriel 7's new album Red Dress, (Jrl Sgs), with singer-songwriter Femi Knight, gives us an idea. The SG7 is based in the Los Angeles area, and Red Dress is the group's 10th album. The band features two distinct components—a funky rhythm section and robust squad of horns. The band ...

Jazz Musician of the Day: Steve Coleman

Jazz Musician of the Day: Steve Coleman

All About Jazz is celebrating Steve Coleman's birthday today!

Steve began playing music just days before his 14th birthday as a freshman at South Shore High School on the south side of Chicago. His first instrument was violin but later that year he switched to the alto saxophone. For three years Steve studied the basics of music and saxophone technique, then he decided that he wanted to learn how to improvise. Looking for the best improvising musicians to listen to ...


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