Nina Simone: Still Speaking To Us Today

Nina Simone is a legendary singer because she had a voice of such intensity and emotion it seemed touched by genius. Today, singers as diverse as Erykah Badu, Cassandra Wilson and Alicia Keys are among many who have listened and learnt to what Time magazine described as, “a swinging, soulful and infectious blend” of jazz, […]

Read More

Manfred Eicher Interview May 23, 1999

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Alfred Lion’s and Francis Wolff’s Blue Note records was widely recognised as one of jazz’s premier labels. Fans bought their records unheard because the label stood for something tangible.  The main thrust of the label was simple, singing themes and direct storytelling solos.  Today, collectors eagerly seek out original […]

Read More

Andrew Hill Interview 28th April 2000

Pianist and composer Andrew Hill, an intriguing jazz innovator from the Sixties who made it seem as if he had plucked a new jazz language from his imagination, lived to see history smile on his achievements. Part avant gardist, part iconoclast and part rugged individualist, his music was full of dense chords, asymmetrical melodies, unexpected […]

Read More

Ennio Morricone: The Jazz Connection

A Reflection with Enrico Pieranunzi. The movie business, which seems to float on a cushion of hyperbole, long ago rendered terms like ‘the greatest’ or ‘the best’ meaningless. It’s a shame, because when it’s necessary to reach for such superlatives, they seem little more than showbiz tinsel. Not so when ‘the greatest’ is associated with […]

Read More

Tal Farlow Interview: 23 September 1981

Just before Christmas 2018 one of the finest documentaries of a jazz musician ever made found its way onto the Amazon video streaming service. Talmage Farlow: A Film by Lorenzo DeStefano, originally released in 1981, is a gentle, intimate portrait of  the man they called the “Art Tatum of the jazz guitar.” Yet Tal Farlow […]

Read More

Big Jay McNeely Interview:  13th July 1991

On the 16th September 2018, saxophonist Big Jay McNeely died peacefully in Moreno Valley, California. There were few obituaries to note his passing; in death, as in life, true recognition of his very real contribution to the birth of rock n’roll had again eluded him. Most rock history books credit the first rock n’roll record […]

Read More

Mal Waldron Interview: 26th February 1994

Pianist Mal Waldron was both an icon and legend of the New York jazz scene of the 1950s and early 1960s. His playing can be heard accompanying some of the period’s most luminous names that virtually defined the cutting edge of jazz during this period, such as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Max Roach, […]

Read More

New European Ruling on Copyright Infringement of Photographic Material on the Internet

According to the Politico website, with effect from August 7, 2018, internet users must ask for a photographer’s permission before publishing their images, even if the photos were already freely accessible elsewhere online, the European Court of Justice ruled. Please note the implications of this ruling relating to copyrighted material on this website. “The posting on a website […]

Read More

McCoy Tyner “Enlightenment” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

When McCoy Tyner recorded Enlightenment” at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Saturday, 7th July 1973, it preserved on disc what he would later refer to was “One of my best performances anywhere.” It was without a doubt a memorable performance, producer Orrin Keepnews noting that, “The artist recognised this, and so did the musicians on […]

Read More

Chick Corea Interview: 14th March 2001

Today, Chick Corea is celebrated as an internationally famous jazz star and an NEA Jazz Master. But should he ever decide to take time out from his impossibly busy touring schedule and sit down for a moment in a room full of gerontologists — medical specialists who study the ageing process — he could, as […]

Read More

Wayne Shorter Interview: 13th April 2005

  Saxophonist Wayne Shorter first recorded for the Blue Note label in 1959 as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. It effectively brought the 26 year-old to attention of the jazz world. Although he had previously played in the ensembles of Horace Silver and Maynard Ferguson and recorded for the Vee-Jay label, alongside Blakey’s […]

Read More

Horace Parlan Interview: 16th October 2000

Pianist Horace Parlan, who died earlier this year  on 23 February aged 86, made his debut on the Blue Note label in 1960 with Movin’ & Groovin,’  going on to make a further six albums for the label including Us Three, Speakin’ My Piece,  Headin’ South, On the Spur of the Moment, Up and Down and Happy […]

Read More

Michael Brecker “Michael Brecker” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

  When he recorded Michael Brecker in 1987, it was unusual that such a major talent in jazz should have eluded making an album under his own name until he was 38 years of age, especially since he was already widely recognised as the most influential saxophonist since John Coltrane. The preeminent studio saxophonist of […]

Read More

Nancy Wilson Interview: 5th November 2002

From whichever perspective you care to view Miss Nancy Wilson, she is a true legend of the music business. As the American magazine Essence once put it, ‘She is a jazz singer. A balladeer. She does cabaret, sophisticated pop, rhythm and blues. To say she is any one of these, or even all of these, […]

Read More

David Murray “Ming’s Samba” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

By the time saxophonist David Murray made his major record label debut with Ming’s Samba in 1989, he had already released thirty-eight albums for small independent labels. Although he was still only 34,  a red label stuck to front sleeve proclaimed ‘Five New Pieces From Jazz Legend David Murray!’  At the time it didn’t seem a […]

Read More

Lee Ritenour “Stolen Moments” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

Fusion-meister Lee Ritenour creating a forgotten jazz classic? Well, Stolen Moments is exactly that. On it he draws on the formative jazz influences of his  teenage years when his father took him to see Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell at the Lighthouse on Hermosa Beach Pier and Freddie Hubbard, George Benson and many others […]

Read More

Why We Celebrated Ella’s 100th Birthday Anniversary in April 2017

‘Stuart Nicholson’s Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz…included so much documented factual material…that the book currently stands as the most authoritative biography about her. Nicholson’s book is, for the most part, used as a criterion for accuracy and virtually everything written about Ella before it appeared must be revised.’ LESLIE GOURSE, THE ELLA FITZGERALD […]

Read More

Loose Tubes “Delightful Precipice” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

It was about halfway through 1984, no-one can seem to remember the precise date, when a rehearsal band of 20 or so young, like-minded British jazz musicians under the direction of educator Graham Collier declared independence from their mentor and went their own way. Calling themselves Loose Tubes and preferring a collective identity with no […]

Read More

Arthur Blythe, Cutting-Edge Saxophonist, Dies at 76

Arthur Blythe, one of the most admired alto saxophonists on the 1970s and 1980s, died on Monday 27th March 2017 at the age of 76 through complications arising from Parkinson’s disease. The father of three had been fighting the illness since 2005 and several benefits had been held for him in his home town of […]

Read More

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band “My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band was the first of the post-traditional New Orleans brass marching bands to reach an international audience in the early 1980s. Key to their early success was My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now,  their galvanising debut album from 1984. What took everyone by surprise was the fresh, new spin they gave to […]

Read More

Alice Coltrane Interview: 3rd November 2004

In 2004, Alice Coltrane released her first new recording in 26 years, Translinear Light. Produced by her son Ravi, she succeeded in conjuring up the mystical spirits that evoked a series of compelling and hypnotic albums she made for the Impulse! label following the death of her husband John Coltrane in July 1967 such as […]

Read More

Larry Coryell, Jazz-Rock Pioneer Dies at 73

After playing two shows on the 17th and 18th February at New York’s Iridium jazz club, guitarist Larry Coryell died peacefully in his hotel room on Sunday 19th February. Among the first to experiment with combining the rhythms and electronic tone colours of rock with jazz improvisation in bands such as the Free Spirits, he joined Gary Burton’s […]

Read More

Al Jarreau Interview: 13th January 2000

Al Jarreau, who began a full time career in music at the relatively late age of  28, died on Sunday 12 February 2017. Hospitalised for exhaustion two weeks earlier, he had cancelled his tour dates on medical advice and had withdrawn from touring, announcing his retirement just two days before his death. Although he began his […]

Read More

Gil Evans “The British Orchestra” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

In March 1983, Gil Evans embarked on a short tour of the UK. It would mark the first time he had played his music with an orchestra other than his own, a British band assembled at his request by saxophonist John Surman with a little help from Don Weller.  The tour opened at The Roundhouse […]

Read More

Maria Schneider Interview: 24th January 2001

In the 81st Downbeat Readers Poll published in the December 2016 edition of the magazine, Maria Schneider’s The Thompson Fields was voted Album of the Year. She also topped both the Composer and Arranger categories and earlier in the year had topped the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Big Band, Composer and Arranger categories. As if that was not enough, The Thompson […]

Read More

Steps Ahead  “Steps Ahead” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

By 1983 Steps Ahead — a cooperative quintet with Mike Mainieri on vibes, Michael Brecker on tenor sax, Eliane Elias on piano, Eddie Gomez bass and Peter Erskine on drums — had developed a collective identity quite different to any group in jazz. That year, their first U.S.  album was released in the States  (they had […]

Read More

Betty Carter “The Audience With Betty Carter” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

Was Betty Carter the greatest jazz singer of them all? After all, one of the most sophisticated jazz vocalists of them all, Carmen McRae, once said, ‘There’s really only one jazz singer  — only one. Betty Carter.’  You only have to hear The Audience With Betty Carter once to see what she means. To call it […]

Read More

Charlie Haden “The Ballad of the Fallen” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

Charlie Haden’s 1983 album The Ballad of the Fallen was described by The Independent newspaper as “One of the greatest jazz albums ever.”  Yet it’s success owes a lot to the arrangements of Carla Bley, who was also on hand for Haden’s  Liberation Music Orchestra album from 1970. Charle Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra in the 1980s: (l-r) […]

Read More

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers “Keystone 3” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

Drum legend Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers made any number of albums after his career defining period as a Blue Note recording artist in the 1950s and early 1960s. But perhaps the most important album of all his subsequent output, and certainly the most historically significant, was Keystone 3, recorded live at San Francisco’s […]

Read More

Quest “Midpoint” — Forgotten Jazz Classics

In 1985, Downbeat magazine described Quest as a “Must for anyone interested in the possibilities and beauties of small group improvisation.”  With Dave Liebman on soprano saxophone, Richie Beirach on piano, Ron McClure on bass and Billy Hart on drums, Quest had evolved from Liebman’s short lived Lookout Farm band that debuted at the Village Vanguard jazz club […]

Read More