• Duke Ellington: Masterpieces

    Duke Ellington: Masterpieces

    On December 19, 1950, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded four songs in an abandoned church Columbia Records had recently converted into a studio. By that point recording sessions were old hat to Duke, and three ...
  • BluePort Jazz, A Labor of Love

    BluePort Jazz, A Labor of Love

    Most of us have attended a concert so amazing that afterwards we would have killed for a recording of it, but Jim Merod doesn’t have that problem. Since 1965 Merod has recorded hundreds of jazz ...
  • Clean Feed Records

    Clean Feed Records

    About five years ago, I received the first of what would become a steady stream of small packages of compact discs sent from Lisbon, Portugal. The CDs were sleeved in slightly undersize cardboard foldout cases, ...
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

    Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

    The concept here is so inspired, the playing so incendiary that five stars might not be enough. Combining the influences of his own South Indian heritage and the profound influence of alto sax legend Charlie ...
  • Ron Miles: Circuit Rider

    Ron Miles: Circuit Rider

    For 20 years inventive trumpeter-cornetist Ron Miles has had a special musical relationship with guitarist Bill Frisell, and this trio outing unites them with drummer Brian Blade. The buoyant “Comma” features Miles’ golden tones supported ...
  • The Music of Sam Peckinpah's Films

    The Music of Sam Peckinpah's Films

    After seeing Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country, Jean Renoir said, “Mr. Peckinpah knows much about the music of the soul.” But Peckinpah also knew much about music itself. Famous for his action sequences and ...
  • Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Juice

    Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: Juice

    Jazz guitar star John Scofield dips back into a string-bending funk-blues bag in this fourth collaboration with jamband godfathers Medeski, Martin & Wood. Together they exhibit their shared love of N’awlins second-line grooves, Meters-styled organ-fueled ...
  • Female Jazz Vocalists

    Female Jazz Vocalists

    In Issue 219 I wrote an overview of contemporary female jazz singers that bypassed the most well-known vocalists. Since that issue I’ve kept listening, and gradually a new list was created. Like last time, I ...
  • The Smoke Sessions Label

    The Smoke Sessions Label

    Classic live albums recorded at legendary clubs are a vital part of jazz history. To name but a few, the Five Spot, the Village Vanguard, Birdland, and the Half Note all have timeless records associated ...
  • Charlie Haden—Jim Hall

    Charlie Haden—Jim Hall

    When Charlie Haden died on July 11, 2014, at age 76, the jazz world lost one of its most pivotal acoustic bassists. The same, in relationship to the electric guitar, should be said for Jim ...

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