It's always good to be a fan of Count Basie and Lester Young, but with the concurrent releases of Mosaic's 8-CD box set "Classic 1936-1947 Studio Sessions" and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem's second volume of Bill Savory recordings (focused entirely on Basie and Young from 1938-1940), the artistry of these great musicians can be understood in greater detail than ever before. In this extended Retro Review, Thomas Cunniffe notes that the highly inclusive Mosaic set allows listeners to compare recordings that were made for competing record companies, and Savory's radio broadcasts capture the band live at New York's Famous Door, Boston's Southland Ballroom and Chicago's Panther Room.
MEL, MARTY & THE DEK-TETTE The recorded collaborations between vocalist Mel Tormé and arranger Marty Paich were arguably the highlights of each man's career. The albums they recorded with a 10-piece studio ensemble, the Marty Paich Dek-tette are some of the finest vocal LPs ever made. Thomas Cunniffe's study of this music was originally part of his Master's Thesis, and has been published on several websites over the past two decades. This newly-revised edition of the article (with three embedded videos) now marks its first appearance on Jazz History Online.
Few contemporary vocalists have the stylistic range of Luciana Souza. She is a remarkable improviser and composer who can not only offer passionate interpretations of songs from America and Brazil, but is also a collaborator with contemporary classical composer Osvaldo Golijov. Thomas Cunniffe introduces you to Souza in this JHO profile, which includes audio and video clips of Souza at work
Special Holiday Feature: 2016: THE SUMMATION As 2016 comes to a close, Jazz History Online recognizes the best new and reissued CDs, concerts and books that have appeared in our pages over the past 12 months. We also pay tribute to the great musicians and historians who left us in 2016.
In a continuing effort to relieve the overflowing pile of discs for review, Thomas Cunniffe offers reviews of a tribute to David Baker by the Bloomington (IN) Busulli-Walarab Jazz Orchestra, a brilliant piano trio album led by Frank Kimbrough and an exquisite duet recording by vocalist Kendra Shank and pianist Geoff Keezer.
Back in 2011, the Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices joined forces for a pair of concerts. The "vocal summit" concept was so successful (artistically and commercially) that several of today's best vocal groups have staged these performances all over the world. One of these concerts, featuring the Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, finally came to Colorado, and Thomas Cunniffe was there. He details their combined performance at Macky Auditorium in Boulder.
Don Cheadle's long-awaited Miles Davis film, "Miles Ahead" is far from a typical biopic. It requires its audience to come in with prior knowledge of Davis' life. However, it is a remarkable film, especially for a first-time director like Cheadle. In this DVD review, Thomas Cunniffe marvels at the way Cheadle juxtaposes various time frames from Davis' career into the same scenes.
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