In a long-awaited biography, British saxophonist and jazz historian Simon Spillett examines the music and life of Tubby Hayes in The Long Shadow of the Little Giant. Spillett details the development of the British modern jazz scene and Hayes’ primary role within it, and also tells of Hayes’ addictive tendencies and messy personal life. In his review, Thomas Cunniffe calls this book one of the best biographies he’s read in years.
When arrangers set a piece by another composer, they can adapt it in several ways, In this month’s instrumental CD reviews, Thomas Cunniffe explores how Ben Markley, Mark Masters, Chris Washburne and Tina Raymond have adapted other composers works to create their own artistic statements.
Tenor saxophonist Tubby Hayes has been nearly forgotten in the United States, but in the United Kingdom, he is revered as one of the greatest jazz musicians Britain ever produced. Hayes died over 40 years ago, but his legacy has been kept alive through an avalanche of live and unissued Hayes recordings issued in the past decade. In this expanded Retro Review. Thomas Cunniffe examines the wide-ranging music of this sometimes neglected giant.
This month’s instrumental CD reviews collect a stunning tribute to Hank Mobley by fellow tenor man Eli Degibri, a quintet recording featuring trumpeter Brad Goode and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, and a lovely ballad-drenched album with trombonist Steve Turre. Thomas Cunniffe offers his thoughts on these three new releases.
Resonance Records’ latest Wes Montgomery issue will not be new to seasoned fans. The guitarist’s 1965 Paris concert has been available as a bootleg for many years. However, Resonance’s edition offers the concert in its entirety, mastered from the original ORTF master tapes. It is also the first legitimate release of this material. Thomas Cunniffe reviews the recording, which also features Harold Mabern, Arthur Harper, Jimmy Lovelace and Johnny Griffin.
The five vocalists featured in this month’s CD reviews offer something for everyone. Alyssa Allgood impresses with her sophomore disc, Exactly Like You, Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne celebrate 1959 in Greenwich Village on ‘Eastern Standard Time, Bob Dorough offers quirky takes on well-known songs on But for Now and Judy Niemack collaborates with Jim McNeely and the DR Big Band for a multi-faceted salute to New York. Thomas Cunniffe provides the details.
Jazz History Online marks the new year with a summation of the year just passed. Thomas Cunniffe’s Sidetracks essay discusses the highlights of concerts, books, DVDs, films, and CDs of 2014, and bids farewell to many great musicians who left our world in the past 12 months.
In the latest installment of his ongoing series Tales From Prague, Skip Wilkins tells about the various jazz clubs in the city. One hosted a jam session with a sitting US President (guess which one). Several cater to the local jazz fans while others attract international tourists. Includes several photos of the venues.
Every month, the JHO mailbox is stuffed with more CDs that we can possibly review. In what has become as much of a holiday tradition, here are capsule reviews of worthy vocal and instrumental discs that we couldn’t bear to leave on the shelf. Featured artists include Jackie Allen, Randy Brecker, Sara Caswell, Sinne Eeg, Mark Guiliana, Sarah Jerrom, Lauren Kinhan, Dave Liebman, Chuck Owen, Roswell Rudd, Martial Solal, and Fay Victor.
One of the finest ensembles of the 1970s was the Los Angeles big band co-led by Toshiko Akiyoshi and Lew Tabackin. Their double LP, Road Time documented their 1976 tour of Japan, and netted the group a Grammy nomination. Amy Duncan examines this out-of-print classic in this month’s Retro Review.
In the first installment of his ongoing series Tales From Prague, Skip Wilkins tells of his first experiences playing in Europe, the summer jazz workshop in North Bohemia where he teaches, and his quintet, comprised of American and Czech musicians.