Monday, May 20, 2019

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Holum Trio: Borte

It’s not often that I feel at a loss. That’s patently untrue: most social situations leave me awkward and disorientated, and there’s a young woman at work who makes me blither just by saying hello, but when...

Count me in 05/19

A book of 1,506 pages must tell a gripping tale or list useful information; otherwise, it's a doorstop. I found such a book, The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD,...

Kenny Burrell’s travails

It’s terribly sad to hear that Kenny Burrell, premier guitarist from Blue Note’s golden era of the late 50s and early 60s, has fallen on hard times. In poor health and a recent victim of identity theft...

JJ 04/89: Thank God it’s Monday – Mel Lewis celebrates 25 years at the Village Vanguard. Interview by Michael Bourne

"I never played with Bird or Lester Young, and they're about all I can think of that I didn't play with," answered drummer Mel Lewis when questioned about the Who's Who of jazz he's played with. "I played with Miles, Dizzy, Fats Navarro, Tadd Dameron, Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, Ella, Louis - I did the Porgy and Bess album - Sinatra, Torme, Anita O'Day, Joe Williams. I played with Billie Holiday. That was lucky. Stan Levey took off one night and they sent me in to play with Billie at a place called Jazz City out on the West Coast. We had Zoot, Conte Candoli, Jimmy Rowles. I played with Billie one complete night. I was lucky. "I played with everybody except a couple I didn't get the opportunity - but the nice thing was I at least had conversations with Bird and Lester. I got to talk with them and know them. I also got to know people like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers when I lived in Hollywood. Those were kicks of another kind. I worked with them, the masters of their art....

Mulligan memories

Arlyne Brown (songwriter Lew Brown’s daughter) was married to Gerry Mulligan during the 1950s and for a while she was also his personal manager. Jean Bach arranged for this interview which took...

Laura Zakian at Pizza Express, London

It was SRO at Pizza Express at lunchtime on Sunday when Laura Zakian came in to launch her new EP. Although she has been around for a while I only became aware of this gifted vocalist earlier...

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