Tag: Weather Bird

  • Lionel Hampton, 1908–2002

    Putting aside the probability that in the fullness of time every musician, from Palestrina to Perry Como, will be looked upon as a precursor of rock and roll, in the instance of Lionel Hampton the claim has much validity—indeed, it’s surprising to discover that he isn’t yet acknowledged in most reference works on the subject. […]

  • Heroes at Work

    A new organization called Jazz Alliance International produced “Made in America,” a jazz concert to benefit “the heroes and victims of September 11,” on December 5 at Town Hall. No financial details were supplied, except that it raised—obviously not from tickets alone—$260,000, which was given to the Robin Hood Foundation to aid “lower income victims.” […]

  • All Around the Town

    With irony now rotting in the grave, Uri Caine demonstrated a prescient sobriety two years ago when he recorded The Sidewalks of New York, which—adapted and abridged—received its New York debut November 3 at the Center for Jewish History. The disc is a moving audio kaleidoscope that convenes singers, spielers, musicians, and sound effects to […]

  • Master Class

    The October 19 and 20 Jazz at Lincoln Center tribute to Jimmy Heath, commemorating his 75th birthday, was called “He Walked With Giants”—a title typical of that series, and also of its unduly modest guest, whose superlative Riverside LPs were once anthologized as Fast Company and who himself titled a later album Peer Pleasure. Still, […]

  • Heir to a Secret History

    Blue Note Records is turning out to be, of all things, the Blue Note Records of our time—in a way I never anticipated. Hard bop is not on the agenda. And the label has not yet found a guaranteed jukebox favorite like Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, and, briefly-but-big-time, Lee Morgan, though it has come close […]

  • Go Tell It on the Mountain

    Let’s be bold: The David S. Ware Quartet is the best small band in jazz today. I realize that I will almost certainly hear another quartet, or trio or quintet or octet, this week or next, that will make me want to backpedal. But every time I see Ware’s group or return to the records, […]

  • Minnie the Moocher’s Revenge

    Say this of JVC: The plot changes annually. It may look the same on paper, may list toward the same artists, suffer the same limitations, capitulate to the same distractions, but George Wein’s flagship festival manages to take different turns each summer. If I am more conscious than usual of past vagaries, triumphs, subplots, and […]

  • Mood Swings

    Tom Harrell’s unevenness as an improviser and composer has generated one of jazz’s most consistent dramas over the past 25 years. When the planets come into alignment in a Harrell solo; when all is focused and driven and he knows where he is headed but takes his time getting there, diverting himself with melodic fragments […]

  • Nashville

    Eclecticism has been so much the norm in jazz during the past 30 years that you expect just about every player who comes along to have one foot in jazz proper and the other tapping elsewhere: Cuba or the Balkans or Argentina, or if not a geographical locale then a time period, like that of […]

  • Found and Lost

    Terence Blanchard’s reach and tone have broadened just about equally in the 15 years since he graduated from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has tested his skills as trumpeter, composer, and bandleader in a variety of overlapping projects: the quintet with Donald Harrison, formalized during a sabbatical from Blakey and continued through 1989; several film […]