William Ruhlmann

William’s Contributions

Bailey_span3

03/10/10    Albums

Live at Sweet Rhythm
Craig Bailey-Tim Armacost Brooklyn Big Band

The 17-piece Brooklyn Big Band, formed in 2000, is heavy on saxophone players, starting with its leaders, Craig Bailey (alto and flute) and Tim Armacost (tenor and clarinet). As displayed on this debut recording, Bailey and Armacost’s conception is to explore...

Cashman2_span3

03/10/10    Albums

Glenn Cashman & the Southland Big Band!
Glenn Cashman & the Southland Big Band

Since Glenn Cashman has spent much of his career in academia (he is an associate professor of music at Colgate University), it is no surprise that his debut album with the big band he leads in Southern California sounds, from track to track, like a history...

03/10/10    Albums

Sting Like a Bee
Mike Longo

In recent years, pianist Mike Longo has alternated trio albums with releases featuring his big band, the New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble. But, perhaps in inevitable deference to Muhammad Ali, he is following up 2007’s trio session, Float Like a Butterfly...

Eddie_daniels-duet_of_one_span3

May 2009    Albums

A Duet of One: Live at the Bakery
Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway

Although the jazz catalog is not replete with clarinet/piano duos, Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway had a demonstrated affinity for each other prior to the run of shows they performed together in late March and early April 2005, gigs that have been condensed...

Ruby_braff-last_time_span3

April 2009    Albums

For the Last Time
Ruby Braff

Down but not out on his final show

Clayton_brothers-brother_to_brother_span3

April 2009    Albums

Brother to Brother
Clayton Brothers

Honoring the Adderleys and the Joneses

Hotter_than_that_span3

December 2008    Books

Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture
Krin Gabbard

Delving into black trumpeters' personal lives, the author misses an opportunity or two.

Joey_defransesco-joey_d_span3

December 2008    Albums

Joey D!
Joey DeFrancesco

To anyone who thinks that organist Joey DeFrancesco has run out of interesting ideas for album titles, it may be suggested that in calling his return to HighNote Records Joey D! he may not be referring entirely to himself. The “D” may well refer to Diversi...

Nik_payton-swingin_the_changes_span3

December 2008    Albums

Swinging the Changes
Nik Payton and Bob Wilber

Nik Payton owes his career as a professional musician to the unlikely arrival of Bob Wilber in his father’s dentist chair in the English town of Chipping Campden when Payton was 15 years old and Wilber nearly 60. Payton, who was just taking up the saxophone...

Martin_taylor-double_standards_span3

December 2008    Albums

Double Standards
Martin Taylor

Although he has played in a variety of configurations and styles, Scottish guitarist Martin Taylor, who early in his career worked for Stephane Grappelli, essentially is a Django Reinhardt disciple, and that orientation always comes back to the fore when...

Gordon_goodwin-act_your_age_span3

November 2008    Albums

Act Your Age
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band

Act Your Age, the fourth album by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band (not counting its soundtrack for the film Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas), is of a piece with the group’s first three releases, another relentlessly eclectic collection that is, at...

Jimmy_greene-overcomers_suite_span3

November 2008    Albums

The Overcomer’s Suite
Jimmy Greene

Saxophonist Jimmy Greene mounts an ambitious effort for his Nu Jazz debut with The Overcomer’s Suite, which is also the newly formed imprint’s inaugural release. Recorded live at Firehouse 12 in Greene’s hometown of Hartford, Conn., the 68-minute album is...

Joe_magnarelli-persistence_span3

November 2008    Albums

Persistence
Joe Magnarelli

While trumpeter Joe Magnarelli’s Reservoir Music debut Persistence (following a long stint with Criss Cross) is not billed as a tribute to Ray Barretto, who passed away since the last Magnarelli album, 2006’s Hoop Dreams, the disc contains many references...

Dave_pietro-chakra_suite_span3

November 2008    Albums

The Chakra Suite
Dave Pietro

Chakras, for anyone who hasn’t taken a yoga class, are seven “body centers” (the first, Muladhara, is at the base of the spine, for instance) that also represent spiritual and emotional elements of the body, in addition to the physical. Saxophonist Dave...

Ernie_watts-to_the_point_span3

November 2008    Albums

To the Point
Ernie Watts Quartet

Ernie Watts begins the live show making up his album To the Point with a two-and-a-half-minute unaccompanied solo, seemingly improvising freely as the notes, the tempo and the tone occur to him, and changing quickly from one brief riff to another before...

Whit_williams-nows_the_time_span3

November 2008    Albums

“Now’s the Time” Big Band Featuring Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath
Whit Williams

It is no doubt true, as Washington, D.C., jazz DJ Rusty Hassan writes in his liner notes to this album, that the U.S. is full of great regional musicians “who would have been even more famous had [they] moved to New York, but for reasons of family considerations...

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About William Ruhlmann

William Ruhlmann was the popular music critic for The New York City Tribune from 1983 to 1991 and the newspaper's theater critic from 1989 to 1991. He has been a contributor to Goldmine magazine since 1984, and his work for the magazine has been anthologized in such books as "The Frank Zappa Companion" (1997), "Classic Rock Digest" (1998), "The Joni Mitchell Companion" (2000), and "The Beatles Digest" (2000). He was the associate editor of Relix magazine from 1987 to 1991, and he has written for various other periodicals. He has contributed liner notes to numerous albums, including the multi-disc box sets "Group Portrait" (1991) by Chicago, "White Sox, Pink Lipstick … and Stupid Cupid" (1993) by Connie Francis, "The Song Is You" (1994) by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra, and "The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong on Verve" (1997). He wrote the illustrated biographies "The History of the Grateful Dead" (1990), "The Doors" (1991), "Led Zeppelin" (1992), "John Lennon" (1993), "Pink Floyd" (1993), "The Rolling Stones" (1993), and "Barbra Streisand" (1995). He is a contributor to "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives" and "The Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound," and was the pop editor of the centennial edition of "Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians" (2001). His history of the American music business in the 20th century, "Breaking Records," was published in 2004. He has been a regular contributor to the All Music Guide since its inception in 1991. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

William Ruhlmann joined the JazzTimes community on Jun 13, 2008