Miles Jordan

Miles’s Contributions


April 1999    Briefs

Live at the Montmarte Club
Warne Marsh/Lee Konitz Quintet

After a separation of over 20 years, it's hard to believe that—with only a couple of weeks working together in England and Europe-Marsh and Konitz were able to weave the kind of intense magic they do here. Recorded in Copenhagen in December 1975 with fellow...


April 1999    Briefs

Songs That Made the Phone Light Up
Various Artists

The concept is intriguing: put together a batch of songs that caused the phone to ring at a Philadelphia station 30 years ago. Producer Joel Dorn worked a shift at WHAT-FM and chose thirteen songs that always got a great response from his audience. Seven...


December 1998    Albums

After Dark
Hank Crawford

Willie Dixon, the bass-playing bluesman whose "My Babe" opens this disc, was fond of saying that "blues is a feeling." That feeling is very much present on this blues-saturated disc which features altoist Crawford with a terrific combo: guitarist Melvin...


December 1998    Albums

The Sage of Tippo
Mose Allison

Fans of Allison's wry lyrics and swinging piano playing will find this collection irresistible as it combines four of his Atlantic albums-Swingin' Machine, The Word from Mose, Wild Man on the Loose and I've Been Doin' Some Thinkin' on CD for the first time...


December 1998    Albums

Weather in a Jazz Vane
Jimmy Rowles Septet

Derminedly low key, Rowles was mainly known as an accompanist for singers like Billie, Peggy, Ella, Carmen, and Sarah. Earlier he'd worked with Prez, Benny and Woody (among-many-others) and his lack of public renown was due to his being blessed/cursed with...


November 1998    Books

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
Angela Y. Davis

This book jacket’s inner flap tells the story: “Through a close and riveting analysis of these artists’ performances, words, and lives, Davis [a professor of History of Consciousness at UC, Santa Cruz] uncovers the unmistakable assertion and uncomprimising...


November 1998    Albums

Tough Tenors Back Again!
Johnny Griffin and Eddie "LockJaw" Davis

The two member group arose from the on-stage "duels" between big band hornmen in the '40s, which themselves were a kind of formalized version of the after-hours cutting sessions of the '30s. Davis, who spent a year with Basie in the '50s, and Griffin, who...


November 1998    Albums

In the Red
Red Holloway

Although primarily a West Coaster for the past 30 years, this ebullient 71-year-old tenorman got his grounding in Chicago in the '40s where Gene Ammons became a major influence. Accompanied on this supreb 1997 date by pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Peter...


November 1998    Briefs

Tenor Men, Titans of the Tenor Sax
Various Artists

The ever magisterial Hawkins stamp is all over this CD which features Bean and four of his "disciples" (Ben Webster, Don Byas, Charlie Ventura and Ted Nash) on two tracks each recorded in the mid '40s. The only ringer is a 19-year-old Stan Getz, a Lester...


June 1998    Books

The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing
David Honeyboy Edwards

During his 65-year career, Edwards (who turns 83 this summer), seems to have met nearly every bluesman of note and has a story to go with each one. He was one of the first of his generation to come up behind such prototypical Delta bluesmen as Charlie Patton...


June 1998    Books

Portrait of the Blues
Paul Trynka; photography by Val Wilmer

Photographer (and journalist) Val Wilmer is no Johnny— er— Frankie-come-lately to the music scene. For over 20 years her photographs of blues and jazz musicians have graced the pages of too many magazines and books to mention. An Englishwoman, her first...


June 1998    Briefs

Iron City
Grant Green

Green was no stranger to the guitar-organ-drum format and is joined here by Big John Patton and long-time associate Ben Dixon on drums. Originally released in 1977 on the Cobblestone label, ten years after it was recorded, this mixture of funkified blues...

April 1998    Books

The B. B. King Companion: Five Decades of Commentary
Richard Kostelanetz

Ranging from two to 32 pages, these interviews, profiles and analyses give a rather complete portrait of the world’s best-known bluesman. It’s hard, though, to figure out for whom this book is written...and why, for, during the course of at least three of...


March 1998    Albums

Pittsburgh, 1958
Dodo Marmarosa

I count myself among those who've always wondered whatever happened to pianist Dodo Marmarosa since those great records he made in the mid-'40s with Bird, Howard McGhee, Wardell Gray and Lester Young. In 1947, at 21, Esquire named him among its New Stars...


March 1998    Albums

J.J. Inc.
J.J. Johnson

J.J. Johnson is one of modern jazz's great trombonists-if not the greatest-as he has shown since coming to prominence 50 years ago. As annotator/trombonist Steve Turre points out: "[J.J.] has range-both high and low, a huge sound, a flawless attack, dynamics...


March 1998    Albums

Sophisticated Giant
Dexter Gordon

Unlike most of his albums, where long, tall Dexter fronts a combo, on this 1977 studio date he's accompanied by a ten-man band on a set of standards and originals arranged by Slide Hampton. Gordon's rich tone meshes beautifully with the ensemble on tunes...

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