Chris Walker

Chris’s Contributions


December 2004    Books

Soul on Soul: The Life of Mary Lou Williams
Tammy Kernodle

It sounds like a cliche, but if the phenomenal pianist and innovative composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams had not been a woman, black or born in 1910, she undoubtedly would have received much wider recognition and been much more successful. Unfortunately...


September 2004    News

Dr. Michael White: Woods Shedding

Clarinetist Dr. Michael White thoroughly knows and loves New Orleans. He's been playing gigs around there for over 30 years and also is an endowed chair of African-American studies and Spanish at Xavier University. Nevertheless, Algiers, La., across the...


June 2004    News

Hubert Laws: Flute by Laws

From the 1970s to early 1980s, Hubert Laws was more than a flute player-he was often the flute player. He won Down Beat's top flutist award 10 times, garnered three Grammy nominations and continually scored high on the charts. Laws' work on the CTI label...


June 2004    Albums

George Benson

Showing there are still many other dimensions to his Grammy-winning and chart-topping talents, guitarist and singer George Benson dives back into R&B and pop crooning on Irreplaceable, and his vocals are luscious and impressive. The music differs greatly...


June 2004    Albums

In the Name of Love
Kim Waters

Saxophonist Kim Waters celebrates 15 years as a recording artist with In the Name of Love. The CD combines great performances, strong original material and choice cover tunes. His musical prowess bountifully overflows on dance grooves such as R. Kelly's...


May 2004    Albums

Henry Johnson with Nancy Wilson

Chicago-based guitarist Henry Johnson has learned a lot over the years through studying recordings of guitar masters Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Kenny Burrell. Then he received an advanced education working with organist Jack McDuff, vocal legend Donny...


April 2004    Features

Brian Bromberg: Countless Choices

He’s more than just a bassist. Brian Bromberg is a willfully eclectic musician first and an audio guru second-he just so happens to play bass. Chris J.Walker finds out what makes this Renaissance man tick.


March 2004    News

Jennifer York: Musical View

Many jazz musicians do an assortment of things to keep away the ol' wolf, such as teach, write, etc. Still, probably few if any have a "day gig" like bassist Jennifer York, who leads an all-female, Los Angeles-based quartet. She's a wisecracking, eagle-eyed...

01/20/04    Concerts

Barbados Jazz Festival 2004

The thought of taking in jazz on a Caribbean island, especially in mid-January when many American locales are buried in snow or just freezing their you-know-whats off, has to appeal to almost anyone, even those who aren’t into jazz. With that in mind, even...


December 2003    Features

Will Downing: The Look of Love

Think of him as R. Kelly for the professional, urban, adult-contemporary set (minus those pesky criminal charges). Or better yet, think of him as part of the lineage from Nat "King" Cole and Johnny Hartman. Will Downing is a romantic crooner, and Emotions...


December 2003    Albums

Right Here, Right Now
David Benoit

For his 23rd CD as a leader, keyboardist David Benoit decided to loosen up and get a bit funky with his road band: saxophonist Andy Suzuki, guitarist Pat Kelley and bassist Dean Taba. Although he's not ready to tour with George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic...


December 2003    Albums

A Twist of Motown
Various Artists

A Twist of Motown is guitarist/producer Lee Ritenour's third Twist-themed concept compilation, following A Twist of Jobim (1997) and A Twist of Marley (2001). For this collection he called in top-notch contemporary jazz players such as guitarists George...


November 2003    At Home

Marvin "Smitty" Smith

Oh, Lord-that's his favorite chair," Kim Smith laughs. "Ooooh, you'll never get him up from there." Marvin "Smitty" Smith affirms his wife of three years' claim that he can lounge in the oversized leather chair for hours watching shows on his 32-inch Sony...


October 2003    At Home

Pete Escovedo

A glimpse into percussionist Pete Escovedo's southeastern San Fernando Valley house of two years reveals his art talent. "I started both music and painting at the same time in high school," explains the 68-year-old Escovedo, who's a quick hop from Hollywood...


05/17/03    Concerts

Playboy Jazz Festival 2003

Actor-comedian-jazz aficionado extraordinaire Bill Cosby's the Cos of Good Music VIII grandly accentuated the 25th edition of the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Initially, when the festival emcee conceived his dream all-star...

05/06/03    Concerts

Teddy Edwards Tribute

How is the measure of a man equated after his death? By the amount of people who come out to celebrate his life and accomplishments. Tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, who passed away at 78 on April 20, never became a marquee star like fellow top players of...

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About Chris Walker