Geoffrey Himes

Geoffrey’s Contributions

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October 2008    Features

Freddie Hubbard: The Show Must Go On

The blue-neon sign of the Iridium Jazz Club glowed softly behind Freddie Hubbard. The legendary trumpeter wore a yellow-straw fedora, a gold tie and a tailored dark suit with a handkerchief peeking out of the jacket pocket. He was celebrating his 70th birthday...

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October 2008    Albums

Earfood The Roy Hargrove Quintet

Roy Hargrove makes no bones about his desire to play jazz for lots of paying customers. And why not? We all want jazz to be heard by a large audience. But how does one attract that audience without resorting to pop music and merely slapping the jazz label...

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06/28/08    Concerts

Charles Lloyd Quartet at JVC - New York

On his recent albums, Jason Moran has been experimenting with samples of spoken speech as springboards for improvisation, using the rhythms and inflections of people talking as cues for his piano solos. In his new role as a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet...

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June 2008    Features

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Cult of Kirk

Having spent almost all his life without eyesight, Rahsaan Roland Kirk could never understand why people were preoccupied with his show’s visual aspects. But how could we not be? Who would not be mesmerized by the sight of a man in a towering fur hat, wraparound...

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May 2008    Features

Lionel Loueke: African American

In January, Lionel Loueke visited Joe’s Pub in Manhattan to preview the songs from his first major-label album, Karibu on Blue Note. Backed only by his longtime triomates, the guitarist sketched out the lilting melody of the title track on a nylon-string...

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April 2008    Albums

Down in New Orleans
Blind Boys of Alabama

At the 1990 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the hometown’s top gospel act, the Zion Harmonizers, was doing its customary second-Sunday set in the Gospel Tent, when the group’s leader Sherman Washington called up a guest from the grassy backstage. Aaron...

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January/February 2008    Albums

Shayari
Ron Blake

The title of Roy Hargrove’s 1993 album, Of Kindred Souls, was taken from a composition by the trumpeter’s then-regular saxophonist, Ron Blake. The intriguing, hymnlike melody was first enunciated, naturally, by Hargrove, but Blake took the first solo, a...

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December 2007    Features

Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell: Music & Lyrics

Herbie Hancock has a confession to make: For the longest time, he ignored the lyrics of the songs he played on. Asked if he considered the lyrics when he assembled his poll-topping Gershwin’s World album, he says, “Not at all,” and spreads his hands before...

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June 2007    Albums

Pilgrimage
Michael Brecker

Is it possible to disentangle the music on Michael Brecker’s final recording from the circumstances of its making? Probably not, but let’s try. As anyone reading this magazine must know, Brecker announced in 2005 that he would stop performing in public because...

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May 2007    Features

Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau: Counterpoint

If you’ve ever hung out backstage at a jazz festival, you know that jazz musicians are always telling one another, “We should get together sometime and play.” It’s a friendly gesture, and it’s usually tied to a vague feeling that, hey, it would be nice to...

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April 2007    Albums

From the Plantation to the Penitentiary
Wynton Marsalis

The infuriating thing about Wynton Marsalis is that he is so incredibly talented that you can never simply dismiss him and yet he is so wrong-headed about so many things that you can never wholly embrace him either. Nothing brings this dilemma into sharper...

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December 2006    Albums

Memories of T
Ben Riley's Monk Legacy

There’s a brief moment in the new version of “Rhythm-A-Ning” by Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet where a descending line begins with Bruce Williams’ alto saxophone, is handed off to Wayne Escoffery’s tenor sax and is finished off by Jay Brandford’s baritone...

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July/August 2006    Features

James "Blood" Ulmer and Vernon Reid: Harmolodic Blues

James "Blood" Ulmer and Vernon Reid share an interest in Ornette Coleman's harmolodic music that they've explored on three albums, including Birthright. Geoffrey Himes uncovers a bond forged by the blues.

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July/August 2006    Features

Nonstandards Fare: Jazz and Pop

In the repertoires ofr some jazz musicians, Great American Songbook standbys are giving way to pop. Geoffrey Himes explores how jazz is reinventing itself.

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January/February 2006    Features

Roswell Rudd: Song Styles of a Planet

Trombonist Roswell Rudd turned 70 last November. Among his presents was the reformation of his first (and unrecorded) band, which played in the Dixieland style he favored before falling for free jazz in the ’60s. Rudd’s story is classic jazz, from sharing...

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June 2005    Albums

SFJazz Collective
SFJazz Collective

In the liner notes for the debut Nonesuch CD by SFJAZZ's resident troupe, Artistic Director Joshua Redman admits he considered forming a classic repertory band like the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Jazz needs ensembles like that, but it already has several...

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About Geoffrey Himes

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When he’s not writing for JT, the longtime Baltimore resident is writing for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harp, Paste, the Oxford American, Offbeat, Texas Music Magazine and the Baltimore City Paper.