Ashley Kahn

Ashley’s Contributions


12/14/04    Concerts

McCoy Tyner, Stanley Clarke & Billy Cobham at the Blue Note

What would they play? Would they plug in? In my mind the notion of the tight, sold-out quarters of the Blue Note turning into a pressure cooker of fusion-era amplification had me enthralled -- and scared. But when I spied an acoustic bass being held aloft...


November 2004    Features

Elvin Jones: The Company of Thunder

Highlights of the singular drummer’s career are represented in this timeline tribute compiled by Ashley Kahn with additional reporting by Nate Chinen


October 2004    Features

Alice Coltrane: Transcendence

Her first album in 26 years, Translinear Light, is more than just a return to the spotlight for John Coltrane’s wife. Alice Coltrane invited her son Ravi as well as Charlie Haden and Jack DeJohnette to the recording session, and the results are as stunning...


June 2004    Features

Charles Lloyd and Billy Higgins: The Seekers

Lifelong friends and occasional collaborators, saxophonist Charles Lloyd and drummer Billy Higgins are kindred spirits. With the death of Higgins in 2001, it seemed like we had heard the last of their special musical bond—but a new ECM album of home-recorded...


January/February 2004    Hearsay

Moutin Reunion Quartet

What do you get when you combine twins separated by an ocean-bassist François (in New York) and drummer Louis Moutin (in Paris)-with expat saxophonist Rick Margitza and young firebrand pianist Baptiste Trotignon (both in Paris)? A band with feet on both...


November 2003    Features

Jimmy Cobb: The Reluctant Don

Best known for his cool drumming on Kind of Blue, Jimmy Cobb has been a first-call sideman for more than 50 years. For the first time in that long period, he’s regularly leading a group with his own name at the front. Ashley Kahn gets the story on Cobb’s...


08/13/03    Concerts

Hank Jones at The Blue Note

Bösendorfers must dream of nights like this. The piano at New York's Blue Note club was played by a series of legends, leading lights and long-distance runners all in celebration of Hank Jones's 85th birthday. From colleagues like Barry Harris and Kenny...


July/August 2003    Features

Ahmad Jamal: Walking History

Ahmad Jamal is relaxing in the poolroom-or rather, the large room that contains a swimming pool-abutting his otherwise modest, tidy home in the rolling hills of upstate New York. The rewards of well over 50 years at his craft are earned and appropriate;...


June 2003    Features

Greg Osby: Out of the Woods

See this? It was a young tree the deer killed by eating all the bark. I came home and part of it had fallen near the front door. So I got out the chainsaw and cut the rest down...." Greg Osby is surveying his domain, a modest parcel of wooded, hilly land...


November 2002    Features

Elvin Jones: At This Point In Time

Elvin Jones enjoys looking back and taking stock. He finds pleasure in speaking of his plans for the future. In fact, given the right circumstances, there’s little the veteran drummer does not enthusiastically discuss.


09/11/02    Concerts

Elvin Jones' 75th Birthday Party Concert

For the ever-ebullient Elvin Jones, the walk from the dressing room to the stage is often a long one: so many hands to shake, so many friends to greet! As a tuxedoed Jazz Machine—saxophonists Pat LaBarbera and Mark Shim, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, pianist...


September 2002    Features

The Impulse! Records Story: The House That Trane Built

Never has one jazz label been so associated with one artist. As John Coltrane’s legend has grown, so has the legacy of Impulse Records. The label’s orange-and-black colors are as renowned as the wide range of music it has produced—from swing to the new thing...


June 2002    Features

Wayne Shorter: Face of the Deep

“When I do interviews,” Wayne Shorter stated at a recent black-tie gala held in his honor, “people ask me about music, music, music, music, music. And I say no, no, no, no. Music is second; the human being is first.” He quickly posed two questions divulging...


September 2001    Features

Miles Davis and Bill Evans: Miles and Bill in Black & White

They were musical brothers separated by skin tone. The brief, nine-month partnership of Miles Davis and Bill Evans yielded some of the most sublime and enduring jazz ever recorded. Yet it could not survive the rigors that tested the creative union almost...


September 2000    Features

Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue: Blues Clues

Miles Davis had little use for jazz recordings, least of all his own. At home he might have a Rachmaninoff concerto on his stereo or a score of Tosca on his piano, as bandmates and intimates have reported. Davis’ dismissive take on Kind of Blue allowed him...

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About Ashley Kahn


Ashley Kahn can be heard on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and is the author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album, Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece and, most recently, The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records.