Harvey Pekar

Harvey’s Contributions


July/August 2001    Albums

For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal
Gary Burton

On this CD Burton pays tribute to vibes greats of the past, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson and Cal Tjader, by playing tunes associated with them: "Bag's Groove," "Flying Home," "Move" and "Afro Blue." Because he's a consistent and outstanding improviser...


July/August 2001    Albums

The Complete Vee Jay Paul Chambers-Wynton Kelly Sessions 1959-61
Paul Chambers/Wynton Kelly

Bassist Paul Chambers and pianist Wynton Kelly play together on all but three titles here. They formed two-thirds of Miles Davis' rhythm section, and after they left him in 1963 they formed the Wynton Kelly Trio with the addition of the other third, drummer...


July/August 2001    Albums

Fastball: Live at the Left Bank
Freddie Hubbard

Label M keeps coming up with top live albums cut at Baltimore's Left Bank Jazz Society's concerts in the 1960s and 1970s. This Hubbard disc sure is impressive. Recorded in 1967, the trumpeter is joined by tenorman Bennie Maupin, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist...


July/August 2001    Albums

Mosaic Sextet
Mosaic Sextet

This two-CD harbinger of the future contains material recorded from January 1988 to March 1990 by the Mosaic Sextet, which contained trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassoonist Michael Rabinowitz, violinist Mark Feldman, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Joe...


July/August 2001    Albums

The Messenger
Valery Ponomarev

Despite playing in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers somewhere between Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis, Valery Ponomarev hasn't gotten a whole lot of attention, but he was and is an impressive trumpeter. On The Messenger he plays with a quintet that includes...


July/August 2001    Overdue Ovation

Billy Bauer

Billy Bauer is like a chameleon, blending into the background for more than 50 years as a guitarist of quiet renown. Bauer has been an impressive jazz guitarist since he played with Woody Herman in the mid-1940s. He was a melodic, tasteful and sensitive...


June 2001    Albums

A New Hot One
David Krakauer

Clarinetists like David Krakauer don't grow on trees. From a technical standpoint the classically trained Krakauer is superb. His improvising is unique and immediately recognizable; he's synthesized the styles of klezmer clarinetists and New Orleans jazz...


June 2001    Books

An Unsung Cat: The Life and Music of Warne Marsh
Safford Chamberlain

Lennie Tristano ranks among the greatest and most original jazz musicians, a system creator who founded a school of modern jazz that was an alternative to bop. The Tristano school attracted few ardent followers because of its uniqueness. Even some of his...


June 2001    Hearsay

Chris Jonas

Soprano saxophonist/composer Chris Jonas, and his group The Sun Spits Cherries, realize that experimental jazz doesn’t have to mean free collective improvisation. On Jonas’ eight-part composition “The Vermilion,” also the name of his new CD, there’s a lot...


May 2001    Hearsay

Herb Robertson

The trumpet may be the instrument most identified with jazz, but between Woody Shaw and Dave Douglas few trumpeters emerged that were original. There are some fine ones—Paul Smoker, Roy Campbell, to name but two—but they are not well known to the jazz public...


May 2001    Albums

Easy as Pie
Al Cohn/Zoot Sims

The main story here, for me anyway, is that this CD, recorded in 1968, contains at least one track with the kind of playing that Zoot Sims had in him but rarely displayed. Sims has always been a frustrating guy for me to listen to. He was among the most...


May 2001    Albums

The Complete Verve Johnny Hodges: Small Group Sessions '56-'61
Johnny Hodges

This is the second set of Johnny Hodges Verve reissues on Mosaic, the first covering his 1951 to 1955 work when he was not playing with Duke Ellington. Hodges rejoined Ellington in 1956, however, and has a number of Duke's sidemen and ex-sidemen with him...


May 2001    Albums

They Have a Word for Everything
Mick Rossi

Pianist/composer Mick Rossi may not be a household name to jazz fans, partly because he has performed in a variety of musical contexts, but, as this CD demonstrates, he's a gifted, broadly educated artist. A few years ago Rossi cut Inside the Sphere (Cadence...


May 2001    Albums

Ghost Stories
Ned Rothenberg

Though known for his unusual and extended techniques- circular breathing, polyphonic playing on a single woodwind instrument-Ned Rothenberg's work on Ghost Stories is not full of pyrotechnical effects. All of the compositions on the CD are his, and are mainly...


April 2001    Albums

Cuong Vu

The outstanding young trumpeter Cuong Vu draws ideas from a wide variety of sources, so that from CD to CD you're never sure what aspect of his interests he's going to emphasize. On this live trio album, he and bassist Stomu Takeishi, along with drummer...


April 2001    Albums

Dave Ballou

Over the years the instrument most identified with jazz has been the trumpet, yet in recent decades few original trumpeters aside from Dave Douglas have gained much attention. There are some fine, if not well-known, ones out there, however, including Herb...

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About Harvey Pekar