Doug Ramsey

Doug’s Contributions

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March 2006    Brass Tracks

As Long as I Live
Randy Reinhart

Despite evidence to the contrary at hundreds of trad revival festivals and parties, the classic-jazz repertoire is doomed neither to molder nor fester. Warhorses can be winners if their riders know how to handle them. As if to prove the point, Reinhart is...

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March 2006    Brass Tracks

Reflections
Claudio Roditi

Reflections follows up Roditi's earlier 341 (2002) and Light in the Dark (2004), both also with pianist Klaus Ignatzek and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. The absence of a drummer does nothing to impede swing on the faster tunes, and on the medium pieces...

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March 2006    Brass Tracks

Can You Dig Being Dug?
Carl Saunders

If neurologists are correct about the right brain being creative and the left practical, it would be reasonable to conclude that a trumpet player whose left brain is dominant will be a lead player and one whose right brain is dominant will be an improvising...

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March 2006    Brass Tracks

InnerPlay
Jim Self

Self surrounds himself with 44 of his closest jazz and studio friends, 26 of whom are a string section. His tuba has been featured on more than a thousand movie sound tracks and in hundreds of television shows. Self's fluency astonishes on the instrument...

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March 2006    Brass Tracks

Live at the Jazz Bakery
The Brian Swartz Quartet featuring Bob Florence

Swartz's support comes from the power-in-reserve rhythm section of Bob Florence's big band. There is something about Florence's piano playing that attracts adventurous young trumpet players. His occasional partnership with Ingrid Jensen has produced memorable...

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02/28/06    Concerts

Concerts — May 2006

The third year of the Portland Festival found it settling further into maturity and urban sophistication that give it much in common with European festivals like Vienne and Umbria. There is a notable difference; the continental festivals are in the warmth...

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January/February 2006    Albums

Stridemonster
Dick Hyman and Dick Wellstood

Dick Hyman and Dick Wellstood made this rollicking two-piano album for Unisson in 1987 shortly before Wellstood's death left an unfillable emptiness. We can listen to Stridemonster and pretend that he's not gone. Fortunately, Hyman is very much with us and...

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January/February 2006    DVDs

Power of Three
Michel Petrucciani

The meeting of Petrucciani, Jim Hall and Wayne Shorter at the1986 Montreux Jazz Festival resulted in one of the great CDs of the past 25 years. This straightforward video presentation allows us the intimacy of being on the Montreux stage as the music is...

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January/February 2006    DVDs

The Lost Tapes
Buddy Rich

This was previously issued as The Lost West Side Story Tapes, but the sound is restored and improved. The elaborate studio production was taped in San Francisco in 1985, two years before the drummer died. It features, if not Rich's best latter-day band...

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11/05/05    Concerts

Bill Charlap & Gary Hobbs at the Earshot Jazz Festival

With a three-week schedule of 53 performances in concert halls and clubs across the city, Seattle’s Earshot Festival presented listeners with difficult choices. On this evening, Charlap and Hobbs were in competition with each other and with Luciana Souza...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia Vol. 2
Louis Armstrong

It is good for the psyche to return now and then to the man who made jazz a soloist's art. We needn't go all the way back to Louis Armstrong's duets with King Oliver or his Hot Five recordings. The earliest of these previously unreleased performances find...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Take Me to the Land of Jazz
Billy Butterfield Joins Andy Bartha

Billy Butterfield, one of the great jazz trumpeters, is seldom mentioned these days, so this 1970s appearance with a Florida traditional band is a welcome reminder of his brilliance. He had unforgettable solos on recordings of "Stardust" with Artie Shaw...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Blue Notes
Orbert Davis

In his mid-40s, Orbert Davis is a Chicago institution becom-ing more widely known elsewhere, in part through extra-curricular activities like arrang-ing music for the motion picture Road to Perdition. Still, he established himself as a gifted trumpeter...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Blues for Hawk
Yves Francois

This is trumpeter Yves Francois' album in name and in fact, but he organized these dates in the 1980s to give exposure to two Chicago saxophone heroes, Franz Jackson and Eddie Johnson. Some of the tracks were released 20 years ago on an obscure label. Several...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Gemini
Sean Jones

On the brief "Gemini (Phase 1)," accompanied only by drummer E.J. Strickland, Sean Jones is all over his horn in an access of high, fast, busy, trumpet playing. The liner-note essay says, "He spits out a series of notes that swirl, dart and soar...." They...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

You Don't Know What Love Is
Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan

First recorded at 19 by Columbia in the days when labels were chasing young talent in the wake of Wynton Marsalis, Marlon Jordan had heavy components of Marsalis and Miles Davis. He still has, but they are further beneath the surface of his style, which...

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About Doug Ramsey

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Doug began contributing to JT in 1975. He is the 2008 winner of the Jazz Journalists Association Lifetime Achievement Award. His most recent ASCAP Deems Taylor Award is for Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. He won an earlier Deems Taylor Award for his essay accompanying the CD box Bill Evans: The Secret Sessions. Doug is the author of Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music and Some of Its Makers (University of Arkansas Press) and the novel Poodie James. He blogs about jazz and other matters on Rifftides at www.dougramsey.com