Doug Ramsey

Doug’s Contributions

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Identity
Jeremy Pelt

Jeremy Pelt says in a news release that Identity concerns "the expectation that I have placed upon myself. More specifically, it deals with me finding my own identity." His young sidemen share his commitment to depart from the predictability of standard...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Live at the Blue Note
Arturo Sandoval

On the CD/DVD combo release, Arturo Sandoval tells his DVD interviewer that the heart of his music is bebop. Working up an Afro-Cuban bop froth on several numbers, he and his hot young band prove the claim beyond a doubt. At a ferocious pace, "Eso Es Lo...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Accidentally Yours
Jay Thomas and Wataru Hamasaki with Geoffrey Keezer Trio

Jay Thomas plays trumpet, flugelhorn and a small arsenal of reed instruments. He is so good on tenor sax that a few years ago when the late Bill Perkins had to bow out of a Bud Shank record date, Thomas got the call. I once wrote that his artistry on trumpet...

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October 2005    Brass Tracks

Yellow Dance
Dick Titterington

Dick Titterington doesn't wear his technique on his sleeve, but his chops are apparent in demanding octave leaps on "Lose the Crowd," his wry wah-wah assertions and chromatic intervals on his 7/4 composition "Lunky" and his crisp dispatch of the tricky bridge...

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September 2005    Albums

The Complete Cleff/Verve Count Basie Fifties Studio Recordings
Count Basie

Conventional wisdom among Count Basie experts is that Basie’s 1937–1941 outfit was nonpareil. With Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, Earle Warren and the incomparable All-American Rhythm Section, Basie achieved an apogee...

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September 2005    Albums

Herman's Heat & Puente's Beat!
Tito Puente and Woody Herman

These two CDs collect the music clarinetist Woody Herman made for the Everest label in 1958. The accompanying discographical information is, like the collected music, a hodgepodge. Still, it can be discerned that on several of The Everest Years’ tracks...

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July/August 2005    Albums

Duets
Bill Charlap

Striking as he was on previous Hoagy Carmichael and Leonard Bernstein tributes, pianist Bill Charlap continues developing in subtlety and expressiveness, as evidenced by this adventure in Gershwin. Charlap swings as hard as he did in his heretofore best...

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May 2005    Albums

Blackbird
Shelly Berg Trio

Shelly Berg is best known outside Los Angeles as an accompanist, composer, arranger, film scorer and educator. His reputation as a jazz pianist gets a boost with this CD, his first on a label with wide distribution. His performance warrants the greater exposure...

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May 2005    Albums

Eldar
Eldar

Taking a break from research at the Brubeck Institute in the summer of 2003, I sat in on a musicians' clinic Roy Hargrove was conducting for the institute's Summer Jazz Colony set up in honor of Paul Desmond. Desmond was fond of saying that jazz, like writing...

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May 2005    Albums

I Was There
Roger Kellaway

Roger Kellaway was Bobby Darin's music director in the 1960s. Kevin Spacey directed and starred in a recent biopic of Darin. Kellaway toured with Spacey to promote the film. Those are the hooks for Kellaway's first solo album since 1991's Live at Maybeck...

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May 2005    Albums

Revisits the Goodman Years
Teddy Wilson Trio

Obviously, when pianist Teddy Wilson made this recording in 1980, six years before his death, he wasn't at the peak of creativity with which he first dazzled the jazz world in the 1930s. He was merely at the advanced level of perfection that he maintained...

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02/22/05    Concerts

In its second year, the Portland Jazz Festival completed its metamorphosis from a summertime beer-and-sunglasses fiesta into the maturity of an urban cultural happening. Hotel ballrooms and a dance pavilion now replace outdoor stages, perhaps a loss for...

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December 2004    Albums

The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra & Woodchoppers (1945-47)
Woody Herman

Three years ago in JazzTimes, I expressed the hope that Columbia would one day reissue The Thundering Herds, the LP era's most comprehensive collection of the label's 1940s Woody Herman recordings. Columbia chose, instead, to license its 1940s Herman masters...

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December 2004    Albums

Jazz Ambassador
Scott Robinson

After two decades on the jazz scene, Scott Robinson's gee-whiz factor is well established. By now everyone knows that he plays an astonishing array of reed and brass instruments. The evidence of these albums is that Robinson's stylistic flexibility and creativity...

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November 2004    Albums

Horizon Reassembled
Bobby Watson and Horizon

Bobby Watson and the members of Horizon made their previous album, Midwest Shuffle (Columbia), 10 years ago. But from the evidence of Horizon Reassembled, you might think that they had never stopped playing together. Alto saxophonist Watson, trumpeter Terell...

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November 2004    News

Jazz: Seen & Heard

Question for an unwinnable debate: When did jazz begin? The RCA Victor Group decided that it began 100 years ago, more or less. That was a convenient justification for the company to mine its vast archives for significant recordings, launch yet another reissue...

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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