David French

David’s Contributions

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December 2006    Features

Madeleine Peyroux: Discreet Charm

After releasing the wildly successful album Careless Love in 2004, this smoky-voiced chanteuse is poised for even greater sales and acclaim with Half the Perfect World, her latest. She talks to David French about growing up in Brooklyn and Paris, cutting...

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11/18/06    Concerts

Sounds of South Africa

This concert was a mixed-bag presentation designed to encourage tourism to South Africa and raise money to bring more South African musicians to the States. The opening acts—dance troupe Juxtapower, followed by singer Khanyo backed by the Soweto String Quartet—provided...

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September 2006    Features

Wynton Marsalis: Reflections on New York

Wynton Marsalis came to New York as a teenager to attend Juilliard. In the decades since he's become the public face of jazz in the city. The renowned trumpeter looks back and shares his reflections with David French.

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September 2006    Features

Big Swing Central: Big Bands in the Big Apple

Despite the challenges of keeping a big band afloat, several groups in New York are thriving. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been going strong for 40 years while bands such as the Millennial Territory Orchestra present a contemporary sound. David French...

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08/02/06    Concerts

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival 2006

A trip to Davenport, Iowa to attend the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival is as much a pilgrimage and an immersion in the Bix cult as it is a musical event. Each year the faithful gather from around the world—as they have for 35 years now—to...

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July/August 2006    Books

Someone To Watch Over Me: The Life and Music of Ben Webster
Frank Büchmann-Møller

Ben Webster always knew the right people. He grew up opposite boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson in Kansas City, met Mary Lou Williams as a teenager and went to college with Horace Henderson, Fletcher’s brother. He didn’t pick up the saxophone until he was...

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July/August 2006    News

Bix Beiderbecke: A Cure for the "Davenport Blues"?

It was 75 years ago this summer that Bix Beiderbecke, the bright-burning cornetist who created some of the greatest jazz records of the 1920s, blew his last chimelike notes and passed into legend at age 28. Though it has been discussed for decades, plans...

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06/18/06    Concerts

New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

Ornette Coleman walked onstage carrying his white plastic alto and wearing a cobalt blue suit, with a silvery white tie and black short-brim hat. With him were the members of his quartet—bassists Tony Falanga and Greg Cohen, drummer Denardo Coleman and an...

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About David French

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David French is a native New Yorker and currently lives in Brooklyn.

“I first got heavily into jazz [by listening to] the big bands of the 1930s,” French says. “The charge you get from sitting a few feet away from a driving big band is still one of the great perks of life in New York.”

French also writes for Down Beat, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Paste and The Mississippi Rag.