George Kanzler

George’s Contributions

Richmond071812_span3

March 2008    Albums

Live at Cafe Metropol
Kim Richmond Ensemble

West Coast small bands seem to enjoy arrangements with structure and routines more than the rough-and-tumble favored by Big Apple groups. This sextet, led by saxophonist and composer/arranger Kim Richmond, even manages to make a head arrangement called at...

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January/February 2008    Albums

Cocktails for Two
Harry Allen/Joe Temperley

Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen may have been born in the mid-1960s, but his atavistic jazz heart is in the 1950s. Stretch that decade a little on both sides to have what some critics and many older fans nostalgically recall as jazz’s golden age. It was the...

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January/February 2008    Albums

The Lost Tapes, Vol. 1
Maynard Ferguson

In 1967 and 1968, before his big pop hits of the early 1970s like “MacArthur Park,” Maynard Ferguson led a mostly British big band in England. Ernie Garside, who played trumpet in and managed the group at points during its existence, also owned a club in...

Bennycarter_span3

December 2007    Albums

Just Friends
Mel Martin/Benny Carter Quintet

Benny Carter died in the summer of 2003, just over four years before his centennial anniversary. During his long life, the protean Carter recorded in nine different decades on a half-dozen different instruments, led big bands in America and Europe, was an...

199908_062_span3

11/05/07    Concerts

Detroit International Jazz Festival

The influence of instrumentalists on vocalists has long been chronicled in jazz lore, but that of vocalists on instrumentalists has rarely been acknowledged. But you only had to hear violinist Regina Carter (pictured) at the 28th annual Detroit International...

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November 2007    Albums

Don’t Misunderstand
Etta Jones & Houston Person

For the over 30 years they worked together (Jones died in 2001), the billing was actually Houston and Etta, and the tenor saxophonist and vocalist achieved a rare collaborative synergy akin to that celebrated in Lester Young and Billie Holiday. They did...

Maria_schneider-sky_blue_span3

November 2007    Albums

Sky Blue
Maria Schneider Orchestra

Maria Schneider’s imagination is as expansive as the wide vistas of the American prairie where she grew up. She doesn’t write tunes or songs; she composes jazz orchestral pieces that stretch or outreach song forms. The expansiveness of her artistic vision...

Jazzimage_tanner_span3

November 2007    Books

The Jazz Image: Masters of Jazz Photography
Lee Tanner

Sometimes music isn’t enough by itself. We crave more information, more insights and more intimacy with the artists whose music we enjoy. It’s the same with all the arts; why else would we have celebrity media coverage, the E! Network or even the publication...

Conniecrothers_musicisplace_span3

July/August 2007    Albums

Music is a Place
Connie Crothers Quartet

They may have started as members of the Lennie Tristano school of jazz, but the members of this highly evolved and polished quartet, as much a collective as the band of pianist Crothers, has ventured far beyond the tenets of Tristano. They take liberties...

Jeff_healy__span3

July/August 2007    Albums

Among Friends
Jeff Healey

Jeff Healey broke out on the pop charts back in 1988, barely out of his teens, with the Top 5 “Angel Eyes” (John Hiatt’s, not Matt Dennis’) to become Canada’s leading blues-rocker. But the blind guitarist-singer had grown up listening to, and collecting...

Trovesi_petrin_maras-vaghissimo_ritratto_span3

July/August 2007    Albums

Vaghissimo Ritratto
Gianluigi Trovesi/Umberto Petrin/Fulvio Maras

If ever there was a stereotypical ECM album, this is it. Don’t even think of trying to listen to it in your pickup truck; it doesn’t work. You’ll need a good home-audio system and ambient quiet to hear and appreciate the lonely-room, echoey quality of the...

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June 2007    Features

Swing @ Sea: Jazz Cruises

You don’t get to see two veteran octogenarian trumpet players trading licks very often, but there were Clark Terry and Snooky Young, riding out on top of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (Young is the big band’s senior member) in the Vista Lounge showroom...

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April 2007    Overdue Ovation

Jay Leonhart: Overdue Ovation

It was one for the books: 13 bass players lined up onstage in the showroom of the Holland America Line’s ms Oosterdam during the Jazz Cruise in October, to play an arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown” rechristened “Sweet Ray Brown” in honor of the departed...

Whitfield_span3

January/February 2007    Albums

Live at Charlie O's
Scott Whitfield Quintet

Trombonist, arranger and leader of the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, which had a long-running weekly spot at Birdland earlier this decade, Whitfield made the reverse migration from the Big Apple to Los Angeles in 2002. This album was recorded at a North...

Javon_jackson-now_span3

December 2006    Albums

Now
Javon Jackson

Not quite “smooth jazz,” but pretty easy listening nonetheless, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson’s Now recalls the 1970s heyday of producer Creed Taylor’s CTI label, when Taylor put an R&B or funk-pop sheen on recordings by some of the top jazz musicians...

Seanjones_span3

November 2006    Albums

Roots
Sean Jones

It’s not surprising that Wynton Marsalis recently chose Sean Jones as lead trumpet for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Jones is a consummate musician with a rich tone and brilliant articulation. But it’s also hard to imagine there being a Sean Jones—a...

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About George Kanzler

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George Kanzler has been a jazz and pop staff writer for 33 years at the Star-Ledger.