Scott Yanow

Scott’s Contributions

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December 2009    Albums

The Comet’s Tail
Chuck Owen & The Surge

Michael Brecker was such a powerful and masterful tenor saxophonist that one does not think of him as a composer. However, with the release of The Comet’s Tail , a set of eight Brecker compositions, one can make the case that he was almost as innovative...

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April 2009    The Archivist

Classic OKeh & Columbia Benny Goodman

Comprehensive collections of the King of Swing

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April 2009    The Archivist

Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band
Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin

While pianist-arranger-composer Toshiko Akiyoshi headed a fine big band in New York after moving cross-country in 1982, the orchestra that she led in Los Angeles in the 1970s was arguably her greatest accomplishment. The three-CD Mosaic Select set Toshiko...

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April 2009    The Archivist

Bird in Time
Charlie Parker

In-depth surveys of Bird and Diz in the '40s

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April 2009    The Archivist

Zoot Sims With Bucky Pizzarelli
Zoot Sims With Bucky Pizzarelli

In the late 1970s and ’80s, Inner City was a label whose quality and quantity of releases were consistently impressive. Irv Kratka recorded and leased music that spanned from swing and Dixieland to bop, hard bop, fusion and unclassifiable mood music. Out...

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December 2008    The Archivist

Tatum Art
Art Tatum

Art Tatum had the ability to scare people, especially other pianists. The first time a young Oscar Peterson was played an Art Tatum record, he refused to play piano for months, feeling he could never measure up to Tatum’s level. When Hank Jones initially...

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December 2008    The Archivist

Jonah Jones at the Embers
Jonah Jones

From Mosaic Singles comes Jonah Jones’ At the Embers and George Wein Is Alive and Well in Mexico. Trumpeter Jones was one of the few swing-era survivors who became a major hit more than a decade after that era ended. He performed Dixieland, swing and pop...

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December 2008    The Archivist

Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Miles Davis

It’s back! Actually, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue has never gone away, yet it is regularly reissued, this time as Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Sony/Legacy). Should collectors purchase Kind of Blue for the fifth time? This new version...

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December 2008    The Archivist

To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story
Nina Simone

Nina Simone, a classically trained pianist and a very socially conscious singer and songwriter who fit into her own unique musical category, was of greatest interest to the jazz world during the period (1957-73) that is emphasized on the three-CD/one-DVD...

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December 2008    The Archivist

Live at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival
Shirley Horn

The second batch of music drawn from the Monterey Jazz Festival and released by MJF Records includes a few real winners. Fairly conventional are Shirley Horn’s Live at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival (although I will always remember how the boisterous crowd...

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December 2008    The Archivist

Giants of the Big Band Era
Benny Goodman

The Acrobat Music label has been leasing and putting out vintage jazz from a variety of sources. Of its most recent eight sets, Benny Goodman’s Giants of the Big Band Era includes 18 studio recordings that made the charts during 1935-46 (no great surprises...

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October 2008    The Archivist

Fleischmann’s Yeast Show & Louis’ Home-Recorded Tapes
Louis Armstrong

One of Louis Armstrong’s favorite hobbies was taping things that interested him, including his own performances, his thoughts and sometimes historic events and the music of others. When he died in 1971, Armstrong left behind an extensive collection of tapes...

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October 2008    The Archivist

Eight Bar Riff ’43-’50
Harry James

The U.K.-based Hep label has been steadily reissuing valuable swing-era recordings (in addition to recording new sessions) since 1974. Its most recent batch contains a few gems. Although criticized by some for his pop hits, Harry James was one of the great...

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October 2008    The Archivist

Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus in Sweden
Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus

The Swedish Oktav label has two recent reissues of strong interest. Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus in Sweden includes four selections featuring Bird (formerly out on a Xanadu LP) and three with altoist Arne Domnerus in his place on the same day. Recorded...

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October 2008    The Archivist

Here ’Tis
Lou Donaldson

Most of the vintage Blue Note catalog has now been reissued, although one hopes that Mosaic will eventually compile a box by the Three Sounds. Two former rarities that have returned recently are altoist Lou Donaldson’s Here ’Tis, a highly enjoyable quartet...

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October 2008    The Archivist

Whippin’ the Keys
Wally Rose

Bob Koester’s Delmark label may be most famous for its groundbreaking AACM recordings and its important blues dates, but it has also reflected Koester’s interest in early jazz, ragtime and bop. Wally Rose, best known for his playing with Lu Watters’ Yerba...

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About Scott Yanow

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Scott Yanow has been writing about all eras and genres of jazz since 1975, for all varieties of outlets: From major publications to obscure magazines and the omnipotent All Music Guide, Yanow’s byline pops up everywhere. He has also written over 500 liner notes and countless press biographies and is the author of nine books, including Jazz On Film, Trumpet Kings and Jazz On Record 1917-76.