Stuart Nicholson

Stuart’s Contributions

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January/February 2006    Books

Bunny Berigan: Elusive Legend of Jazz
Robert Dupuis

There's a moment on Tommy Dorsey's RCA Victor recording of "Marie" when time seems to stand still. It's when trumpeter Bunny Berigan steps forward to the solo microphone after Jack Leonard's vocal and creates one of the memorable moments of the swing era...

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January/February 2006    Books

Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain
George McKay

As jazz was developing in the U.S., it was also acquiring other histories in other countries, which George McKay, a professor of cultural studies at the University of Salford, correctly attributes to the globalization of jazz: "Even in the parochial narrative...

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January/February 2006    Books

Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman: Two Kings of Jazz
Joshua Berrett

At one time, the mere mention of Paul Whiteman in jazz circles would be greeted with hoots of derision. But for anyone who cared to listen, the recorded evidence of some of Whiteman's 1920s output, most notably at a time when Bix Beiderbecke was a member...

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January/February 2006    Books

Paris Jazz: A Guide from the Jazz Age to the Present
Luke Miner

For all the furor that followed Ken Burns Jazz documentary, few if any of his critics objected to his setting the narrative exclusively within the borders of the United States. But almost from its beginnings, jazz was of the world, thanks to a burgeoning...

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January/February 2006    Books

The Parisian Jazz Chronicles
Mike Zwerin

Raconteur, wit, writer and sometime trombonist Mike Zwerin has written about jazz for the International Herald Tribune since 1979. He is very much the American in Paris, where, he says in Parisian Encounters, he is stuck, "Which was better than being stuck...

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May 2005    Overdue Ovation

Mike Westbrook: England's Dreamer

Pianist Mike Westbrook and his wife, vocalist Kate Westbrook, like to escape the London rat race to chill out in their cottage in Dawlish, situated on the southwest coast of England. Once the haunt of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, life in this picturesque...

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May 2005    Features

Tord Gustavsen: Quiet is the New Loud

Stuart Nicholson writes about the amazing pianist Tord Gustavsen, one of the latest in a long line of fine musicians ECM has plucked out of Norway. And Christopher Porter fills us in on the rest of the current Norwegian scene, which builds on ECM’s legacy...

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April 2004    Albums

Damaged in Transit
Steve Swallow

Damaged in Transit is in essence a pared-down version of bassist Steve Swallow's quintet that appeared on Always Pack Your Uniform On Top (Watt/ECM) from 2000. It dispenses with guitar and trumpet leaving just a trio of Swallow, Chris Potter on tenor saxophone...

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March 2004    Albums

These Times
Mike Stern

These Times is Mike Stern's debut on ESC after a long career on Atlantic that began with Upside Downside in 1986. It sees him consolidating a subtle change of direction. Where once he seemed to be attracted to the polar opposites of either the backbeat or...

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March 2004    Fusion

Munia/The Tale
Richard Bona

Heaven knows what Universal is up to these days. Under the patina of respectability afforded by its "heritage" signings (Wayne Shorter, Shirley Horn, Michael Brecker, etc), the company's real marketing push is on crossover sales, meaning jazz albums with...

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March 2004    Fusion

Mercury
Curlew

Curlew has been around since 1979, and its recorded legacy, if nothing else, reveals that being persistently iconoclastic is not easy. Mercury (Cuneiform) is the band's ninth album and quite possibly its best. Curlew's music has awkward edges, and Dean Granros...

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March 2004    Fusion

All That
Phill Miller's In Cahoots

In Cahoots has been around for a while now and comprises a collection of unique personalities associated with the British experimental rock scene of the '70s such as guitarist Phil Miller (Matching Mole, Hatfield & the North) and saxophonist Elton Dean...

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March 2004    Fusion

CAB4
CAB

Shades of the '70s are again apparent on CAB4 (Favored Nations), an album of well-executed, if delightfully superficial, electric jazz. Full of spectacular flourishes and ballsy solos, it has Brian Auger (of Trinity fame) on keyboards, drummer Dennis Chambers...

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March 2004    Fusion

Rebirth
Children On the Corner

Children on the Corner is a band of musicians associated with Miles Davis' electric period including Michael Henderson, Ndugu Chancler, Sonny Fortune, Badal Roy, Barry Finnerty plus keyboard player Michael Wolff (the only non-Miles man, though he's notched...

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March 2004    Fusion

All Night Wrong
Allan Holdsworth

Incredibly, All Night Wrong (Favored Nations) is Allan Holdsworth's first "official" live album, made at the Roppongi Pit Inn in Japan in May 2002, with two longtime collaborators, former Zappa drummer Chad Wackerman and bassist Jimmy Johnson. Holdsworth...

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March 2004    Fusion

Extraction
Greg Howe/Victor Wooten/Dennis Chambers

Greg Howe's Extraction (Tone Center) is fusion with a capital F, but not the sort that has had the blood sucked out of it. Instead it brings some of the adventurous spirit inherent in the original jazz-rock concept. It's an album of often-complicated heads...

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About Stuart Nicholson

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