Brian Gilmore

Brian’s Contributions


05/03/10    Albums

The New World
Bradley Parker-Sparrow

I have a few friends and associates from the world of spoken word/poetry who have heard of Bradley Parker Sparrow’s latest album, The New World . They note that Parker-Sparrow, the Chicago born pianist and composer, does take chances on The New World mostly...


04/15/10    Albums

Chris Greene Quartet

A confession: an Ellington fanatic like me went straight to Track #6 when I put on the latest release by the Chris Greene Quartet. Track #6 is Billy Strayhorn’s “Lotus Blossom,” a song that Duke Ellington immortalized in a piano solo version after Strayhorne’s...


04/15/10    Albums

Horns of Plenty
Jeff Chan

On “Up Above,” the first track on Jeff Chan’s latest release, Horns of Plenty , that old jazz theory about the silence between the notes being most important is on display. This is because Chan, the Bay area based saxophonist, and bass clarinetist, uses...


03/16/10    Books

I Walked With Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath

Brian Gilmore reviews the autobiography of saxophonist Jimmy Heath, a true survivor.


03/05/10    Books

The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music
Richard Williams

In Richard Williams’ The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music , Williams accomplishes two very difficulty things. First, he proves that despite books and other writings about the Miles Davis classic, there is still so much...


01/25/10    Albums

Serious Jass Project
Ralph Carney

As far as I am concerned, saxophonist, Ralph Carney has three things going to him no matter what. First, he has played extensively with Tom Waits, one of my all time favorite characters in popular music. Second, he is from Akron, home of poets, Van Jordan...


01/25/10    Albums


Three men. Three instruments. Cornet, Tuba, Guitar. It would seem these instruments do not even go together. However, Varistar, a trio, is ambitious and courageous because even recordings with more modern instrumentation have problems filling up the space...


01/05/10    Albums

Transition in Tradition (En hommage a Sidney Bechet)
Courtney Pine

England’s Courtney Pine is always trying the music. Years ago, when he took a chance and dipped heavily into dance hall beats on his Closer to Home release, some traditionalists cried foul. But Pine, reaching for his personal roots, played powerful on Closer...


01/05/10    Albums

Kobie Watkins

Drummers as leaders often have a difficult time putting their imprint on recordings. Chico Hamilton, the L.A. legend and giant, is the model for today’s drummers. Chicago’s Kobie Watkins on his album, “Involved” takes the leadership idea seriously. He plays...


12/01/09    Books

Last Call at the Tin Palace
Paul Pines

As is the case with poetry with connections to jazz (music), the possibilities, as the cliché goes, are endless. Yet, it is true; poetry is “word music” and good poets, and Paul Pines (Pines is also a novelist and a New York based psychotherapist) is one...


12/01/09    Books

The Jazz Fiction Anthology
Sascha Feinstein & David Rife

Brian Gilmore reviews recent anthology of fiction dedicated to jazz.


12/01/09    Books

Race, Music, and National Identity: Images of Jazz in American Fiction 1920-1960
Paul McCann

Paul McCann is a scholar, and a Literature scholar at that who does not necessarily come to music naturally in his work. But McCann knows literature and American culture, and he attempts very well to bring jazz and fiction together in Race, Music, and National...


12/01/09    Books

The Life and Music of Benny More: Wildman of Rhythm
John Radanovich

Until many read John Radanovich’s biography of Benny More, the late Cuban superstar, they will begin to understand the importance of African strains to jazz music and most of the other music forms that dominate the Americas. It is all here. You will learn...


12/01/09    Books

Highbrow/Lowbrow: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class
David Savran

Of all the sections in Highbrow/Lowbrow:Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class , the section that discusses the legendary American composer George Gershwin followed by a very succinct and compelling account of the groundbreaking black musical...


10/15/09    Books

Thriving on a Riff: Jazz and Blues Influences in African-American Literature and Film
Graham Lock and David Murray

Two anthologies look at the relationship between jazz and the arts


10/15/09    Books

Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa
Ingrid Monson

Book examines relationship between jazz and the Civil Rights movement in the '60s

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About Brian Gilmore