Stanley Dance

Stanley’s Contributions

James_p_johnson-parlor_piano_solos_from_rare_piano_rolls_span3

June 1999    Albums

Parlor Piano Solos From Rare Piano Rolls
James P. Johnson

James P. was one of the earliest jazz musicians "to command respect." He played a big role in the transition from ragtime to stride, and thence (hence) to jazz. His influence on Waller and Ellington was of immense significance, and his "Carolina Shout" was...

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June 1999    Albums

Wonderland
Benny Carter

Saxophonist Benny Green's admiring notes scarcely conceal regret at the changes time wrought on Benny Carter's fluent style-"a tendency to tongue more notes instead of playing extended legato passages, and a penchant for crotchet-triplets which had a way...

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June 1999    Books

Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles
Edited by Clora Bryant, Buddy Collette, William Green, Steven Isoardi, Jack Kelson, Horace Tapscott, Gerald Wilson & Marl Young

Together, these two books do a splendid job of filling a big gap in existing jazz histories, which tend to leave readers thinking of the West Coast as the province of Stan Kenton and white studio musicians. The wealth of interesting detail on the heyday...

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June 1999    Books

American Pop: From Minstrel to Mojo on Record 1893-1956
Allen Lowe

As though the history of jazz and blues were not now long and complicated enough, Allen Lowe views it here in relationship to that of American popular music as a whole. (So much for “America's classical music,” eh?) The result is decidedly entertaining...

June 1999    Books

Passion's Piano: The Eddie Heywood Story
Emilie Eklin Khair

This account of a musician's career is unusual in that it is primarily told by his widow, who, as Butch Thompson notes on the cover, “pulls no punches.” There are a lot of intimate scenes, romantic and domestic, but the extraordinary aspects of Eddie Heywood...

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June 1999    Books

In Paper, Briefly

Black Music by Leroi Jones (221 pp., Da Capo, $14.95) was first published in 1968. Thirty years later the book still has an immediacy from the fact that its author was listening to the “new music” in clubs and talking to the musicians. The severe opening...

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May 1999    Albums

Ultimate
Coleman Hawkins

Sonny Rollins has made such an excellent choice of titles for this "ultimate" collection that I feel quite apologetic. After he recorded with Hawkins in 1963, I remember telling the latter (in the Copper Rail bar during an intermission from the mirrored...

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May 1999    Albums

Live at the Sands
Count Basie

The Reprise CD consists of excerpts from Basie's opening sets at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1966. As a prelude to Frank Sinatra's "main event," these sets had to be delivered with maximum brilliance and impact. The strong personnCount Basie el at the...

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May 1999    Albums

Nite Life
Mary Lou Williams

This marvelous collection, recorded in 1971, does full justice to Mary Lou Williams. There are twenty-four performances of solo piano here, superior notes by her mentor, Father Peter O'Brien, S.J., and over thirty minutes of "jazzspeak," where she tells...

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May 1999    Albums

The Best of Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong

The title is hyperbolical, although this may well be the "best" Vanguard has. The two discs contain all or most of a 1965 concert at the Palais des Sports in Paris. Both Billy Kyles and Marty Napoleon are listed in the personnel as pianists and Eddie Shuree...

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April 1999    Albums

An American Icon
Louis Armstrong

This is a delightful collection of 60 recordings made between 1946 and 1954 and drawn from no less than ten different record labels. The selection by George Avakian, who wrote most of the accompanying 48-page booklet and produced some of the great sides...

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April 1999    Albums

The Blue Note Swingtets
The Blue Note Swingtets

The eighteen tracks in this set were recorded in 1944 and ‘46, before swing was dethroned. Five leaders were involved: Tiny Grimes and Benny Morton for two tracks each; John Hardee and Jimmy Hamilton for three each; and Ike Quebec for eight. Sandwiched...

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April 1999    Albums

The Legendary Small Groups, Vol. 1
Teddy Wilson

Having issued fourteen CDs in a "complete edition" of Billie Holiday and three of Teddy Wilson backing other girl singers, this French label now begins a project devoted primarily to instrumental recordings by Wilson. Can you beat that? It shows a genuine...

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April 1999    Albums

Spanish Eyes
Kenny Davern/Flip Phillips

As Gene Lees makes clear in his notes, there is escape from bebop. There's none of it here, or just a soupcon on one track from Phil Woods, who can't really help it, even if Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges were his earlier influences. But Phillips and Davern...

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April 1999    Albums

Live
Gene Harris and the Philip Morris All-Stars

I don't know how Gene Harris got to be leader of the Philip Morris All-Stars, because on the evidence here he appears to be a busy, somewhat bombastic player-and loud. There is, however, an increasing tendency for engineers with the new equipment to over...

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April 1999    Albums

Just Friends
Irving Stokes

Phil Schaap suggests in his notes that Irving Stokes may turn out to be the Doc Cheatham of the twenty-first century. Well, I first heard this trumpet player when Earl Hines played a return engagement with a big band at The Riverboat in NYC in 1967. He sounded...

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About Stanley Dance

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