She’s been successful at jazz, pop, R&B, television and radio, but Nancy Wilson is sometimes dismissed as an artist because of her commercial appeal. But at 67, and with the new R.S.V.P. album on the shelves,Wilson is content with her place in the music world. Christopher Loudon tracks her success-and states her case as being one of the all-time singers.
Baltimore pianist Lafayette Gilchrist summarizes his musical approach this way: “I got this from David [Murray] and he got it from Ornette [Coleman]: ‘Jazz is … Read More “Lafayette Gilchrist”
He’s the boy wonder of jazz at the moment, but, unlike so many buzz-generating young artists, the 24-year-old Englishman Jamie Cullum has all the skills and charm to be around for a long, long time. The pianist-vocalist’s U.S. debut, Twentysomething (Verve), is already earning big sales and even bigger raves-even from the cynics. Christopher Loudon reports.
This guitarist is going to spend 2004 forgetting 2003. Last year John Abercrombie’s house burned to the ground; this year he and his quartet are burning on the new CD Class Trip (ECM). David Adler recounts the harrowing tale of Abercrombie’s personal loss and artistic gains.
Jamaica is known for sunny beaches, Red Stripe and reggae. But the music that Bob Marley made famous around the world has its roots in an early 1960s phenomenon known as ska-a mix of Jamaican folk music and American jump-jazz with the off-beat rhythms emphasized. The musicians who created ska were steeped in jazz and played in big bands or small combos on the island. Christopher Porter talks to some of the biggest names from ska’s heyday, such as Ernest Ranglin, the Skatalites and Monty Alexander, and gets the scoop on how jazz and American R&B helped form the Sound of Young Jamaica.
While not the first bossa-jazz crossover, the 1962 album by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, Jazz Samba, is credited with sparking the bossa-nova boom in America. There are many tales about who conceived this album-Was it Getz? Was it Byrd? Was it producer Creed Taylor?-but rarely are the names of drummer Buddy Deppenschmidt and bassist Keter Betts mentioned. If you ask them, however, you’ll hear a different story. David Adler digs deep to find out the truth behind Jazz Samba.
Lifelong friends and occasional collaborators, saxophonist Charles Lloyd and drummer Billy Higgins are kindred spirits. With the death of Higgins in 2001, it seemed like we had heard the last of their special musical bond-but a new ECM album of home-recorded duets has surfaced. Ashley Kahn writes about Lloyd and Higgins’ everlasting connection.
As a member of the Jazz Composers Collective and the Herbie Nichols Project, pianist Frank Kimbrough has garnered rave reviews from the critics-even though he’s remained relatively unknown to the public. Perhaps Kimbrough’s new album on Palmetto will change that and people will come to know the man Andrew Hill calls “one of the few meaningful artists of our time.” Nate Chinen reports.
He’s played his way to the top of the smooth-jazz charts, but did you know that soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows has ridden his way to the top of a French mountainside? Brian Soergel tracks his trail.