It seems banal to say of an artist that he was a nice person with a great sense of humour. But every comment about Jim Hall, following his death at 83, has emphasised his personal qualities. The veteran bassist Bill Crow described Hall as "A dear friend, a great musician, and one of the best laughers I've ever known. Early in the days of knowing him, he laughed so hard at something [Bob] Brookmeyer and I were saying that he dislocated his left shoulder." Not the best outcome for a guitarist.
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Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre: Saxophonist and composer who fought drug problems to forge an acclaimed career in jazz's black avant-garde
Wednesday 27 November 2013
The prison house is a tough school but it saved the young Maurice McIntyre and reconnected him with music. In the late 1960s McIntyre became one of the most passionate and articulate spokesmen of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and an exponent of fiery but spacious "spirit jazz".
Wednesday 02 October 2013
Amy Dickson, the Australian musician who elevated the saxophone from the nightclub to the concert hall, has been named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Brits, marking the first victory for the instrument.
Wednesday 31 July 2013
Using the pseudonym William Mysterious, Alastair Donaldson played saxophone and bass guitar with the Scottish punk band the Rezillos. Combining a sci-fi, day-glo aesthetic, references to Thunderbirds and The Flintstones, and a fast, fun take on 1960s beat music, the group burst on to the Edinburgh scene in January 1977 and later that year signed to Seymour Stein's Sire Records, the home of New York punk-pioneers the Ramones and Richard Hell. Credited as Mysterious on their exuberant debut Can't Stand the Rezillos, which made the Top 20 in August 1978, Donaldson left before the band appeared on Top of the Pops to promote their paean to the very same television show but returned to contribute to their swansong release, Mission Accomplished... But the Beat Goes On, recorded live at the Glasgow Apollo on 23 December 1978.
Saturday 08 June 2013
Appalled by the synthetic-sounding CDs available, bassist and new dad Michael Janisch decided to create his own: a now five-disc selection of "slow and relaxing" jazz lullabies performed on real instruments by real musicians to soothe and educate wombers to pre-schoolers.
Saturday 04 May 2013
When he played Falstaff at the Globe, and the weather turned nasty, Roger Allam sidestepped nimbly into a bit of King Lear (“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks…you cataracts and hurricanoes, spout”).
Friday 03 May 2013
Kings Place, London
Saturday 27 April 2013
Louis Armstrong singing spiritual-jazz anthem "The Creator Has a Masterplan" (and sounding great) is one of the more bizarre experiences on this neat compendium of black consciousness from the vaults of Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label.
Thursday 25 April 2013
Propeller Arts is an all-male-troupe, which is unusual in itself when gender-blind casting in Shakespeare is on the rise and more women are taking leading male roles.
Friday 01 February 2013
'Garfield's a cool cat. He'd play the saxophone really well...'
Tuesday 29 January 2013
Whoever came up with the Top 10 list of celebrities reading sections of 50 Shades of Grey REALLY knows what makes the internet tick. It's gold-dust. (So thank you, Flavourwire's Emily Temple.)
Saturday 15 December 2012
YolanDa Brown won two Mobo jazz awards and topped the charts. Yet, she tells Emily Jupp, music still has to compete with racing-cars and a PhD
Friday 07 December 2012
The Playhouse needed to do something special to match last Christmas’s feelgood revival of Annie. But Ian Brown, making a speedy return as director to the house he left just this year after more than a decade at its artistic helm, comes within a mole’s whisker of achieving that formidable goal.
Saturday 01 December 2012
No regrets as Scott's strange sounds prove addictive
Monday 19 November 2012
The young giants who gathered round Charlie Parker to reconfigure jazz in 1940s New York are nearly all gone.
Friday 19 October 2012
Anyone still ready to dismiss Hot Chip as geeks or middle-class ironists would be disabused of that notion as soon as the south London five-piece appear.
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