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Joe Pass, 1974
Wikimedia Commons, Hans Bernhard (Schnobby)

Joe Pass – Encore in ’64

BY ARMAND LEWIS It’s often said that practice makes perfect. There are few better examples of that fact than the music of guitarist Joe Pass. At his father’s insistence, Pass practiced for roughly six hours a day starti...
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Hayden and Bley’s Last Protest, Time/Life

BY ARMAND LEWIS JAZZ IS NOT NORMALLY considered to be protest music. By their nature, songs of protest or political struggle require lyrics. Being a predominantly instrumental form, jazz cannot express musically what can be ex...
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Sonny Rollins Goes Way Out West

By Armand Lewis In the 1860s, New York Trib-une editor Horace Greeley saw the opening and settlement of the American West as an unprecedented opportunity and famously wrote in an editorial “Go West, young man.” One hundred ...
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thelonius

Thelonious Monk and the Dawn of the LP

By Armand Lewis In 1948, two major forces in recorded music were unleashed on the record buying public. Columbia Records had finally perfected the Long Playing (LP) vinyl record — a technological breakthrough which would libe...
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Chet Baker, 1983. Wikimedia Commons, Michiel Hendryckx

Chet Baker in Germany, 1979

By Armand Lewis There have been few lives as tortured, yet so prolific as Chet Baker’s. The lyrical trumpeter with the choirboy voice would record literally hundreds of albums while spending much of his life dealing with the ...
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Slim Gaillard – Jazz’s Wandering Comedian

By Armand Lewis Bulee “Slim” Gaillard was a true character. Self-taught, extroverted, a true globe-trotting hipster before the concept of “hip” really existed, Gaillard’s songs, infectious humor and self-invented jive...
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Henderson and Bartz, Spiritualizing the ‘70s

By Armand Lewis In the late 1960s, jazz was in a severe slump and was beginning to re-define itself in a search for a more youthful audience. While some players like Miles Davis embraced a fusion of jazz, electronics and rock, ...
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Monk and Coltrane – Definitive Performances

By Armand Lewis There are very few jazz composers who, when you hear their work, you know instantly whose tune you are hearing. Soloists may be easily identified by their individual sound or style, but as composers, very few ar...
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Kessel Jazz Mill_k

Kessel, The Original Wrecking Crew

The recent documentary film The Wrecking Crew chronicles the musicians of the 1960s and ’70s who appeared on literally thousands of pop and rock recordings, contributing not only the musical backing, but also countless mu...
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