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sophisticated

The Resurgence of Dexter Gordon

BY ARMAND LEWIS FOR A MUSICIAN WHO passed away in 1990, Dexter Gordon has been extremely busy lately. 2018 saw the release of not only a new biography, but multiple LPs and CDs of previously unreleased material – a series of...
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Wynton Kelly Lost in Boston

BY ARMAND LEWIS In the 1950s and early ‘60s, Miles Davis had the band in modern jazz. If a musician played with Miles, it was practically automatic that record contracts would follow almost immediately. John Coltrane, Bill Ev...
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John Coltrane

John Coltrane’s Pivotal Year

BY ARMAND LEWIS AT THE END OF 1957, JOHN Coltrane had gotten his act together. Having lost his position with Miles Davis’ quintet in early 1957 due to a debilitating narcotics addiction, a newly clean and sober Coltrane woul...
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Moondog — On the Sidewalks of New York

BY ARMAND LEWIS LOUIS HARDIN WORE MANY hats: composer, poet, street musician and in the words of composers Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, “the founder of minimalism.” But Hardin’s favorite hat was a leather Viking helmet...
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Stan Getz, tenor saxophonist at Kastrup Airport CPH, Copenhagen 1958-09-10. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Stan Getz at Cafe Montmartre

By Armand Lewis The 1950s and early ‘60s may have been the greatest era of jazz, but it was not that great for many of the American musicians who played it. The difficulties the working jazz musician faced included the preval...
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Oscar Peterson Plays and Plays and Plays…

By Armand Lewis During the first half of the Twentieth Century, the heart of the music business was not the performer, but the composer. Recording stars, Radio, Broadway and Hollywood musicals were almost completely dependent ...
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Lester Young

Lester Young — The Complete President

BY ARMAND LEWIS PAST GENERATIONS OF Americans were fond of giving nicknames to their friends and peers. From “Honest Abe” Lincoln, to Julius “Groucho” Marx, nicknames were used to celebrate someone by highlighting a pe...
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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-bley

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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