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charlie parker strings

Charlie Parker and Strings

Bebop and Beyond By Armand Lewis Several generations of musicians did not regard themselves as having “made it” until they recorded an album with a string orchestra. In the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, this symbolized not only...
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Grant Green

Grant Green

THE HOLY BARBARIAN By Armand Lewis Nightclubs come and nightclubs go. Troubles with rents, liquor licenses, attracting enough patrons to cover the overhead and pay the performers and staff are all understandable reasons for hig...
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61EZeCCTmJL._SL1200_

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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bobby-broom

Bobby Broom

BACK TO BASICS By Armand Lewis When people listen to records, they think they are hearing just that — a documentation of an actual performance. But this has not really been the case with most popular music since the 1960s. Wi...
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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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dizzy-gillespie

Jazz Ambassador

Dizzy Gillespie by Armand Lewis In the early 1950s, with the Cold War heating up to a fevered pitch, rhetoric on both the U.S. and Soviet sides ratcheted up the propaganda as well as the weaponry, with literally every aspect of...
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Jaki Byard and Tommy Flanagan

Piano Magic

Tommy Flanagan and Jaki Byard By Armand Lewis usic may be the universal language, but jazz is a conversation — a conversation between the musicians as well as with the audience. A special subset of these musical conversations...
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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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coltrane-featured

Coltrane’s Latest Offering

BEBOP AND BEYOND by Armand Lewis~ In what turned out to be the last years before John Coltrane’s untimely death in 1967, the tenor saxophonist discarded the bebop and modal styles that defined such classic albums such as Blue...
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