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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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blue-note-jazz

Blue Note: Strong at 75

Alfred Lion Founded The Pioneering Jazz Label in 1939; Today, The label Celebrates Its Rich History With Numerous Re-releases Of Classic Recordings by Armand Lewis ~ Today, independent record labels are the norm rather than the...
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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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montgomery-top

Wes Montgomery: Indiana Tapes

Bebop And Beyond By Armand Lewis efore the advent of digital recording and file sharing, if musicians wanted to be signed by record labels, they would go to a studio and record what was known as a demo tape, which would then be...
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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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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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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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Hank Mobley

Hank Mobley: Newark 1953

HANK MOBLEY: NEWARK 1953 By Armand Lewis There are extremely talented artists in all creative fields who do not get adequate recognition during their lifetimes. Other artists are modestly successful during their lives, but thei...
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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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