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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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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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Four Brothers in Europe

By Armand Lewis In 1947, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre wrote a composition featuring a four-part harmony arrangement for the saxophone section of the Woody Herman Orchestra. Though Giuffre was not a member of Herman’s band ...
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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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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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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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