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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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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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Jackie McLean

Jackie McLean

SUGAR FREE By Armand Lewis There was a time when jazz musicians learned their instruments and developed their styles relatively informally. Family members and neighbors, private teachers, grade school and high school music clas...
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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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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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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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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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Bill Evans K

Bill Evans – On a Monday in ’76

Bebop and Beyond By Armand Lewis In 1976, pianist Bill Evans was settled into what would come to be known as his great 1970s trio. Yet, the group would be together for just two years. While his bassist Eddie Gomez had been with...
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Howard McGhee

Howard McGhee West Coast

By Armand Lewis Historians have dated the dawn of modern jazz in Los Angeles to December 10, 1945: The opening night of the Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie Quintet at Billy Berg’s nightclub in Hollywood. While this date mark...
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