Charlie Christian

charlie christian

Charlie Christian brought electric guitar to the forefront of jazz. Today, when electric guitar is so commonplace with distortion, synthesizers and other effects, it’s challenging to imagine the great strides he made. Passing away at the age of 25, Christian left an impression that has lasted through the present day. His contributions to the development […]

Small Group Jazz Performances: Part III


Read Part II.  The time period of 1945-1965 contains four distinct stylistic shifts– bebop, cool jazz, hard bop and the free jazz styles that include literally hundreds of noteworthy performances. Choosing prime examples from what has been recorded is always a difficult task, but here are five as we continue in our series of essential recordings in […]

Small Group Jazz Performances: Part II


Read Part I . Here are four more important small group jazz performances in recorded history. Lennie Tristano: Wow (Capitol, 1949) Lennie Tristano: piano, Warne Marsh: tenor saxophone, Lee Konitz: alto saxophone, Billy Bauer: guitar, Arnold Fishkin: bass, Harold Granowsky: drums. Recorded March 4, 1949 in New York, NY. Lennie Tristano was a revolutionary pianist […]

Small Group Jazz Performances: Part I


This entry begins a series on small group performances in jazz history which are milestones for fans, and musicians. Many styles will be represented along with brief descriptions and personnel. Jazz At the Philharmonic: How High The Moon (Clef/Norgran, 1947) Buck Clayton: trumpet, Flip Phillips, Coleman Hawkins :tenor saxophone, Willie Smith: alto saxophone, Trummy Young: […]

Charlie Parker


Very few artists in jazz have had the impact of Charlie “Bird” Parker. “Bird” changed the music dramatically, and like so many innovators did so in a short burst of time. There have not been many alto saxophonists since Bird, who haven’t used him as a model– among them, Jackie McLean, Lou Donaldson, Julian “Cannonball” […]

Marc Mommaas’ “Irreversible Momentum” by CJ Shearn

marc mommaas

Marc Mommaas is a multifaceted saxophonist, and jazz educator who is free of boundaries; freedom is the very essence of this music we call jazz. In 2009 he co-founded New York Jazz Workshop School of Music and Marc’s generous spirit has contributed mightily to the school’s mission of affordable jazz education. Mommaas was born in […]

Bud Powell


The shift from swing to bebop was heavily changing the jazz landscape, the music ceased popularity with a mainstream audience. One of the leaders in the new bebop style was the brilliant pianist Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell. Born in Harlem, on September 27, 1924, in a relatively brief amount of time, Powell added enormously to […]

Alexander Technique for Musicians

Frederick Matthias Alexander

Have you ever heard of the Alexander Technique? Maybe a colleague took a class while studying music at a university, or perhaps someone you know took it to help ease some sort of chronic pain. Have you ever wondered what the Alexander Technique can specifically do to help you, a musician? The Alexander Technique deals […]

Talking about “Kin” (<-->) with Pat Metheny: by CJ Shearn


Pat Metheny has been one of the greatest musicians in jazz or any other genre over the past 30 plus years. The guitarist has done what every great musician should do: create their own voice and add to the grammar of a music ever expanding. He has won an unprecedented 20 Grammy awards while being […]

Miles Davis 50 Years Ago : My Funny Valentine


A little appreciation of February 12th, and not just because it’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. On that date in 1964, Miles Davis recorded at Avery Fisher Hall in New York, with tenor saxophonist George Coleman, Herbie Hancock on piano, bassist Ron Carter and 17 year old Tony Williams. The performance yielded two classic LP’s dividing up […]

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