Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine


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choice cuts features a CD review from Ross Porter’s The Essential Jazz Recordings (McClelland & Stewart, 2006).

In this section

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk: I Talk With the Spirits

The sax player and flautist Roland Kirk unjustly earned a reputation for being gimmicky because of his eccentric, often bizarre appearance on stage and because he played as many as three instruments in his mouth at once. His stature is worth defending because Kirk was an innovative soloist and an entertaining performer who was well […]

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Artie Shaw: Highlights from Self Portrait

“The King of Swing,” Artie Shaw, was one of the most colourful and popular jazz musicians in the 1930s and 1940s. Shaw was also opinionated, litigious, and cantankerous, but more importantly he possessed a brilliant mind and was a gifted musician. He was married eight times, and his wives included Betty Kern (the daughter of […]

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Mose Allison: Allison Wonderland

Listening to Mose Allison’s music properly is an exercise in alertness. He draws on jazz, R&B, and country music to come up with his sound. Lyrically, he has the intellectual flair of a beat poet and satirist combined. His voice sounds southern, hip, and uncomplicated. Allison has fans around the world, but in Britain it […]

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Duke Ellington (1899-1974): Ellington at Newport 1956

Duke Ellington is one of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century. He refused to recognize boundaries of any kind and created a staggering body of work that includes three thousand compositions and two thousand records. Born in 1899 in Washington, D.C., Edward Kennedy Ellington grew up to be tall, handsome, and a […]

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Quincy Jones (b. 1933): Walking in Space

Quincy Jones’s story is extraordinary. He started in the 1950s as a jazz musician playing the trumpet and as a freelance arranger and became a mogul and one of the most sought-after record producers in the world. He has defied the boundary lines for music genres because he sees it as a whole. In August […]

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Lennie Tristano (1919-73) Lennie Tristano

Pianist Lennie Tristano was born in Chicago in 1919 at the peak of the influenza pandemic that infected much of the world. The ‘flu came close to killing Tristano in his first year but instead it left him blind. His mother, a pianist and opera singer, taught him to play piano, and at a school […]

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Oliver Nelson (1932–75): Blues and the Abstract Truth

Oliver Nelson was a versatile arranger, composer, and saxophonist who is best known for composing the classic “Stolen Moments.” He was a hobby model railroader who made the best of many of the opportunities presented to him. In 1961, he played with Louis Jordan’s big band, followed by a stint in the Navy and four […]

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Chet Baker (1929-88) The Last Great Concert: My Favourite Songs, Vols. I & II

Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. had movie-star good looks, a breathy, spine-tingling singing voice, and produced a warm melancholy sound on the trumpet. He was an enormously gifted musician who, for almost his entire adult life, put getting high on heroin above everything else. Chet never had a bank account; he always kept all of […]

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Oscar Peterson (1925-2007): Night Train

Although already known in Canada, the name Oscar Peterson wasn’t widely recognized elsewhere until Norman Granz presented him to the rest of the world in a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert at Carnegie Hall in 1949. That dazzling performance launched his stunning soar to the top, where he has remained unchallenged ever since. In Gene […]

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Jimmy Smith (1925-2005): The Sermon

Jimmy Smith playing his Hammond B3 organ was a remarkable sight. As he moved his feet over the bass pedals, hammered chords with his left hand, and hovered over the high notes with his right, he made a jubilant sound that blended jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, bebop, and even gospel into an exhilarating stew […]

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Benny Goodman (1909-86) The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert

David Goodman, a Jewish immigrant from Hungary who worked in the Chicago stockyards, died in an accident when his son, Benny, was just sixteen. The trauma of losing his hardworking father only hardened Goodman’s resolve to make a success of himself, and today is he universally regarded as the epitome of clarinet players. As a […]

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Milt Jackson (1923–99): Ain’t But a Few of Us Left

Ain’t But a Few of Us Left is one of the best albums Milt “Bags” Jackson ever recorded. It is billed as a Jackson CD, but it is less about him than an encounter of four masters: Jackson on vibes, Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Grady Tate on drums. It is […]

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Bill Charlap (1966–): Stardust

Bill Charlap is the best pianist to emerge in jazz since the mid-1990s. He is an astonishing player who has taken the best of what all the great jazz pianists have had to say and incorporated it into his own playing. This has made him a pianist with the chops to move the music any […]

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Rob McConnell (1935–2010): Our 25th Year

Rob McConnell is one of the larger-than-life figures in Canadian jazz. He’s crusty, comical, and a musical triple threat, for he is an exceedingly gifted valve trombonist, arranger, and composer. For most of his professional life he has lived in Toronto, with the exception of a brief time in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. […]

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choice cuts Cannonball Adderley (1928-75): The Best of Cannonball Adderley, The Capitol Years

Cannonball Adderley was an affable, good-natured guy, and a great, folksy communicator. The blues-based tone he found on his alto saxophone was distinctive and helped to define the hard bop sound, a more intense, more melodic evolution from bebop. He was liked and respected by other musicians; he even played on Miles Davis’s influential Kind […]

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Tony Bennett / Bill Evans: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album

It was jazz singer Annie Ross who first proposed pairing the singer’s singer Tony Bennett with Bill Evans, the most emotionally evocative pianist of them all. There was just one problem: Evans almost always worked alone. In his autobiography, Bennett says he was surprised when Ross suggested the collaboration because Evans rarely recorded with singers […]

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Horace Silver (1928 – 2014): Retrospective

Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver [b. 1928] was exposed to lots of different music from a very early age. His Portuguese father and American mother listened to Portuguese and Cape Verdean folk music, and at church he heard the gospel music his mother sang. Later, he listened to blues records from the 1930s and 19r0s […]

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Wayne Shorter (b.1955): New Moon Daughter

As a tenor saxophonist, Wayne Shorter has few equals. As a composer, he is one of jazz’s most innovative wmusicians. Shorter is the one player other players listen to when they want to have their backs scratched musically. Newcomers to jazz may well have heard Shorter playing and not known it. As a session musician, […]

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Cassandra Wilson (b.1955): New Moon Daughter

Cassandra Wilson has received countless media accolades, including Time magazine’s 2001 pick for America’s Best Singer. Her smoky, almost carnal delivery is delightful. She’s an artist who likes the unusual and has built her reputation as a singer who likes to push musical boundaries, much like her musical influences: Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, and Betty […]

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Jim Hall: Concierto

Jim Hall is the latter-day patron saint of jazz guitar. He plays with a jeweller’s touch, a purity of tone, and says more with fewer notes than anyone else in jazz. He has influenced several generations of guitar players, including Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny. Hall was born in Buffalo, New York, and as a […]

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