Category Archives: Jazz

The cats with the riffs

Friday Night Concert Clip: Clark Terry, “Mumbles,” etc.

I love rock music. Raised on symphonic, classical and big band, my musical rebellion was fueled by rock. Like most of my generation, upon reaching my teens, I eschewed “serious” music for the sorcery of simpler composition; loud, amplified guitars, … Continue reading

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George Duke with Billy Cobham – “Rush Hour”

The joy that is jazz improv captured here among stellar musicians. Much can be written about this but I’d rather simply listen. What a gift to command so fluently this expressive alternate form of communication! Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Clip: Tower of Power feat. Carlos Santana

Ever since I first heard Tower of Power, I was drawn to them.  Their red-hot chops, superb vocals and up-tempo crossover jazz-funk makes toes tap and asses wiggle, even among those not prone to do either.  Through decades, they’ve weathered … Continue reading

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Tal Wilkenfeld – The River of Life

I’ve been sleeping under a rock.  I so enjoyed HBO’s  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Anniversary show that I watched it several times.  One of the reasons was Jeff Beck’s performances, which featured an exceptionally talented bassist,  Tal Wilkenfeld.  … Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Clip: Ry Cooder

It’s hard for me to recall a time when Ry Cooder wasn’t off in the background somewhere doing something few other musicians seemed all that interested in. For decades, Ry has been a musician’s musician, highly regarded as writer, session player, musicologist, collaborator, multi-instrumentalist, roots music enthusiast, producer and all-around performer. Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Clip: Dexter Gordon

I was fortunate to see Dexter in a small club shortly after his return to America, fronting a sextet. They were a wonderfully fluid, emotive yet precise group whose styles provided a perfect canvas upon which Dexter painted sonic images that sent chills through the steamy room. Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Series: Pat Matheny, “Minuano”

When I was in college, my eyes were opened to jazz.  As a singer, I had always learned and performed by ear but I was fortunate to become friends with trained musicians who were well-versed in jazz, blessed with the … Continue reading

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Kenny Rankin Dies

One of the most beautiful voices of my lifetime has gone silent with the death at 69 of  Kenny Rankin.  Hardly a household name, Mr. Rankin was a “musician’s musician” who had a long career in music.  A balladeer with … Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Clip: Al Jarreau “Take Five”

As I finished college, jazz fusion had successfully crossed over to rock, “smooth jazz” was a format for the future and many gifted jazz musicians explored different directions, combining jazz with other forms of music to create novel hybrids. Continue reading

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Friday Night Concert Clip(s): The Hellecasters

Last week I featured one of my favorite songs by a giant of the Fender Telecaster, Roy Buchanan, who we lost way too soon.  In the`90s I became aware of a band of top-notch players, guitarists of incredible individual skill … Continue reading

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