Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages

Jazz

Nat King Cole: Gip Interviews King Cole in Columbus, O., and California

Report and Interview by J.T. Gipson, California Eagle, The, July 1948

I FIRST MET Nat Cole, leader of the world famous King Cole trio, at 2 ayem in the morning standing bareheaded in front of the ...

Little Miss Cornshucks: Gipson Interviews Little Miss Cornshucks at Last Word Club

Report and Interview by J.T. Gipson, California Eagle, The, September 1948

EVER SO OFTEN an act comes along that merits our warmest praise; this week the nitelife spotlight points with pride on an energetic little lass ...

Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball: Acker Bilk; Kenny Ball: Alan Smith Goes Sailing With Two Of Britain's Top Disc Stars

Report and Interview by Alan Smith, NME, August 1962

Acker's Happy With His Vocal Success ...

Dave Brubeck, Ronnie Scott: Near-in Brubeck

Live Review by Ian Dove, NME, November 1962

IT WAS a new Dave Brubeck on tour in Britain this time. ...

Mel Tormé: Now Mel Gets With The Beat!

Profile by Ian Dove, NME, January 1963

HALF-WAY through 1961 Melvin Howard Tormé was moaning that "there were no songs being written that were worth singing. ...

Duke Ellington, Odetta: Ian Dove Gives a Big NME Welcome to Ellington and Odetta

Profile by Ian Dove, NME, January 1963

COME SLUMP or boom, war or peace, fad or fashion, Duke Ellington has gone on leading a big band. For 37 years, to be precise! ...

Ella Fitzgerald: Finsbury Park Astoria, London

Live Review by Ian Dove, NME, March 1963

Ella Throws 'Loop De Loop' Away ...

Nat King Cole: Great Jazzman To Great Businessman

Interview by David Griffiths, Record Mirror, July 1963

SOFT LIGHTS, a smoke-hazed atmosphere, gentleness, smooth (and, if you're a susceptible girl, spine-tingling) singing. ...

Quincy Jones: One Of The Greatest!

Interview by David Griffiths, Record Mirror, October 1963

SITTING IN a deserted recording studio at Philips, listening to the playback of a just-completed session by the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra, Quincy Jones – trumpeter, ...

Nina Simone: The Troubadour, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Ann Moses, Rhythm 'n' News, October 1965

Nina Knocks Out With 'Pastel Blues' ...

Archie Shepp, The Byrds, John Coltrane, Ravi Shankar, Yusef Lateef: Tempo: Coltrane, Shankar and All That Rock & Roll

Interview by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, August 1966

IN OUR FEATURE on the Byrds (in the July issue) they credited several sources of unconventional music as influences. They were quite specific about Indian ...

Big Joe Williams, Chuck Berry, Duke Ellington, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Sonny Rollins: Tempo: R&B and Jazz Album Reviews

Review by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, November 1966

FOR SOME reason, recordings of live rock and roll shows are selling very well. You can hardly hear the music above the enthusiastic audience response ...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Roland Kirk: Doesn't Fit Into The Avant Garde

Interview by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, November 1966

JAZZ snobs have been hit hard by the arrival of Roland Kirk the Magnificent. Roland's music lurches crazily, but creatively from the humorous to the ...

Mose Allison: Tempo: Mose Allison

Interview by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, January 1968

"BLUES IS A very limited thing to play. I have to keep adding things to it to keep it interesting. I keep striving for higher ...

Tony Bennett: 'Paul McCartney Has a Spirit That Moves Me'

Interview by David Griffiths, Record Mirror, April 1968

THOUGH THE MUSICAL approach of Tony Bennett – and the bands he works with, such as Buddy Rich – is not usually treated with adulation ...

Nina Simone: God Bless The Child

Interview by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, September 1969

NINA SIMONE was born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, the sixth of eight children. Her mother worked as a housekeeper and her father was ...

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra. Vol. 1. (Fontana)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

'Heliocentric'; 'Outer Nothingness'; 'Other Worlds'; 'The Cosmos'; 'Of Heavenly Things'; 'Nebulae'; 'Dancing In The Sun'. ...

Miles Davis: What Made Miles Davis Go Pop?

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

Richard Williams talks to bassist Dave Holland in New York ...

Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (CBS)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

Bitches Brew an aural acid trip from Miles ...

Miles Davis: Rock Is A White Man's Word, Says Miles

Report and Interview by Al Aronowitz, Melody Maker, October 1970

NEW YORK. — Junior Mance was working the bandstand at New York's Top of the Gate and you had to put your ear to Miles ...

Charles Lloyd: Why Lloyd Wants To Play With The Stones

Interview by Jacoba Atlas, Melody Maker, January 1971

CHARLES LLOYD doesn't want to be known as the first jazzman to play the rock halls, Fillmore and Avalon. He says that categorization is demeaning, ...

Alan Price, Georgie Fame: Price and Fame: The Name Game

Interview by Chris Charlesworth, Melody Maker, April 1971

THERE I WAS sitting interviewing Messrs Fame and Price — or should it be Price and Fame — when this lady walks into the room. ...

Nina Simone: Carnegie Hall, New York NY

Live Review by Mike Jahn, New York Times, May 1971

Throng Welcomes Nina Simone, Back After Long Absence ...

Nina Simone: Carnegie Hall, New York NY

Live Review by Vicki Wickham, Melody Maker, May 1971

Nina the leader ...

Sun Ra And His Myth-Science Arkestra

Profile and Interview by John Sinclair, Creem, November 1972

If you find earth bor-ingJust the same old same thing –If you find earth bor-ingJust the same old same thing – Come on, sign up ...

Chuck Mangione

Interview by Rob Bowman, Beetle, December 1972

CHUCK MANGIONE, in case anyone doesn't know, is a brilliant jazz flugel-horn and piano player. When he isn't touring with his quartet (which includes the ...

Grover Washington Jr.

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, March 1973

GROVER WASHINGTON Jr. became one of Kudu's brightest lights by a complete one in a million accident. "I was called in to do a background ...

Chet Baker: The Man Who Came Back From The Dead

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1973

The Return of Chet Baker ...

Roberta Flack, Freddie Hubbard, War, Jimmy Witherspoon: War, Roberta Flack, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Witherspoon: Shea Stadium, New York NY

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, July 1973

War declared at Shea Stadium. ...

Billy Cobham, Mahavishnu Orchestra: On Leave From Mahavishnu, Drummer Billy Cobham Gets His Chance: Solo

Interview by David Rensin, Rolling Stone, January 1974

LOS ANGELES – "I never felt my music was ever really wanted by the Mahavishnu Orchestra," complained drummer Billy Cobham. "I tried having them use ...

Gil Evans, Jimi Hendrix: Gil Evans: Jazzing Up Jimi

Interview by Ian Dove, Rolling Stone, July 1974

Evans gave Hendrix's music an orchestral workout. ...

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra: Up On The Roof

Interview by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, January 1975

MAYBE it's a sign of the times, as the Seventies increasingly take on the atmosphere of gloom and uncertainty that pervaded the late twenties and ...

John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra: Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

Interview by Steven Rosen, Guitar Player, February 1975

MAHAVISHNU JOHN MCLAUGHLIN has taken the guitar further in the last two years of his career than most players hope to in a lifetime. His ...

Grover Washington Jr: Grover Washington: Mister Magic

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, April 1975

IN JAZZ circles, Grover Washington Jr. is even unique because though he has been commercially successful in a big way, he still appeals to the ...

The Brecker Brothers

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, July 1975

NOW THAT the colour barriers have been well and truly broken down within our music, odds are that at any given moment, you'll find two ...

The Brecker Brothers: Everythin's All White

Profile by Roger St. Pierre, NME, August 1975

...

Frank Sinatra: The Reprise Years

Review by Fred Dellar, NME, September 1975

YEARS IS JUST one enormous sampler really – a fifty-track, four album, boxed set containing cuts from nearly every album Sinatra's made for Reprise since ...

Ramsey Lewis: Don't It Feel Good

Profile and Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, November 1975

WITH THE ever growing interest in jazz, it's interesting to note that in most instances, the names who are bringing about the revival are relatively ...

Weather Report: New Victoria, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, NME, December 1975

TO MYSTERIOSO OR not to mysterioso – that was the question facing Weather Report last Thursday at nine p.m. ...

Al Jarreau: It's a bit early for New Year predictions, but here's one: Al Jarreau

Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, December 1975

TO EVERYONE who's raved over Al Jarreau's Warner Bros album, We Got By, the identity of the man has remained an enigma that demanded solution. ...

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra: Pasadena Uber Alles!

Report and Interview by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, December 1975

"ALL OVER Germany the people are freaking out...it's their cool English sense of humour...they have to beat off the groupies with sticks." ...

Weather Report: Wayne Shorter Cuts It

Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, December 1975

WAYNE Shorter used to be introduced by Art Blakey in the 1950s like this: "This is Wayne Shorter, ladies and genulmen... ‘cos he’s shorter than ...

Hugh Masekela: Africa's Ambassador To The USA

Interview by David Nathan, Blues & Soul, March 1976

Our diplomatic correspondent in Los Angeles talks to Hugh Masekela, one of Africa's favourite sons. ...

Julie Tippetts, Isaac Guillory: Kings College, London

Live Review by Miles, NME, March 1976

"I'M NERVOUS." ...

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra: Pasadena Roof Orchestra — Live

Review by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, March 1976

ONE OF MY happiest nights in years was spent in a dark, sweltering and cramped club in Hamburg towards the end of 1975. It was ...

Nancy Wilson: Nancy A Woman Of Today

Interview by David Nathan, Blues & Soul, June 1976

Talented. Aware. A warm and sincere human being. That's Nancy Wilson. She's achieved a great deal already but aims to fulfill many more dreams, both ...

Tom Waits: Warm Beer, Cold Women

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, June 1976

TOM WAITS rocks backwards and forwards in his chair, pulls at a cigarette, draws deep, then turns his face out of the smoke, back into ...

Herbie Hancock: 'Ancock An' The 'Ead 'Unters

Profile and Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, August 1976

That's a fearful band name for someone as peaceful as Herbie Hancock to front. But, it's a name that clicks with the Soul-loving public when ...

Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band

Profile and Interview by Davitt Sigerson, Black Music, January 1977

Davitt Sigerson Probes Into The Mind Of Stony Browder Jr. ...

John Coltrane:The Other Village Vanguard Tapes

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1977

The combination of affection, respect and awe in which his fans held the late John Coltrane is given to few people in any walk of ...

Herbie Hancock: V.S.O.P.

Review by Paul Rambali, NME, May 1977

WHEN THIS was recorded in June 1976 as part of the Newport jazz festival, it came from an evening grandly titled a 'retrospective of the ...

Al Jarreau: Look To The Rainbow — Live

Review by Paul Rambali, NME, June 1977

OF THE twelve songs here, four are from his first two albums, two are throwaway versions of show-tunes and the remaining six are new material. ...

Marlena Shaw : Marlena Shaw: Sweet Beginnings

Interview by John Abbey, David Nathan, Blues & Soul, August 1977

Re-united with producer Bert deCoteaux at Columbia, Ms. Shaw has really started to blossom. David Nathan and John Abbey gather th' fax from th' lady… ...

Bobbi Humphrey: Bobbi Means Business

Interview by David Nathan, Blues & Soul, December 1977

Ms. Humphrey knows that talent isn't always enough to achieve success. Thus, she's formed her own management company and now stands or falls on her ...

Herb Alpert, Hugh Masekela: Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela: Herb and Hugh Fusion

Report and Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, March 1978

Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela explain their Tijuana Meets Africa project ...

The Blackbyrds: You can't put a price on education, say the Blackbyrds…

Profile and Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, March 1978

The guys have always restricted their working schedule in order to further their education. This has cost them a lot of dollars but they figure ...

Joe Sample: Rainbow Seeker (ABC Import)

Review by Max Bell, NME, April 1978

SEARCH AND DEPLOY ...

Anthony Braxton: Living In The Dynamic Operating Arena

Profile and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, August 1978

IT HAS TO be said that playing an Anthony Braxton album is the quickest way I can think of to clear a rock fan's room. ...

Oregon: Out Of The Woods

Review by Paul Morley, NME, November 1978

IT'S GOOD to hear that Oregon's music remains pure and fresh despite the possible clumsy patronage of a large label. Using a number of combinations ...

Eddie Henderson

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, December 1978

Eddie Henderson: I didn't get where I am today by not being danceable... ...

Al Jarreau: Days Of Future Past

Interview by David Nathan, Blues & Soul, January 1979

Since the release of his debut album three years ago, Al Jarreau has firmly established himself as a creative talent of the first order. He ...

Charlie Mingus: Charles Mingus's Sound of Love

Obituary by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1979

Charles Mingus died in Mexico on January 5, of amytrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He had been in Mexico ...

Georgie Fame: Right Now! (Pye)

Review by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, March 1979

"WELL, WELL, well, hello there, it's been a long, long time." Doesn't that introduction to 'Funny How Time Slips Away' take you back? I address ...

Natalie Cole

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, April 1979

IN THREE short years, Natalie Cole has risen to the point where today she is a household name. In the past few months, Natalie has ...

Eddie Henderson: Doctor At The Crossroads

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, June 1979

With the music world making so many demands on his time, Eddie feels he may have to phase out his medical practice completely... ...

The Crusaders, Randy Crawford: The Crusaders' Stix Hooper

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, June 1979

B&S catches up with the Crusaders who have campaigned for jazz all over the world and whose new album is centred around 'street life'... ...

The Crusaders: It's A Street Life In The Crusaders

Profile and Interview by Max Bell, NME, September 1979

IT'S THE MID-1950s in Houston, Texas, east of Galveston Bay and west of the River Colorado, and some of the local folks are having themselves ...

James Blood Ulmer: Tales Of Captain Black (Artists House)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 1980

IT WON'T be long, I guess, before someone describes James "Blood" Ulmer as "the new Hendrix", so you might as well be forewarned. ...

Defunkt: Trax, New York

Live Review by Roy Trakin, Melody Maker, February 1980

EVEN THE decidedly old-wave, uptown industry water-hole Trax has caught the Funk Flu that's hit this borough like an epidemic. People are dancing to progressive, ...

Max Roach: Evolutionary Forces

Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, August 1980

A prime mover in the Bebop era, Max Roach knows all about revolution. He tells KARL DALLAS that revolution without foundation is doomed, and warns ...

James Chance: Save The Last Chance For Me!

Interview by Ian Penman, NME, June 1981

Sax and drugs and contorted soul – Ian Penman meets his hero in another instalment of conversations with James Chance. London 1981. ...

James Blood Ulmer: Blood in the Grooves

Interview by Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, October 1981

1. A LOT OF different people are going to like Free-Lancing, the new album by James Blood Ulmer. ...

James Blood Ulmer: Jazz Gets a Blood Transfusion: James Blood Ulmer

Interview by Richard Cook, NME, November 1981

JAMES BLOOD ULMER seemed faintly bemused by it all. Sat square in his little hotel chair like some Great Panjandrum surprised by a person of ...

Frank Sinatra: She Shot Me Down (Reprise)

Review by Jeffrey Morgan, Creem, April 1982

IF, AS THE THEORY GOES, there's a little bit of Van Halen in everyone come Saturday night, then you can safely bet your last dollar ...

Pigbag: Brand New Beanbag

Interview by Mark Cooper, Record Mirror, July 1982

Mark Cooper throws a few questions at the brand new Pigbag ...

Ornette Coleman: On Human Feeling

Interview by Vivien Goldman, NME, July 1982

Ornette Coleman's harmolodics brought about the musical change of the century. After his New York comeback last year, the legendary tenor man talked to Vivien ...

Defunkt: This Defunkt Life

Interview by Lesley White, Face, The, August 1982

According to Joe Bowie, only his trombone and his funk-jazz band Defunkt stand between him and the imminent nuclear apocalypse. LESLEY WHITE talks to the ...

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Profile and Interview by Andy Gill, NME, August 1982

Last week the legendary SUN RA, who claims to come from the planet Saturn, beamed down to earth to play two sell-out concerts at London's ...

Wynton Marsalis: Darting Into the Stratosphere

Interview by Richard Cook, NME, August 1982

Teenage trumpet major WYNTON MARSALIS lights up another admirer ...

Lionel Hampton (1983)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1983

The hard-swinging vibraphonist takes us back to the '30s LA club scene, taking up vibes, joining Benny Goodman and discovering Dinah Washington.

File format: mp3; file size: 29mb, interview length: 31' 39" sound quality: ***

George Benson: Kingsize Benson

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, NME, July 1983

So just how did this work a day guitarist called GEORGE BENSON sidestep the critical vitriol of the jazz and soul purists to become one ...

Herbie Hancock: Beverly Theater, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, January 1984

HERBIE HANCOCK still refuses to put all of his eggs in one basket. The veteran keyboard player blithely continues to release both funk-oriented material geared ...

Hal Willner, Thelonious Monk: Interpretations Of Monk By Jazz, Rock Musicians

Report and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, January 1984

WHAT DO FELLINI soundtrack composer Nino Rota and the late jazz great Thelonious Monk have in common? ...

Count Basie

Obituary by Richard Cook, NME, May 1984

Richard Cook pays tribute to the man whose Kansas City swing band conquered the world – a jazz aristocrat for 50 years. ...

Hugh Masekela

Interview by Jack Barron, Sounds, July 1984

"THIS IS really embarrassing, we've come thousands of miles and now this happens," sighed Hugh Masekela looking at the vast blue tent-balloon Espace Balard venue ...

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Energetic Updating Of Brass-Band Sound

Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, September 1984

NEW ORLEANS — This city is a hotbed of jazz tradition, but the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has come up with a new twist on ...

Frank Sinatra: Songs For Young Lovers and other Capitol reissues

Review by Richard Cook, NME, September 1984

BECAUSE SINATRA has lasted so long, has outlived his own legend – to the point where he can make a record with Quincy Jones and ...

James Blood Ulmer: The 'Harmolodics' Of James Ulmer

Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, May 1985

NEUTRAL GROUND doesn't seem to exist when it comes to James (Blood) Ulmer's music. ...

John Coltrane, Miles Davis: Miles Davis: You’re Under Arrest (CBS)

Review by Charles Shaar Murray, NME, June 1985

THIS YEAR, Miles Davis is 59 years old. However, if it’s round numbers that appeal to you, it’s worth mentioning that 1985 marks the 40th ...

Miles Davis: Miles Runs The Voodoo Down

Interview by Richard Cook, NME, July 1985

The man with the horn, MILES DAVIS, whose silvery trumpet lines have embellished jazz for 40 years, is back in action with a new band ...

Duke Ellington: Duke 56/62 Volume One ; Duke 56/62 Volume Two ; Featuring Paul Gonsalves and more

Review by Richard Cook, NME, July 1985

...

Dave Brubeck: The Unsquare Dance

Retrospective by Richard Cook, Wire, The, November 1986

DAVE BRUBECK looked the part. The face that stared out from a Time magazine cover 30-odd years ago had the sober, shaven outline of a ...

Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: Lester Bowie: Miles Davis Meets Donald Duck

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, NME, November 1986

LESTER BOWIE'S white lab coat and mischievous trumpet have fronted The Art Ensemble Of Chicago's ironic jazz, From The Roots To The Source's revivalist gospel ...

Charlie Haden Recalls Lessons Of Cuba Visit

Report and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, March 1987

CUBA IS A RARE tour stopover for any American, artist, but Charlie Haden’s appearance in Havana last month fulfilled a dream the eminent bassist had ...

Marcus Miller, Miles Davis: Marcus Miller: Bass For All Seasons

Interview by Gene Santoro, Guitar World, June 1987

What is it about MARCUS MILLER'S eternal thump that makes him Miles' choice bottom and the Bee Gees' top choice? ...

Ornette Coleman: Music Dreams Are Made Of: Ornette Coleman at Town Hall, New York

Live Review by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, July 1987

NEW YORK – Funny, the pent-up anticipation that usually wells up before a concert didn't hit me until a half hour before Ornette Coleman took ...

Cecil Taylor: Pianist Cecil Taylor Makes Poetry Of His Jazz

Profile and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, October 1987

"GREAT MUSICIANS are more than musicians – they are poets and spiritual forces," said pianist Cecil Taylor. "It is the sensitivity and the concept of ...

Tony Bennett: Rebirth of the Cool

Interview by Glenn O'Brien, Spin, February 1988

TONY BENNETT is cool. I have felt this way since the early '60s. Sinatra was hip, but Tony was cool. He was a swinger singer. ...

Django Reinhardt: Djangologie/USA Vols. 1-7 (DRG/Swing Records)

Review by Gene Santoro, Spin, April 1988

GYPSY GUITARIST Django Reinhardt offers an early modern (read post-phonograph) example of how pop music travels from its native habitat, is heard through alienated ears, ...

Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson: Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson: Folks Called Him Mr. Cleanhead

Obituary by Kirk Silsbee, Los Angeles Reader, September 1988

TWO YEARS ago Eddie Vinson took part in a sax summit show at the Music Machine in West Los Angeles. In the artist's lounge before ...

Art Ensemble of Chicago: Ancient to the Future

Profile by John Sinclair, Detroit Metro Times, October 1988

A SMALL ARMY of instruments is what you see first – an entire stage full of saxophones, drums, gongs, percussion implements of every description, bicycle ...

Fab 5 Freddy, Max Roach: Fab 5 Freddy & Max Roach: Hip Hop Bebop

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, October 1988

Max Roach says the new Charlie Parkers are in hip hop. The inventor of modern jazz drumming celebrates the new generation with wild stylist Fab ...

Danny Thompson: Romance From A Bit Of A Raver

Profile and Interview by Mark Cooper, Sunday Correspondent, October 1989

Breaking the rules comes easily to double-bass player Danny Thompson, says Mark Cooper ...

Chet Baker: Chet Baker Sings and Plays From the Film ‘Let's Get Lost’

Review by Tom Graves, Rock and Roll Disc, November 1989

I AM NO JAZZ CRITIC, and there are several Rock & Roll Disc writers far more qualified to write about Chet Baker than I. But ...

Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Report and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, March 1990

"OUR MUSIC IS primarily intended to stimulate thought, to get people to make new rationales," said Art Ensemble of Chicago trumpeter Lester Bowie. "We're expanding ...

Last Exit: Johnny D's Uptown Lounge, Sommerville MA

Live Review by Ted Drozdowski, Musician, April 1990

Love at First Sight ...

Sun Ra (1991)

Interview by Mark Dery, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1991

The great bandleader and cosmologist talks about everything from being a visitor from Saturn to his spiritual home in Egypt, via much about making music, improvisation and the importance of discipline.

File format: mp3; file size: 86.2mb, interview length: 1h 34' 12" sound quality: ***

Sonny Sharrock: A Musician With Lightning In His Hands

Profile and Interview by Mark Dery, New York Times, May 1991

Sonny Sharrock knew his route would be rocky. ...

Miles Davis: Miles Dewey Davis III (1926-1991)

Obituary by Fred Dellar, NME, October 1991

"Jazz is ignored because the white man likes to win everything. White people like to see other white people win – and they can't win ...

Nina Simone: Here Comes Trouble

Interview by Lloyd Bradley, Q, November 1991

"BE PUNCTUAL," they implored. "Be punctual, and everything should be all right." Ask about Nina Simone at her publisher's offices and you'll soon be appraised ...

Les Paul

Interview by Mark Dery, Rock's Backpages Audio, Winter 1991

The great guitarist and inventor talks about the basis of his style; the making of 'How High The Moon'; co-inventing The Chipmunks; his influence on other musicians; the development of sound-on-sound and multitrack recording, and pays a heartfelt tribute to Mary Ford.

File format: mp3; file size: 51.4mb, interview length: 51' 06" sound quality: ***

David Sanborn, Rachelle Ferrell: Town & Country Club, London

Live Review by Jeff Lorez, Blues & Soul, December 1992

I HAVE TO admit, I don't think that the largely all standing T&C was the ideal venue for either of these acts. ...

Sun Ra: Holiday For Soul Dance; Jazz In Silhouette; Monorails and Satellites; Sound Sun Pleasure!!; Super-Sonic Jazz

Review by Byron Coley, Forced Exposure, 1993

…SUN RA is one of the truly legendary figures of modern jazz. He's led his Arkestra for better than 30 years and in that time ...

Kenny G: No Accounting For Taste

Interview by Lloyd Bradley, Q, May 1993

AS PART of last year's campaign, Bill Clinton appeared on MTV's Rock The Vote, taking questions from a studio full of young electors. ...

Bill Frisell

Profile and Interview by Jason Cohen, Creem, June 1993

SEATTLE'S MOST incendiary and intriguing electric guitarist has nothing to do with that city's rock scene. ...

Funkadelic, Parliament: The Jazzy Funkateers: Life after James Brown and P-Funk

Report and Interview by Hank Bordowitz, American Visions, Winter 1993

AS THE SEVEN musicians on the stage at Tramps in New York launch into a instrumental version of 'Cold Sweat', six hundred voices in the ...

Frank Sinatra/Don Rickles: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1994

"HE TOUCHES his dick more than Robin Williams does," mocked my wife as a tuxedoed Don Rickles lumbered around the square, center-court stage like a ...

Charlie Parker

Retrospective by Richard Cook, MOJO, April 1995

Four decades on from the premature death of Charlie Parker in March 1955 the world remains split between the dazzled – including fans as disparate ...

Charlie Haden: Home Bass

Interview by Marc Weingarten, MOJO, September 1995

CHARLIE HADEN — bassist in Ornette Coleman's epochal late '50s quartet and former leader of the politically charged Liberation Orchestra — has spawned some mighty ...

Freddie Hubbard: When Your Chops Are Shot

Interview by Fred Shuster, Downbeat, October 1995

TRUMPET GREAT Freddie Hubbard greets a visitor to his cozy split-level Hollywood Hills home with a friendly handshake that belies the worry in his eyes. ...

John McLaughlin (1996)

Interview by Colin Harper, Rock's Backpages Audio, January 1996

The fleet-fingered jazz-rocker looks back to the '60s, through his time with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, and fondly remembers his time with Miles Davis, and playing with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and more.

File format: mp3; file size: 52.3mb, interview length: 57' 09" sound quality: ***

Frank Sinatra: Stan Britt: Sinatra – A Celebration

Book Review by Chris Ingham, Jazz on CD, February 1996

ON FINISHING Kitty Kelley's depressing, unrelentingly seamy His Way, you were so stuffed full of (alleged) details concerning the less admirable aspects of Sinatra's remarkable ...

Jimmy Witherspoon: 'Ain't Nobody's Business': The No Rollin' Blues of Jimmy Witherspoon

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, May 1996

"I'D RATHER open up a show than to close it," Jimmy Witherspoon said emphatically. "'Cause I know whoever follows me is gonna have to sing." ...

Gil Evans, Miles Davis: Miles Davis and Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Review by Ben Edmonds, MOJO, October 1996

THEIR CURIOUS YET inspired partnership resulted in music of rare beauty. Ben Edmonds salutes a landmark box set that fully captures the genius of Miles ...

Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis: April In Paris With Branford And Ellis

Report and Interview by Chris Ingham, unpublished, April 1997

NOTE: Commissioned by Nick Coleman at The Independent, this interview remained unpublished due to Branford and Ellis canceling their live appearances. ...

Charlie Mingus: Charles Mingus: A Musical Misfit In Black And White

Retrospective by James Maycock, Independent, The, November 1997

A traumatic childhood and a dramatic life characterised the career of the bassist Charles Mingus. James Maycock looks at a documentary on a 'phenomenal musician ...

Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report: Jaco Pastorius

Retrospective by Charles Shaar Murray, Independent, The, 1998

AS JOHN LENNON proclaimed in the 1970 Rolling Stone interview which effectively announced his final break with the Beatles, "Genius is pain". What he neglected ...

Miles Davis: The Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Retrospective by James Maycock, Independent, The, March 1998

"YOU GET THE RIGHT GUYS to play the right things at the right time and you got a motherfucker!" recalled Miles Davis in his inimitable ...

Producer in Paradise: Joel Dorn Revisits a Golden Age of Jazz

Report and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, April 1998

JOEL DORN describes himself as "a stand-up guy. I grew up on the street corners and in the playgrounds, and I was raised to believe ...

Chet Baker: 10th Anniversary Of Chet Baker’s Death

Retrospective by James Maycock, Independent, The, May 1998

"WHAT’S YOUR favourite type of high?" inquires Bruce Weber towards the end of his film Let’s Get Lost. Chet Baker’s answer is unsettling. ...

Miles Davis Quintet 1965-68: Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (Sony/Columbia)

Review by Chris Ingham, Uncut, July 1998

6 CD set of innovative, hugely influential jazz group covering ESP, Miles Smiles, Sorcerer, Nefertiti, Water Babies, Miles In The Sky and Filles De Kilimanjaro ...

Tony Bennett (1998)

Interview by David Stubbs, Rock's Backpages Audio, October 1998

The American Great (and daughter Antonia) talk about Radio City Music Hall, the Great American Songbook, his return to the spotlight, his family and Depression upbringing, and a whole lot more, whilst tasting the delights of Teodora's cuisine.

File format: mp3; file size: 57.4mb, interview length: 1h 02' 42" sound quality: ***

Diana Krall

Interview by Chris Ingham, MOJO, 1999

SO EFFICIENT, SO all-pervasive has been Canadian pianist-singer Diana Krall's rise in the jazz world (and beyond, in sales terms), an American jazz magazine offered ...

Frank Sinatra: The Best of Frank Sinatra: A Home Taping Special

Guide by Chris Ingham, MOJO, 1999

BECAUSE OF THE near-flawless nature of a handful of albums (Wee Small Hours, Songs For Swingin' Lovers, A Swingin' Affair, Only The Lonely), it would ...

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Blue Note '60s Sessions

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, January 1999

THESE DAYS he's an avatar of jazz-funk, but Hancock's salad days offered a lot more than apprentice-work. Only 24 when he composed and recorded the ...

Billie Holiday, Miles Davis: Billie 4 Miles: A Kind Of Blue Love

Essay by James Maycock, Guardian, The, February 1999

MILES DAVIS CONFESSED twice in his candid autobiography he fancied Billie Holiday. "She had such a sensuous mouth," he remarked, "I thought she was ...

Cassandra Wilson: Fellow Traveller

Interview by Chris Ingham, MOJO, April 1999

Chris Ingham: What was the selection process for your Miles Davis tribute album Travelling Miles? ...

Billie Holiday, Lester Young: Billie Holiday And Lester Young: The Intimate Friendship Between Lady Day & Prez

Retrospective by James Maycock, Independent, The, July 1999

IN PARIS, A COUPLE of weeks before his death on 15th March, 1959, Lester Young spoke about his friend, Billie Holiday. "She’s still my ...

Newport Notes: How the Jazz and Folk Festivals made history

Retrospective and Interview by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, August 1999

"WELL, THIS IS real bullshit!" yelled Eddie Condon.  ...

Duke Ellington: The Unknown Ellington

Comment by Brian Torff, Green Mountain Jazz Messenger, Fall 1999

THIS BEING the anniversary year of Duke Ellington's 100th birthday, there are so many tribute concerts to the master composer that he seems more alive ...

Ronnie Scott: Jazz Club … Nice: Remembering Ronnie Scott

Retrospective and Interview by Joel McIver, unpublished, 2000

The legendary nightclub Ronnie Scott's is celebrating its fourth decade this year. Joel McIver meets manager Peter King - a man who really has seen ...

Miles Davis: The Hat Makes the Man

Book Excerpt by Nick Tosches, The Nick Tosches Reader, 2000

THE WORD ITSELF is deadening: art, a devalued dollar of a word, no longer backed by meaning, as drained of worth as the politician's viability, ...

Pharaoh Sanders: Pharoah Sanders

Interview by Chris Ingham, unpublished, 2000

THERE IS THE aura of legend surrounding the business of Pharoah Sanders. The fez, the dashiki, the Egyptian Prince goatee and the very name conjures ...

Charlie Watts: The Beat Goes On: Charlie Watts and the Great Jazz Drummers

Interview by Jon Newey, Jazzwise, July 2000

Rolling Stone Charlie Watts is not a typical jazz drummer. His previous solo albums have touched on the legacy of Charlie Parker and his new ...

John Coltrane, Miles Davis: Miles Davis and John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

TIME SASHAYS on and Miles Davis, who was still with us only a few blinks of an eye ago is already becoming history. Hence Sony's ...

Sun Ra: Wooze and Spazz

Overview by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 2000

IN HIS FAMOUS essay "Kafka and his Precursors," Jorge Luis Borges argues that Zeno, Han Yu, and Kierkegaard, though nothing alike, all now seem Kafkaesque. ...

Sonny Rollins: The Freelance Years

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2000

COLTRANE'S GREAT tenor rival gets another boxed-set boost. ...

Bill Evans: The Piano Has Been Thinking

Retrospective by Glenn O'Brien, Gear, 2001

I HAVE FORTY Bill Evans CDs in this room and a copy of Everybody Digs Bill Evans up in the bedroom. Everybody should have Everybody ...

Billy Eckstine

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, 'The Faber Companion to 20th C. Popular Music', 2001

b. William Clarence Eckstein, 8 July 1913, Pittsburgh, USA, d. 8 March 1993, Pennsylvania ...

Charlie Haden

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, 'The Faber Companion to 20th C. Popular Music', 2001

b. Charles Edward Haden, 6 August 1937, Shenandoah, Iowa, USA ...

Duke Ellington

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, 'The Faber Companion to 20th C. Popular Music', 2001

b. Edward Kennedy Ellington, 29 April 1899, Washington DC, USA, d. 24 May 1974, New York ...

Bill Evans: The Last Waltz

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2001

UNLESS YOU'RE hardline avant-garde (in which case, you'll vote for Cecil Taylor), Bill Evans (1929-1980) is the greatest jazz pianist of the post-bebop era. Classically ...

Miles Davis: The Re-Rebirth Of The Cool: Miles Davis at 75

Review by Joel McIver, Record Collector, Summer 2001

As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of Miles Davis' birth, a classic reissue programme has begun in earnest. In the mode: Joel McIver. ...

Dee Dee Bridgewater: Sophisticated Lady: This Is Dee Dee Bridgewater

Interview by James Maycock, Pride, 2002

"DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER is very effervescent and very energetic and very optimistic and very positive," I'm informed. "Dee Dee Bridgewater has consumed my life." ...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Great Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Or: What you don't know about Black Classical Music could be killing you

Retrospective by Glenn O'Brien, unpublished, 2002

BACK THERE during the revolution, when we called ourselves freaks proudly, rock was rocking the world. Musicians like Hendrix, Clapton, and Page, and philosophical bands ...

Diana Krall: In Defence of Diana Krall

Comment by Geoffrey Himes, Baltimore City Paper, March 2002

Diana Krall and Jane Monheit are better than you think. Geoffrey Himes explains why. ...

John Medeski, John Scofield, Medeski, Martin & Wood : Jam On It: Hippies, Jazzbos, and Beat Junkies Build One Nation Under a Mutant Groove

Report and Interview by Will Hermes, Village Voice, April 2002

LET US NOW praise great Americans: Louis Armstrong, Jerry Garcia, and Grandmaster Flash made their history with equal parts pioneer cojones and improvisatory derring-do. They ...

Oscar Peterson: A Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson

Book Review by Gene Santoro, New York Times Sunday Book Review, July 2002

SINCE SEPTEMBER 1949, when he made his debut at Carnegie Hall as a member of the all-star troupe called Jazz at the Philharmonic, the pianist ...

Teddy Edwards 1924-2003

Obituary by Phast Phreddie Patterson, Rock's Backpages, April 2003

BEBOP SAXOPHONIST Teddy Edwards (78) died of prostate cancer on April 20 in Los Angeles. During the '40s, he was a top draw on ...

Carla Bley Looks for America

Interview by Phil Mershon, Perfect Sound Forever, August 2003

THIS IS A TIME when global corporatism links a grotesque preponderance of its steel-eyed vision to the silly notion that anything produced by, for, or ...

Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report: The World’s Greatest Bass Player?

Retrospective by Joel McIver, Bass Guitar, October 2003

HEROES COME and heroes go. Most rise to the top and stay there for a while before their star fades; a few endure for a ...

Chet Baker

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

IT'S EASY TO rephrase Tolstoy's opening to Anna Karenina so it describes junkies, who all share an essential plotline: Who and how to hustle in ...

Louis Armstrong

Book Excerpt by Gene Santoro, 'Highway 61 Revisited...', 2004

FROM 1925 TO 1928, Louis Armstrong made an astonishing series of recordings, the jazz-creating legacy of his Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, a succession of ...

Derek Bailey: Ben Watson: Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation

Book Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 2004

FREE IMPROVISATION is the automatic writing, the abstract expressionism, or as British critic Ben Watson most aptly describes it, the "stand-up comedy" of musical performance.  ...

Jimbo Mathus, Squirrel Nut Zippers: Jimbo Mathus Is No Longer a Squirrel Nutter

Profile and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, October 2004

"JIMBO MATHUS is a link in what I call the 'crazy Mississippi white boy' chain of music that goes all the way back through Elvis ...

Sun Ra: Cosmic Relief: Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: The Magic Sun

Film/DVD Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2005

Important documentary artefact of late-'60s avant-garde jazz ...

Jimmy Smith: Soulsmith

Obituary by Dave Marsh, Harp, May 2005

THE RECORD industry thought it covered its tracks by finally making a huge deal out of Ray Charles, at the first Grammy ceremony after his ...

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

Essay by David Stubbs, Guardian, The, October 2005

"FUCK THE GHETTO! Look to space!" That, according to Wayne Kramer of MC5, in a nutshell was the message of Sun Ra, as conveyed over ...

Mose Allison: Mose And His Muse

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2005

MOSE ALLISON can be summed up in two words – Mose Allison. ...

Ornette Coleman, 76, Manhattan

Interview by Jaan Uhelszki, Harp, November 2006

ORNETTE COLEMAN is one of the true immortals. A metaphysician, philosopher and futurist as much as a revolutionary musician, he set melody free from it's ...

John Densmore: Opening New Doors

Live Review by Kirk Silsbee, LA CityBeat, December 2006

SANTA MONICA'S THIRD STREET PROMENADE got an extra measure of holiday cheer last Wednesday evening. Drummer John Densmore's Tribaljazz convened in front of the ...

Ornette Coleman

Interview by Andrew Purcell, Guardian, The, June 2007

THIS AFTERNOON I will meet Ornette Coleman, the world's greatest living jazz musician. Coleman is an iconoclast's iconoclast, Lou Reed's hero, a saxophonist who plays ...

Herbie Hancock (2008)

Interview by Andrew Purcell, Rock's Backpages Audio, November 2008

The piano great on the great '63 Miles Davis Quintet, band democracy, Buddhism, commercialism and much more.

File format: mp3; file size: 52.1mb, interview length: 56' 55" sound quality: *****

Herbie Hancock: Herbie Rides Again

Interview by Andrew Purcell, Guardian, The, November 2008

He has enjoyed electro, pop and funk incarnations but, as Herbie Hancock tells Andrew Purcell, it's all about playing one right note ...

Albert Ayler

Retrospective by Kris Needs, Rock's Backpages, May 2009

'I must play music that is beyond this world' – Albert Ayler ...

Miles Davis: The Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1967

Film/DVD Review by Michael Azerrad, Rock's Backpages, October 2009

LIKE ANY credible person, I dig Miles Davis. But I particularly dig his quintet with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and ...

Odetta: 1930 — 2008

Profile by Michael Gray, Rock's Backpages, December 2010

N.B. This profile is an updated version based on Odetta's entry in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia ...

Ornette Coleman and Outrage

Retrospective by Don Snowden, Rock's Backpages, December 2010

AMAZING, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. At 80 years old, Ornette Coleman is still capable of generating overt displays of outrage without doing anything more than playing his ...

Charlie Haden: Paul Morley On Music: Charlie Haden

Comment by Paul Morley, Observer, The, April 2011

Amazon has made critics of us all. But how does that bode for the professional critic? ...

Nina Simone: Between the Keys

Retrospective by Michael A. Gonzales, Wax Poetics, September 2011

"White people had Judy Garland. We had Nina." — Richard Pryor ...

Lovey's Original Trinidad String Band: Calypso Dawn (Bear Family)

Review by Mike Atherton, Echoes, 2013

THIS IS A REMARKABLE album. It captures the music of a Trinidadian dance band which, while undertaking a tour of the USA, recorded sessions for ...

Laura Nyro, Mark Winkler: Mark Winkler Finds Healing in the Songs of Laura Nyro

Report and Interview by Kirk Silsbee, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 2013

ASK JAZZ SINGER and songwriter Mark Winkler which of his parents he favors and he's unequivocal.  "Oh, I'm definitely my mother's son," he grins.  "My ...

Sun Ra: The Solar Myth Revisited: Sun Ra's Centenary Observed

Report by Kirk Silsbee, Glendale News-Press, April 2014

HIS BIRTH certificate said Birmingham, Alabama but the man who called himself Sun Ra declared that he was from the planet Saturn. Miles Davis set ...

Charlie Haden: Lifetime With Charlie Haden, R.I.P.

Retrospective by Don Snowden, Rock's Backpages, July 2014

THERE WAS NEVER any doubt I would write something about Charlie Haden moving on to the next phase but then a daunting thought struck me: ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE