All that's jazz... and more

“The history of jazz tells of the power of music to bring together artists from different cultures and backgrounds, as a driver of integration and mutual respect. […] Through jazz, millions of people have sung and still sing today their desire for freedom, tolerance and human dignity. ”

Irina Bokova, Director General UNESCO
Message for International Jazz Day 2014

We have put together a brand new playlist, It’s OK To Like Jazz… you bet it is…

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Comments (9)

Abigail April 30th at 11:32am

There seems to be an error with the playlist! It might just be on my end, but I'm dying to take a listen!

jazzlabels April 30th at 11:34am

If you're having trouble on Spotify try Deezer

raquelrojas April 30th at 2:24pm

Reblogged this on My Spiritual Journey and commented:
Happy International Jazz Day!

Sushiana ManshuruTamaki April 30th at 3:23pm

Love Jazz !!!

romeo dela cruz April 30th at 8:26pm

jazz is cool

Blanca Parra April 30th at 8:27pm

Reblogged this on bparramosqueda and commented:
International Jazz Day!

Khotso April 30th at 8:27pm

Long live jazz music

jacobaudrey May 1st at 12:51pm

Reblogged this on Musics and Souls and commented:
International Jazz Day

Robin Robinson May 4th at 1:53am

I love Jazz alot!!!

Duke Ellington was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. He wrote wonderful, popular, music and songs, extended jazz works, suites as well as sacred music. Versatility was what the Duke was all about – he was the Renaissance man of jazz. Acknowledged as one of the greatest composers in jazz his innovative arrangements featured his piano playing against a rich, deep sound played by the brilliant musicians of his orchestra. Over five hundred of the best jazz players in the world passed through his ranks. We have put together a gallery of photos and why not check out our playlist…

Hear Duke here…

duke-ellington_edited-1-copy ellington1z-copy duke-ellington-copy-2 730410-duke-ellington duke-elliongton_edited-1-copy

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Comments (3)

Stephen Orena April 30th at 12:34am

Happy birthday Duke Ellington, and thanks so much for music!

Ralph E. Gipson April 30th at 6:31am

Duke Ellington was the epitome of style and sophistication. Add to that his genius for music and you have the one of a kind...Duke Ellington.

Duke Ellington | gnogongo May 1st at 11:34am

[…]… […]

We’ve just had a very long and illuminating chat with Paul Bacon, the first designer with Blue Note Records, who subsequently worked with Riverside and did a great many album sleeve designs for Bill Grauer and Orin Keepnews. Bacon was good friends with Monk, met him the first time he visited Blue Note’s offices and when Bacon went to work for Riverside he did almost all of Monk’s album covers, including the one where he’s sitting in the little red cart. Paul told us how it happened.

“Harris Levine, my friend, who worked in Riverside’s design department, photographer Paul Weller and I were with Monk trying to get him to go along with our idea for shooting the cover for the album, ‘Monk’s Music.’ Monk was having none of it, he hated our ideas and we were going nowhere. Monk got really upset and walked over to the other part of the studio and sat in the little red delivery cart. I saw this out the corner of my eye and kept Harris talking and then quietly indicated to Paul to get a camera. Paul walked on over to Monk and Monk looked up from the score he was studying, nodded, and Paul took the shot. It worked out pretty good.”

Paul kindly shared some other stories with us and we’ll be featuring them regularly here on the Jazz Word.

Hear Monk’s Music here…


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Gigs to savour


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Fernando Ortiz de Urbina April 23rd at 10:26pm

Personnel are John Coltrane's classic quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones.

Miles Davis's sextet was a temporary band formed after Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb left, with Frank Strozier (as), George Coleman (ts), Harold Mabern (p), Ron Carter (b), and Frank Butler (d). This was one of Ron Carter's earliest gigs with Miles.

TSUNEO KAWAGIRI April 24th at 9:12am

I like prestage album.

Cleo France April 24th at 3:45pm

Love Coltrane and Miles

oscar April 29th at 3:21pm

is there a bootleg or recording of this particular Miles combo? anyone know?

jazzlabels April 29th at 3:23pm

There's no recording of this as far as we know…and we don't deal in bootlegs :)

After Alfred Lion quit Blue Note Records in 1967, following the purchase of the label he founded by Liberty Records, there was a period of rapid change for the company; a period that some continue to feel was not a good one for Blue Note. Yet it was the music from this era of flux that hip-hop artists would rediscover towards the end of the 20th century. Lou Donaldson’s ‘It’s Your Thing’ and Jack McDuff’s ‘Oblighetto’, (both recorded in 1969), along with Grant Green’s ‘Down Here on the Ground’ (recorded in 1970), are from albums that, as a body of work, have not held up, but which have nevertheless proved influential. The most sampled Blue Note recording is Lou Donaldson’s ‘Ode to Billie Joe’, recorded in October 1967, in the month after Lion’s retirement, and released the following year on the album Mr Shing-A-Ling.

Hear Ode To Billie Joe here


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Thumbin’ a riff

20th April, 2014
posted in: Uncategorized

Jim Mullen is a legend and it’s great to read Richard Williams’s piece honouring him. If you get the chance try to see Jim play live, you will not be disappointed. We saw him about 4 years ago at a private gig in Sussex and he was superb; the gig was headlined by another guitar wizard, Jan Ackerman – he’s another not to be missed.

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It was on this date in 1930, in Brooklyn, New York that Herbert Jay Solomon, known to the world as Herbie Mann was born. 

“To most jazz critics I was basically Kenny G. I was too successful. I made too much money. Alternate fringe audiences liked me too much, so obviously that can’t be important.”– Herbie Mann.

Herbie Mann began playing clarinet when he was nine after being taken to a Benny Goodman concert, but was soon also playing flute and tenor sax; Lester Young became his hero. After serving in the Army, he joined the Mat Mathews’ Quintet in 1953 for a year before leading his own band in Los Angeles. Mann mostly played tenor saxophone and unusually bass clarinet, in a bop setting for the next four years, with the likes of Sam Most, Joe Puma, Jimmy Gannon, Lee Kleinman, Phil Woods, Bobby Jaspar, Charlie Rouse and Buddy Collette.

The first recording that got him noticed was Flute Soufflé (1957) for Prestige recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey. In August 1957 he recorded in Los Angeles for Verve and the sessions produced The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann. The next year, Mann brought together an Afro-Jazz Sextet for which he added percussion and vibes to accompany his flute. They recorded Flautista, and toured 15 countries in Africa (1960), and Brazil (1961) under the auspices of the US Department of State. His live appearances demonstrated his phenomenal abilities and in 1962 he had a hit with ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ from his live recording, Herbie Mann at the Village Gate; this was the first of eleven records to make the Billboard charts, almost unheard of for a jazz musician.

Mann was an extraordinarily successful jazz flutist, exploring Brazilian bossa nova and introducing music from other cultures, as well as adding pop and rock tunes to his albums. His bands featured emerging musicians: the likes of Chick Corea, Attila Zoller, Willie Bobo and Roy Ayers. In 1969, a certain young guitarist called Larry Coryell appeared on Memphis Underground, while Sonny Sharrock performed in the band at the 1972 Newport Festival.

Mann continued to experiment with musical genres throughout his career, often stepping out beyond jazz fusion, and sometimes into commercial avenues. However, because of his diversity, it can be reasonably claimed that he was a pioneer in World Music.

After a long and illustrious recording career – he dominated the Down Beat readers’ poll from 1957-70 – even though his popularity was not echoed by the critics, Mann passed away in July, 2003, following an extended battle with prostate cancer.


Check out our Herbie Mann Playlist







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Comments (1)

Cary Ginell April 16th at 5:42pm

Herbie Mann fans should be aware of my biography, "The Evolution of Mann," which has just been published by Hal Leonard Books.

Recorded at three separate session, two in 1949 and the other in 1950, this  was originally released in a 78rpm album of four records and then on a 10″ album by Clef Records. in 1957, following Parker’s death, it was reissued by Verve in the Genius Of Charlie Parker series as No. 4 without “Passport” and “Mohawk”; instead it had some alternate takes of other tracks.

This was the final collaborative recording by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and it is the session from 6 June 1950. The six tracks they recorded together are ‘Bloomdido’, ‘My Melancholy Baby’, ‘Relaxin’ With Lee’,’Leap Frog’, ‘An Oscar For Treadwell’ and ‘Mohawk’. At this session, besides Bird and Dizzy it’s Thelonious Monk on piano, Curley Russell (bass) and drummer Buddy Rich. ‘Passport’ is Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Al Haig (piano) Tommy Potter (bass) Max Roach (drums) and just Bird. For ‘Visa’, Carlos Vidal (bongo) and trombonist Tommy Turk are added to the musicians on ‘Passport.’

These sides hark back to recordings made by Bird and Diz for the Savoy and Dial labels, only here the recording quality allows the music to shine through, helping to make this an exhilarating listening experience. On the sides recorded by Parker and Gillespie, it’s like music in two layers. The sax and trumpet spar with one another, Monk, Russell and Rich creating a base across which the two giants stride across like gladiators. Add to this Monk’s vignette on ‘Bloomdido’ and what have you got? A be-bop bonanza!

‘I think all the guys like Bird and Dizzy contributed so much to making the steps of progress of modern music. Those guys had wonderful minds.’ –  Count Basie

Hear it here… at least, the reissued version without Visa and Passport, but with many alternate takes

Original Clef issue


Reissue on Verve in The Genius of Charlie Parker series


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If Louis Johnson isn’t a household name it’s none too surprising. How many bass players are? But his playing certainly is. He’s one half of the Brothers Johnson who had some hits back in the 1970s with their funky soul with jazz overtones – ‘Strawberry Letter 22’ and ‘Stomp’ maybe dropped onto your radar. But it is as a session player that Louis is best known, or at least the sound he creates with his slap-bass. Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’, George Benson’s ‘Give Me The Night’ and Herb Alpert’s Rise’ are just three of his distinctive recordings.

Check out our funky bass playlist

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Comments (3)

EE April 18th at 9:04pm

Herb Alpert's "Rise" was Abe Laboriel on bass. LJ was on "Love Is" off the same album.

jazzlabels April 18th at 9:06pm

We'll take your word for it, but. . . :)

Damon April 19th at 7:35pm

Give Me The Night is Abe, too...