All Night Session Vol. 1 // Hampton Hawes (Contemporary C3545)

The Music

Hampton Hawes, a fellow Californian, may be closely tied to West Coast jazz, but there’s nothing cool or relaxed about his playing.  Especially on this series of records, his playing sounds more like a horn, spitting out line after line of percussive piano.  Only the easy swing and the presence of Jim Hall’s laid-back guitar remind you that this was recorded on the Best Coast (no typo). Continue reading

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Desmond Vs. Drums, or Adventures in Tinky-Boom

After a lengthy spell of no posts, I found some time to write.  I won’t say free time, because if I do, an assignment will suddenly appear.  While sitting in a particularly boring lecture the other day, I began to think about Paul Desmond’s public and private spats with drummers in Brubeck’s quartets. Continue reading

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Max Roach Plus Four // Max Roach (Mercury/EmArcy MG 36098)

The Music


Tune:  Mr. X

Recorded:  17 September, 1956 in New York City Continue reading

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Shining Hour- Live At The Trident // Denny Zeitlin (Columbia CL 2463)

Jazz fans like to know the musicians that most jazz fans don’t know.  It’s almost like a secret rite of passage, being familiar with the jazz musicians that seemed to have slipped through the cracks of history and praise.  Yeah, Miles was great, but what about Kenny Dorham?  Oscar Peterson had chops, but so did Phineas Newborn.  One jazz musician in particular that has enjoyed an extreme lack of notoriety and celebration is Denny Zeitlin. Continue reading

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Desmond’s Quotes // How High The Moon (Again)

For the last few weeks, everyone and their mother has been abuzz with excitement about the total eclipse, billed as the Great American Eclipse.  To commemorate the event, I thought I’d spotlight a jazz tune all about lunar happenings.

This galactic installment of ‘Desmond’s Quotes’ Continue reading

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Brubeck a la Mode // Dave Brubeck (Fantasy Original Jazz Classics OJC-200)

Continuing with my habit of profiling Brubeck albums that are less-known, here’s another rather obscure album that Brubeck appeared on.  Literally. Continue reading

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Desmond’s Quotes // How High The Moon

This installment of Desmond’s Quotes comes from yet another live appearance in a nightclub, luckily recorded from a radio broadcast over 60 years ago.  In January of 1952, Dave Brubeck and his Quartet were in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of their first tour of the East Coast, or as announcer Nat Hentoff called it, their “eastern hegira”.  Which is actually kind of funny yet true when you apply the context of the word ‘hegira’. Continue reading

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