Flea Association
10/13/2011 12:00:00 AM
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My Morning Jacket's Tom Blankenship
10/13/2011 12:00:00 AM
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John B. Williams : Basement Dwelling
6/1/2011 1:00:00 AM

IN A CAREER THAT SPANS MORE THAN 40 years, John B. Williams has performed with some the world’s most renowned jazz artists—Nancy Wilson, Horace Silver, Count Basie, Louie Bellson, Billy Cobham, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and the Manhattan Transfer, to name a few.

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Roland Guerin On Groove And Expression
11/1/2009 3:25:00 AM

NEW ORLEANS SCENE STALWART Roland Guerin was an undeclared MVP at Jazz Fest this year, variously laying down solid jazz walking and spiky funk grooves with keyboard men Allen Toussaint, Henry Butler, and Ellis Marsalis. When not playing with them, guitarist John Scofield, or pianist Marcus Roberts, Guerin is busy prepping his sixth solo album. He has also contributed music to the score of the documentary “Historically Black,” a forthcoming DVD from Nerjyzed Entertainment.

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Jerome Harris On Acoustic Bass Guitar
11/1/2009 2:45:00 AM

IT WAS ON A EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SONNY ROLLINS in the late ’80s when Jerome Harris first got turned on to the acoustic bass guitar. Jerome had been playing a Fender Precision Bass with the legendary tenor saxophonist, but after encountering the warm, round tones of the acoustic bass guitar one afternoon in Amsterdam, Harris was inspired to acquire one for himself. “I wanted something I could play on a straightahead jazz gig without getting the hairy eyeball,” says Harris. “That’s generally how straight-ahead cats would look at me when I’d pull out my Fender P-Bass. I’ve certainly studied upright jazz style, but I’ve never taken that beast on,” says the native New Yorker. “I thought about getting a double bass when I was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, but I couldn’t find one I could afford. Since I was already playing guitar and bass guitar, I figured I’d have to drop something if I were to seriously study double bass. For me, the acoustic More...

Miroslav Vitous Re-imagines A Different Weather Report
10/1/2009 8:25:00 AM

IN THE TITLE OF VIRTUOSO JAZZ bassist Miroslav Vitous’s latest album, Remembering Weather Report [ECM, 2009], the word “remembering” carries a lot of weight. He was right there with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul at the beginning of what we now know to be the seminal fusion band of the ’70s, but his era [Weather Report and I Sing The Body Electric, Columbia, 1971] was a more experimental, streamof- consciousness project than the form-and-groove driven, Pastorius-powered version. It’s this earlier vision and spirit that Vitous honors on Remembering. This allacoustic recording is a largely free-form improvised look back to what was, with a hopeful look ahead to the future. As Vitous says, the goal is “awakening the spirit of the direct communication, as now is the time to go in that direction. The old concept is long past-due expired.”

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CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE's Straightahead Masterwork
9/1/2009 12:10:00 PM

HE’S 37 YEARS OLD AND HAS WON A GRAMMY, BEEN COMPARED TO RAY BROWN on upright, toured with Chick Corea and John McLaughlin on electric, gotten first-call treatment from both hardcore jazzers (Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner) and pop stars (Sting), arranged for orchestras, directed the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, obtained artist residencies at the Detroit and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and even conducted his own radio show about jazz and—wait for it—sports. But for Philly native Christian McBride, being referred to as one of the masters still evokes incredulity. “Are you kidding? I’m still the young phenom,” he says, chortling. “I can feel it now. I’ll be 70, and all those old jazz writers are gonna be going, Young Christian McBride, in his brief career . . . .”

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