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  • RIP Lee Konitz - October 13, 1927 - April 15, 2020

    54,355 views 1 month ago
    Lee Konitz, performing at the April 8, 1973 Highlights in Jazz Tribute to Charlie Parker presented by Jack Kleinsinger featuring Mr. Konitz on alto, Cecil Payne on baritone sax, Howard McGhee and Jimmy Owens on trumpet, bebop vocalist Joe Carroll, Ted Dunbar on guitar, Richard Davis on bass, and Bernard Purdie on drums.

    Lee Konitz was an American jazz musician, a leading figure in cool jazz and one of the most distinctive alto saxophonists.

    Konitz attended Roosevelt University in Chicago and played alto saxophone in the Claude Thornhill band (1947–48), before settling in New York City. Influenced by pianist Lennie Tristano, he developed his mature style and in 1948–50 played in the two seminal cool jazz projects, the Miles Davis “Birth of the Cool” nonet and the Lennie Tristano sextet. After spending a year in the Stan Kenton big band (1952–53), Konitz began a uniquely varied freelance career. He performed often with bop musicians and, in especially rewarding reunions, with Tristano and others of the Tristano circle, such as pianist Sal Mosca and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh. Apart from appearing in conventional jazz ensembles, he played in duet and solo settings and in his own nonet, which he organized sporadically in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Early in his career, Konitz played with an uninflected, vibratoless tone, in contrast to the dominant Charlie Parker alto saxophone style; in time his sound became more expressive without sacrificing its essential clarity. Above all else he was a melodic improviser, who originally played long, often even-noted lines with capricious accents, and who grew steadily to conceive in more varied phrasing. Noted for his frequent harmonic daring, he participated in rare free jazz events, including a free improvisation festival organized by guitarist Derek Bailey in London in 1987. He was an important influence on West Coast alto saxophonists, and he intermittently performed on other woodwinds as well.
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  • McCoy Tyner - December 11, 1938 - March 6, 2020 Play all

    We lost a great artist in McCoy Tyner, I had the honor of playing with him in the Coltrane group and his own groups. I am truly grateful for those moments, my condolences to the family and may he be at peace. — Jack DeJohnette
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  • Bret Lives! Play all

    A guide to all things Bret
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  • Trane Lives! Play all

    Remembering John Coltrane on the anniversary of his birth.
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  • Peaceful Saxophone Warrior - Michael Brecker Play all

    My favorite MIchael Brecker videos. Michael Leonard Brecker (March 29, 1949 -- January 13, 2007) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Acknowledged as "a quiet, gentle musician" widely regarded as the most influential tenor saxophonist since John Coltrane, he has been awarded 15 Grammy Awards as both performer and composer and was inducted into Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2007.

    A remarkable technician and a highly influential tenor saxophonist (the biggest influence on other tenors since Wayne Shorter), Michael Brecker took a long time before getting around to recording his first solo album. He spent much of his career as a top-notch studio player who often appeared backing pop singers, leading some jazz listeners to overlook his very strong improvising skills.

    Brecker originally started on clarinet and alto before switching to tenor in high school. Early on, he played with rock- and R&B-oriented bands. In 1969, he moved to New York and soon joined Dreams, an early fusion group. Brecker was with Horace Silver during 1973-1974, gigged with Billy Cobham, and then co-led the Brecker Brothers (a commercially successful funk group) with his brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker, for most of the 1970s. He was with Steps (later Steps Ahead) in the early '80s, doubled on an EWI (electronic wind instrument), and made a countless number of studio sessions during the 1970s and '80s, popping up practically everywhere (including with James Taylor, Yoko Ono, and Paul Simon). With the release of his first album as a leader in 1987 (when he was already 38), Brecker started appearing more often in challenging jazz settings. He recorded additional sets as a leader (in 1988 and 1990), teamed up with McCoy Tyner on one of 1995's most rewarding jazz recordings, and toured with a reunited Brecker Brothers band. Two Blocks from the Edge followed in 1998, and a year later Brecker returned with Time Is of the Essence. The early 2000s saw the release of Nearness of You: The Ballad Book and Wide Angles in 2001 and 2003, respectively. However, after experiencing some mysterious back pain during a concert in 2005, Brecker was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a cancer of the blood marrow. A failed search for a matching bone marrow donor eventually led to an experimental partially matching blood stem cell transplant via his daughter in late 2005. He passed away on January 13, 2007.
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  • Ballads We Know and Love Play all

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  • Hal Galper's Master Classes Play all

    Harold "Hal" Galper (born April 18, 1938) is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, and writer. He studied classical piano as a boy, but switched to jazz which he studied at the Berklee College of Music from 1955 to 1958. He hung out at Herb Pomeroy's club, the Stable, hearing local Boston musicians such as Jaki Byard, Alan Dawson and Sam Rivers. Galper started sitting in and became the house pianist at the Stable and later on, at Connelly's and Lenny's on the Turnpike. He went on to work in Pomeroy's band.

    Later on he worked with Chet Baker and Stan Getz and accompanied vocalists Joe Williams, Anita O'Day, and Chris Connor.

    Between 1973-1975, Galper played in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet replacing George Duke. He performed in New York and Chicago jazz clubs in the late 1970s. Around this time, Galper recorded several times with guitarist John Scofield for the Enja label.

    For 10 years (1980–1990) he was a member of Phil Woods's quintet.

    Galper left the Woods group in August 1990 to start touring and recording with his new trio with Steve Ellington on drums and Jeff Johnson on bass. From 1990-1999, Hal's group was on the road six months a year.

    Galper is internationally known as an educator. His theoretical and practical articles have appeared in six of Down Beat editions. His scholarly article on the psychology of stage fright, originally published in the Jazz Educators Journal, has subsequently been reprinted in four other publications.

    Hal is on the faculty of Purchase College and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

    For more lessons and more Hal, please visit http://www.halgalper.com
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  • Bill Evans Lives! Play all

    William John Evans ( /ˈɛvəns/, August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. Evans' use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.

    Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1929, he was classically trained, and studied at Southeastern Louisiana University and the Mannes School of Music, where he majored in composition and received the Artist Diploma. In 1955, he moved to New York City, where he worked with bandleader and theorist George Russell. In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis's sextet, where he was to have a profound influence. In 1959, the band, then immersed in modal jazz, recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time.

    In late 1959, Evans left the Miles Davis band and began his career as a leader with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, a group now regarded as a seminal modern jazz trio. In 1961, ten days after recording the highly acclaimed Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, LaFaro died in a car accident. After months of seclusion, Evans re-emerged with a new trio, featuring bassist Chuck Israels.

    In 1963, Evans recorded Conversations with Myself, an innovative solo album using the unconventional (in jazz solo recordings) technique of overdubbing over himself. In 1966, he met bassist Eddie Gómez, with whom he would work for eleven years. Several successful albums followed, such as Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Alone and The Bill Evans Album, among others.

    Many of his compositions, such as "Waltz for Debby", have become standards and have been played and recorded by many artists. Evans was honored with 31 Grammy nominations and seven awards, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
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