Nat King Cole – Jazz Pianist – Part 1

“Perhaps the first great crossover musician, Cole's evolution from dazzling pianist to luxuriant crooner has often caused the wringing of hands in the jazz audience. Yet one also wonders if, by the time he had become a singing star, he had already said everything he had to on the keyboard, during the enormous series of [...]

Notes and tones: Jazz Appreciation Month feels different this year

[Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on Jazz Appreciation Month. Part One is an overview; Part Two will offer some specific domestic and international highlights, including a look at International Jazz Day held each April 30.] Thursday, I was reminded again how much The Thing That Took Over The World has dominated our lives for more than [...]

Jaco Pastorius, An Introduction To The Jazz Legend

Jaco Pastorius often told people that he was the greatest bass player in the world. During his brief, mercurial career, there was enough truth to his contention that his words didn’t seem all that brash or uncouth. Pastorius, who passed away at the age of 35 in 1987, was a singular figure in jazz world. [...]

‘The Pure Musical Grace of Self-Confidence’ — Professional Instructor and Internationally Celebrated Pianist Matthew Xiong Teaches Musicians How to Battle Through Performance Anxiety

ALLSTON, Mass., Concert Pianist Matthew Xiong announced he was currently teaching musicians of all levels, and specializes in the skill of helping pupils work through performance anxiety issues. Matthew began learning the piano at age five and went on to an internationally celebrated career after his debut performance at the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the [...]

Thinking in Jazz – “Seeing Out A Bit”

“It all goes from imitation to assimilation to innovation. You move from the imitation stage to the assimilation stage when you take little bits of things from different people and weld them into an identifiable style—creating your own style. Once you've created your own sound and you have a good sense of the history of [...]

Will music festivals happen in 2021? Here’s what we know

After a year with no live music, large-scale festivals are making a triumphant return in 2021 — for the most part. A handful of major music festivals have announced that they plan to forge ahead with their events in 2021, and some are getting creative to ensure the music plays. California’s Outside Lands, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo [...]

Milford Graves obituary | Jazz

Drumming is a matter of doing several different and difficult things at the same time, and Milford Graves, who has died aged 79, extended that agility to just about everything he did in his polymathic life. To the jazz world, Graves was the percussion trailblazer who had played popular Latin-jazz and accompanied the South African [...]

Anita Baker: Rapture | Review

Quiet storm, a Black radio format that developed in the late-’70s around pebble-smooth R&B balladry, is one of the rare subgenre names that suggests the ideal context for itself. Play “Choosey Lover” by the Isley Brothers or even Smokey Robinson’s original “Quiet Storm.” Notice how the skies in those songs are bruised with dark purple [...]

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