June 12, 2003 |
The New York avant-garde jazz scene of the '60s would not have been the same without Henry Grimes. Although the bassist had established solid credentials as a mainstream player in the late '50s with Gerry Mulligan and Sonny Rollins, he quickly embraced the startling, ever-shifting new music forms bursting onto the scene in the next decade.
February 18, 2007 |
SINCE the 1950s, Ornette Coleman has hacked his own trails in improvised music. It was lonely out there in the wilderness, but he never looked back. What made him do it? "My mother and my father were both born on Dec. 25," the sax-violin-trumpet virtuoso says quietly, crouched on a couch in his Midtown Manhattan loft, a week before last Sunday's presentation of a Grammy lifetime achievement award that brought him his biggest prime-time recognition, just before the age of 77. Christmas?
April 30, 1998 |
Artistic identity is as vital to jazz as it is to the other arts. The capacity to generate an expressive singularity, one that is instantly identifiable, is as important to a jazz improviser as it is to a novelist, painter or dancer. In his early years, saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who opened a five-night run at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday before a full, responsive crowd, was often linked with John Coltrane. But his resurgence in the '90s has produced a far more personal sound and style.
September 6, 1996 |
Most American jazz musicians in the '90s have focused strongly upon restoring the mainstream styles of the '50s and '60s. Ironically, at the same time, many jazz players from other parts of the world have moved away from the mainstream, taking the music into intriguing areas of exploration and discovery. Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu, who appeared with his quartet at LunaPark Wednesday night, has never been quite like any other drummer.
September 10, 1990 |
The promised reunion of the original Ornette Coleman Quartet at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday night turned out to be one headliner short. Trumpeter Don Cherry, described as ill after dental work, failed to show for the Los Angeles Festival event. His absence put only a slight damper on an otherwise fascinating musical event. The Coleman Quartet--with Billy Higgins on drums and Charlie Haden on bass--was a catalytic factor in the many changes taking place in jazz in the late '50s and early '60s.
April 4, 1989 |
Let's start with the name. The group DO'AH, according to co-leader and guitarist Randy Armstrong, is a Persian word signifying a call to prayer. A bit esoteric, perhaps, for a pop or jazz group, but, as its Sunday-night opening set at At My Place made amply clear, New Hampshire-based New Age group DO'AH has lofty aspirations--most notably to blend jazz and pop with what might loosely (if somewhat inaccurately) be described as "world music."
January 15, 1991 |
Was it a case of the emperor's new clothes or a brief look inside the essence of the creative process? Don Cherry's solo performance at McCabe's Friday night appeared to promote the latter. But there were many moments when one expected an unconvinced observer to stand up and shout, "Nothing's happening here!" Best known, perhaps, for his role in the '60s as Ornette Coleman's pocket trumpet-playing sidekick, Cherry has traveled an iconoclastic path in the intervening years.
October 2, 2000 |
Percussionist Adam Rudolph has been one of the improvisational world's more adventurous players. He has, for example, worked for many years in tandem with veteran saxophone/woodwind artist Yusef Lateef in a continuing exploration of the cross-cultural linkages between jazz and a variety of world musics.
November 6, 2000 |
.R Carlos Nakai is to Native American flute music what James Galway has been to Irish music and to the classical flute. That is, the performer who has crossed over from a relative niche market into the wider public consciousness. Nakai, in addition, has done an extremely effective job of bringing his take on Native American--or indigenous--music into the mainstream.
October 18, 1992 |
London-based dance diva Neneh Cherry made such a splash with her debut album, 1989's "Raw Like Sushi," that the follow-up has been one of the most eagerly awaited albums in pop. And it's been a long wait. The exotic African-Swedish beauty wasn't about to be rushed.