Mosaic's new collection of Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars includes over 11 hours of live performances spread over 9 CDs. Co-Producer and annotator Ricky Riccardi has long held that Armstrong's later recordings are as important as his early works, and reviewer Thomas Cunniffe states that the music in this Mosaic set validates Riccardi's arguments. This expanded Retro Review offers a detailed look at the music in this outstanding collection.
Jazz fiction is a rarely-used literary sub-genre, which means the forms are open enough to allow its writers a great deal of flexibility. Scott Shachter's new novel "Outside In" tells the story of a progressive jazz saxophonist and his rather unusual number one fan. Thomas Cunniffe reviews this funny and engaging book, which shows the diverse influences of Kurt Vonnegut and Steven Spielberg.
In the spring of 2010, vocal jazz fans were treated to a pair of amazing recordings: "Vocabularies" by Bobby McFerrin (arranged by Roger Treece) and "The Music of Maria Schneider" by Kerry Marsh and Julia Dollison. Marsh and Dollison are better known in educational circles than to the jazz public, but their recordings continue to astound listeners. In this exclusive Jazz History Online interview, Thomas Cunniffe talks to Marsh and Dollison about the Schneider album, their quartet Vertical Voices and the future of vocal jazz.
The June 9, 1945 Town Hall concert produced by Timme Rosenkrantz was ostensibly a celebration of small group swing, featuringRed
Norvo, Gene Krupa, Bill Coleman, Teddy Wilson, Don Byas and Stuff
Smith. However, there were elements of the newly emerging bebop style
for anyone who was listening.Thomas Cunniffe discusses the music and tells of the concert's fascinating back story in this month's Sidetracks.
Before it was interpolated into the Broadway revue, "Three's A Crowd", Johnny Green's "Body and Soul" had been a hit in England. As the musical went through tryouts, the lyrics of the song underwent a complete rewrite before its Broadway premiere. In this interactive Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe examines 17 recordings of "B&S" recorded between February and October 1930.
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Jazz fans expect (and receive) great music from certain veteran musicians. That is certainly the case with drummer Jimmy Cobb, pianist Fred Hersch and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Thomas Cunniffe reviews three superb new releases from these jazz giants in this month's instrumental CD reviews.
VANESSA PEREA: "SOULFUL DAYS"
New Jersey vocalist Vanessa Perea's debut CD, "Soulful Days" is as remarkable for its understatement as it is for its musicality. With just a few years of concentrated study, Perea is an accomplished scat singer, vocalese lyricist and balladeer. This month, JHO reviewer Thomas Cunniffe focuses on this stunning album, and speculates that Perea could become jazz's next major vocalist.
& THE SWINGLE SINGERS; GREELEY, CO (April 24, 2014) For
the opening night concert of the Greeley (Colorado) Jazz Festival
presented the Swingle Singers and the Northern Colorado Voices. In his
concert review, Thomas Cunniffe reports that the student group
represented the finest of current vocal jazz trends, while the Swingles
pointed the way to the future with their jaw-dropping performance.
With contemporary music styles cross-fertilizing before our very ears, the training of young musicians requires instruction in an ever-widening range of genres. A gala concert featuring the talented students, alumni and mentors from three pioneering music education programs has just been released as the CD/DVD set (and PBS special), "Jazz and the Philharmonic". Thomas Cunniffe reviews the discs.
Wardell may be the greatest singer you've never heard. Well-known in
Europe, but barely known in the US, Wardell is one of the best scat
singers in jazz today, and she also is a superb interpreter of vocalese,
jazz originals and standards. Thomas Cunniffe introduces you to Wardell
in this profile which features 5 complete audio selections and a video
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