News & Updates

Jackie McLean / May 17, 1931 - March 31, 2006

Jackie McLean / May 17, 1931 - March 31, 2006

Alto saxophonist, educator and activist Jackie McLean had a long career of quality hard-bop and post-bop jazz. He also played in modal settings and his alto sound could be as commanding as a tenor at times. His run on Prestige and Blue Note in the '50s and '60s is as classic as any of the hard bop era. He also made several appearances on albums by other Blue Note artists. From NYC, his father was a professional guitarist with Tiny Bradshaw but he passed away while Jackie was a child. He soaked up the bebop scene, hanging with Charlie Parker,...

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Dewey Redman / May 17, 1931 - Sept 2, 2006

Dewey Redman / May 17, 1931 - Sept 2, 2006

Great Texan saxophonist Dewey Redman is best known for his work with Ornette Coleman, the great "Birth" band (as I call it, after one of their great records) with Keith Jarrett, Old & New Dreams and his own fine output on Impulse!, Freedom, Actuel, ECM, Black Saint and others. He was self-taught and didn't lead a band until he was in his 30s. He was the nephew of famed pioneering swing jazz hornsmen/arranger Don Redman (known for his work with Fletcher Henderson and others). Dewey started as a kid on clarinet, playing in a church band, before picking up the...

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Betty Carter / May 16, 1929 - Sept 26, 1998

Betty Carter / May 16, 1929 - Sept 26, 1998

One of the most inventive vocal stylists in all of jazz, Betty Carter not only brought a gift for radical improvisation, a "breathy" artful style at times and a hip scatting flow, but she also brought an independent spirit with her own Bet-Car record label, where she sold albums direct to fans and stores out of the trunk of her car. She grew up in Detroit and was singing in the nightclubs as a teenager, due to possessing a fake ID. Early experience with Dizzy Gillespie was a huge influence on her, as well as early encounters with Charlie Parker,...

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Sidney Bechet / May 14, 1897 - May 14, 1959

Sidney Bechet / May 14, 1897 - May 14, 1959

One of the early solo stylists of jazz, Sidney Bechet ripped it up in his native New Orleans, marching in parade bands, playing parties and as clarinetist with the Eagle Band and others before joining King Oliver's band in 1913. That band did some heavy touring, including a residency in Chicago. In 1919 he joined the Syncopated Orchestra in NYC and that band went to Europe and became a sensation, even attracting positive attention from the classical music world. In London he started playing the soprano saxophone and became the early standard on that instrument (greatly influencing John Coltrane). His...

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Jack Bruce / May 14, 1943 - Oct 25, 2014

Jack Bruce / May 14, 1943 - Oct 25, 2014

Perhaps best known to casuals as the bassist of Cream, the Scottish virtuoso Jack Bruce in fact had a long and varied career that included rock, blues, jazz, classical, third stream, Latin, world music and fusion. He could play electric & upright bass, cello, piano, harmonica and was a singer/songwriter as well. Growing up listening to jazz, he studied classical cello and was kicked out of music school for playing jazz on the side. In the early '60s he toured Europe in a big band and joined the legendary Blues Incorporated in '62, which splintered off into the Graham Bond...

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