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DEC 24, 2016 – From Earlier in the Week- Jimmy Smith and More..

DEC 24, 2016 – What You Missed Earlier in the Week (Thanks to Me not Writing About It!)

So Wednesday my  granddaughter Zoe and I ran some errands. The trip included: Walmart, the library and Lowe’s. For the trip to the library was an album that ‘i picked up at the Princeton Record Exchange a while back. It is a compilation album of tracks from albums that Jimmy Smith recorded on the Milestone label, during his brief tenure with the label. The album is titled Milestone Profiles: Jimmy Smith.

Milestone Profiles: Jimmy Smith.

Jimmy Smith has always been a jazz favorite of mine. My first exposure to jimmy Smith’s dynamic organ playing was the album The Dynamic Duo, he recorded with Wes Montgomery. Eventually Jimmy Smith’s Greatest  Hits album  became a favorite in my music rotation. That album introduced me to Jimmy’s  hits like “The Champ” and “The Sermon” Through the years many Smith albums have been added to my music library!!

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Melvin Rhyne – Jazz Organ – Born October 12, 1936

Melvin Rhyne an Original Member of the Wes Montgomery Trio and More!

One of my favorite things to do is to scroll down the daily list of birthdays at All About Jazz. I always check for names I am unfamiliar with and/or musicians who play instruments that I enjoy! Today as I looked over the list I noticed a Hammond B-3 Organ player Melvin Rhyne.  I didn’t recognize Melvin’s name. However, after reading the following synopsis of the early years Rhyne’s career, I do believe I probably have heard his Hammond B-3 before……


Melvin Ryne was born on October 12, 1936 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her starte playing piano at an early age. He became a part of the city’s jazz scene at the age of 19 whenwhen…..

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Marquis Hill – The Way We Play

The Way We Play – Marquis Hill puts his own spin on some jazz classics

I first discovered the music of Marquis Hill back on 2013, around the time of the release of his album The Poet. At the time, I couldn’t find The Poet at any of my usual listening spots, so I listened to his album Sounds of the City . IK quickly became a fan! The sounds of the city emanated from Marquis’ home town of Chicago and the album was outstanding.

After the release of  The Poet, Marquis won  the 2014 THELONIOUS MONK INTERNATIONAL JAZZ COMPETITION. The winner of that competition also wins a recording contract with Concord Records. The Way We Play is the first album of the contract.The result may be a long and award-winning collaboration between the two! Jazz Times says this about Marquis’s playing

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Terceto Kali hits the Flamenco-Jazz Scene

Terceto Kali – Terceto Kali

One of the albums that has been in my music rotation this past week while on vacation on Long Beach
Island in NJ was the latest the self-titled debut album from a three-man trio Terceto Kali. The trio led by virtuoso flamenco guitarist Jason McGuire “El Rubio, plays a blend of flamenco, Latin and jazz rooted in a variety of musical genres. Prior to the release of this debut album the band was billed as The Jason McGuire Trio. Either way, if you are a fan of flamenco guitar, oh hell, if you are a fan of guitar playing, you are going to love this album! Throughout the album, “El Rubio” lives up to his billing as a virtuoso guitarist!

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A Playlist for a Thursday Morning Commute

Some Jazz, Blues and Prog Make for a Fine Commute Playlist

This morning I put the iPod on playlists recently played and for my commute to and from work at Target the soundtrack was a mix of new music added to my music library. Some the tracks are from the albums that I bought at the Princeton Record Exchange a couple of weeks ago and some are just new albums. So here’s the twelve track playlist…

  1. “Little Niles” – In the Vanguard – Bobby Hutcherson
  2. “No Good Place for the Lonely” – Blues of Desperation – Joe Bonamassa
  3. “Scorpio” – Shock Value – Live at Smoke- Jeremy Pelt .
  4. “Cause” – Shock Value – Live at Smoke- Jeremy Pelt .
  5. “This Train” –  Blues of Desperation – Joe Bonamassa”
  6. “Just In Time” (Take 11)  – Expoobedient – Lee Morgan
  7. “Quik” – Have You Heard – Javon Jackson
  8. “Somewhere in Dreams” – Project X  Dark Moor
  9. “Suspicion” – Shock Value – Live at Smoke- Jeremy Pelt .
  10. “Hightime” – Dark Blue – Jim Rotondi
  11. “The Valley Runs Low” –  Blues of Desperation – Joe Bonamassa”
  12. “Nevermore”  Project X – Dark Moor

The following is a breakdown of the albums on the playlist and the number of tracks from each album. Let’s see the list is composed of tracks from five jazz albums, one blues album and a prog rock album…….

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Jason Marsalis – Vibes the Marsalis Way!!

Jason Marsalis :Vibraphone Born: March 4, 1977

So a while back I came across the album In a World of Mallets by Jason Marsalis. I listened to the album because the lead instrument was a vibraphone and not because of the name Marsalis. In fact I didn’t even make the connection until today, when I was reading about Jason, who is celebrating birthday thirty-ninth (39) Soon, ,when I read that Jason was in fact the youngest of the famous Marsalis family led by father Ellis and includes brothers Wynton, Bradford and Delfeayo! I felt a little better when I read at All About Jazz that…..

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Brandon Santini – Live & Extended!

Brandon Santini

Brandon Santini – Live & Extended!

I love blues harmonica! I guess it stems back to listening to guys like John Mayall, Sonny Terry, Paul Butterfield and Sonny Boy Williamson in the 70s. Over the years, the list of my favorite harp players has grown to include: James cotton, Jason Ricci, Kim Wilson, Mark Hummel, Rick Estrin and others. One player who is quickly moving up the ranks of my favorites is Memphis’ Brandon Santini!! With a sound that has been compared to Mister Cotton and Mister Butterfield, this native of the Piedmont region of North Carolina is staking his claim for inclusion among the best!! In my eyes and ears, he already is included! My first encounter with Brandon was when I picked up his 2013 release This Time Another Year which is a great album, but his latest release, Live & Extended! has topped it!

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Stephane Grappelli – Grandfather of Jazz Violinists”

Stephane Grappelli  – violin (January 26, 1908 -December 1, 1997)

Today is the birthday of the musician whom many people call “the grandfather of the jazz violinists”Stephane Grappelli. Grappelli was born in 1908 and passed away in  1997 at the age of 89! He had  performed  well into his 80s!  Basically, I know of Grappelli through the album Paris Encounter recorded with Gary Burton in 1969 I should now Stephane Grappelli  because he founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934! The group was one of the first all-string jazz bands!

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Brian Lynch and Emmet Cohen – Question Answered.

Brian Lynch and Emmet CohenOne of my favorite albums over the last month or two is  the latest release from Grammy-winning trumpeter, Brian Lynch, Questioned Answered. Actually, I should say the latest from Brian Lynch and up and coming jazz pianist Emmet Cohen.  While I love Lynch’s trumpet on this album, its Cohen’s piano, that at least for me, makes this album special. Here’s what Brian Lynch says about his meeting and connection with Emmet Cohen…..

I first had the pleasure of making Emmet Cohen’s acquaintance in January 2011 on that year’s Jazz Cruise, where I was playing as a soloist and he was showcased with his trio from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he was then a student. I was really impressed with his playing, and I dug the young man’s personality, enthusiasm and knowledge of the jazz tradition. Fast forward a few months, and I found myself in Miami as the new Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Frost (through a series of events precipitated on that cruise, a story for another time), and in proximity to Emmet on a daily basis as he finished his last year of undergraduate work. We were able to take advantage of the educational environment to schedule weekly playing sessions (“lessons”) where we could explore a lot of music in a duo format; at the same time I was more fully exposed to the breadth of his talent as a player and composer through frequent sessions and performance situations. He checked out my music and picked up a few tips from me at the same time. Read More

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Milt Jackson:Great Vibes for a New Year!

Milton “Bags” Jackson (January 1, 1923 – October 9, 1999)

Milt Jackson

For the longest time my favorite vibraphonist was Gary Burton and while he still may be my favorite, coming in a close second is Milt Jackson, who would have celebrated his 92nd  birthday today! From Wikipedia:

 Milton “Bags” Jackson (January 1, 1923 – October 9, 1999) was an American jazz vibraphonist, usually thought of as a bebop player, although he performed in several jazz idioms. He is especially remembered for his cool swinging solos as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet and his penchant for collaborating with several hard bop and post-bop players.

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