Robert Glasper : Taking Jazz to New Audiences

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist with a knack for mellow, harmonically complex compositions that also reveal a subtle hip-hop influence. Inspired to play piano by his mother, a gospel pianist and vocalist, Glasper attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts. After graduation, he studied music at the New School […]

Ornette Coleman : Artist of the Century

When Ornette Coleman passed away last year at the age of 85 there was much written about his life, career and impact.  Today is his birthday, and I wish to mark the day by repeating some of those remembrances and listening his music, which is his true legacy. Joe Lovano Saxophonist From an early age […]

Four Post-Bop Classics on Blue Note

Post-bop is jazz from the mid-1960s onward that assimilates hard bop, modal jazz, avant-garde and free jazz without necessarily being immediately identifiable as any of the above. According to musicologist Jeremy Yudkin, post-bop does not follow “the conventions of bop or the apparently formless freedom of the new jazz”.  He wrote in his definition of […]

Miles Davis : Bitches Brew (1970)

Shortly before his death in 1991, Miles Davis remarked “You don’t change music, music changes you.” While that statement is unassailable regarding the vast majority of artists, no matter how influential, Miles Davis was definitely an exception. Indeed, the Man with the Horn was being uncharacteristically modest, and he knew it. He did, after all, actually […]

Charles Mingus : The Jazz Workshop Concerts: 1964-1965

When Sy Johnson, a jazz pianist and arranger, used to visit Charles Mingus at his apartment in the East Village in the 1960s, there was always a pot of soup on the stove, and Mingus—a gourmand who once interrupted a concert to eat a steak dinner on the bandstand—was constantly tasting it. “He would say—‘Needs […]

Abbey Lincoln : A Turtle’s Dream

Singer Abbey Lincoln has been persuasive in her recordings over the past few years, but in her latest release, “A Turtle’s Dream,” she attains a new expressive depth and ardor. Probably the best recording of her career, “A Turtle’s Dream”  documents an artist who has pared down her means and her message to their essence. […]