Ehud Asherie Redux

From stride to bop, the pianist keeps it fresh

I enthused over Ehud Asherie two years ago on this blog, and my appreciation for the pianist only grows. I’ve seen him twice since then, and two or three new recordings have appeared as well, so the Israeli-born New Yorker remains in view.

Jim Hall in Varying Degrees

Dempsey-Ferguson at Smalls

Jim Hall was featured on the premiere recording of John Lewis’s “Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West” in 1956. The tune, an enchanting blues, alludes to the birthplaces of the five participants on the session…

Monty Alexander

Kingston-Harlem Grooves

Today is Monty Alexander’s 70th birthday.  The pianist was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and while he’s an outstanding exponent of mainstream grooves, his career began with r&b bands in Kingston and his repertoire has long included blues classics…

Marian McPartland’s In My Life

Marian McPartland’s In My Life, recorded in 1993, has an eclectic quality that’s fairly typical for the English-born pianist. But how many other jazz artists […]

Ellington Forever

Some Carp, But 40 Years After His Death, Duke's Legacy Endures

Duke Ellington died forty years ago on May 24, 1974. He’d turned 75 a month earlier. I was twenty, I’d seen him six times, and I felt like I’d lost my guiding light. He was a shepherd to countless thousands over three generations…

New Orleans Journal 2014

When my wife Meg and I visited New Orleans a year ago, we heard Aurora Nealand in person for the first time, and I wrote […]

A Mike Bloomfield alt-Anthology

In my recent review of the Mike Bloomfield anthology, From His Head to His Heart to His Hands, I mentioned some of the artists he recorded with who are missing from the Al Kooper-produced, 3-disc set.

A Michael Bloomfield Retrospective

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands

The blues-rock icon Michael Bloomfield is the subject of a new 3-CD retrospective produced and “curated” by Al Kooper for Columbia/Legacy.  From His Head to His Heart to His Hands includes a smattering of….

Big Joe’s Proteges: Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield

Two Degrees of Separation

I blogged about Mike Bloomfield and Bob Dylan in December, writing here about their first encounter in Chicago in 1963, the crucial role that Bloomfield played backing Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, the beautiful licks he laid down on Highway 61 Revisited…