From the monthly archives: "September 2013"

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It is very interesting how the term “Internet Radio” is being irresponsibly thrown around lately. It seems that if you have a “Music Service” then you automatically have a full fledged “Internet Radio Station.” Well you do, don’t you? Not exactly but if you want to feel like you do, go ahead. A music service is a short term self-satisfying achievement that only benefits each individual subscriber’s particular taste. This is only superficial, since they don’t own the music at all and are only sharing it. A great concept, you would think, having access to hundreds of thousands of songs and playing it for yourself anywhere you like. You can make your own playlists and show them off to the other music service subscribers, in a community type of atmosphere. Its a great concept, if one has the time and if the other fellow subscribers are willing to appreciate your specialized playlist. It can be competitive and at their expense.

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A “Time Machine”

Time, that’s the problem here, do you really have the time to be searching, adding, organizing and most importantly, listening to your playlists? It can become problematic because keeping up with the creation of playlists that will finally substitute for the ones you already heard already, is quite time consuming. Time is the big factor and is the main reason why most subscribers of music services drastically lose interest after a short time. They may have discovered great new music but they cannot buy it all and are forced to create playlists for themselves to make it more convenient? If you like many types of genres, then you are doomed. If one really thinks about it, time is the problem, either if you have a music service or not. Because one now has access to all these songs doesn’t mean one has more time to listen to it.

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If you want to discover songs that you are interested in, then a music service is good for you but you need to pay. I don’t have a problem with it at all but don’t call it “Internet Radio” because its not even close to it. Omitting the word “Station” is a fine trick and has fooled many. Speaking for myself and running a real “Internet Radio Station,” this is hard work! Its really considered to be an expensive hobby, if you think about it. We buy the music and stream it to a worldwide audience for free! We do the work, the listeners just click or tap an icon and there it is, streaming through their speakers and into their ears. Now if the listeners only would like to hear certain songs and in a certain sequence, then they should opt to a “music service” and play it their way. That’s more than fair by me but they will truly be missing the “enjoyment” of music itself. Most likely, they will end out cutting their songs short because of the intensity behind all their limited preparations. To listen to music, one needs to be in a certain state of mind, you are not suppose to cut off a song short and before it finishes, so you can hear the next one. Funny as it sounds, this is exactly what is happening. Do yourself a favor and just click or tap on that icon and enjoy the music correctly. Its up to the “Internet Radio Station” operator to make sure the quality of the music they stream is good and consistent. We provide this service to all for free so the listeners can relax and truly enjoy the music we offer them. ENJOY!

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SpeakNoEvilCover

I stunned myself the other day when I realized that I didn’t have Wayne Shorter’s “Speak no Evil”  in my personal music library. I do have his Blue Note Recordings and there are three songs from Speak No Evil in there and Jazz Con Class radio rotation. I have added the ones that were not and now it is complete. This is of course, another top-notch Wayne Shorter recording and featuring four legends as his sidekicks, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones. This 1965 album is actually considered to be Hard Bop as mentioned in all the places I researched it on but it doesn’t sound exactly like this to me. It’s right there on the border line with the Hard Bop swing but itching to cross over to the Avant-Garde side every time you hear Wayne Shorters’ tenor sax sound off. Either way, its a real classic and a must have.

About the album:

The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of SPEAK NO EVIL includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal. This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series. SPEAK NO EVIL is a significant recording for two main reasons. Firstly, it is one of the first in a long string of stunning solo sessions by Shorter that showcase both his masterful saxophone abilities and his eclectic compositional style away from the leadership of Art Blakey and Miles Davis. Secondly, it combines members of the three mightiest ensembles of the period; Freddie Hubbard and Shorter worked together in Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter formed three fifths of Miles Davis’ legendary quintet and Elvin Jones was the drumming powerhouse behind John Coltrane’s famous group. Shorter introduces the session with the swinging “Witch Hunt,” a dynamic piece with many unexpected……Read More

ElomoHopeAllStarSessions

I love the straight forward, “In your face” attitude of this album cover. Great lineup and surely an all-star cast but there are others in this album cover which are not mentioned. You also have Hank Mobley, Frank Foster, Paul Chambers, Percy Heath and Blue Mitchell present in this album. As the description below explains in detail, this album “The All-Star Sessions” is taken from three different recordings and accounts for 11 songs in tatoal. Plenty of music, great stuff! This album has been added to Jazz Con Class Radio library, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). This single-CD reissues all of the music (except for a second take of “Moe, Jr.”) formerly on a two-LP set having the same name and catalog number. Before that, the music originally came out on the Prestige album Informal Jazz and the Riverside release Homecoming. The often-overlooked pianist/composer Elmo Hope is heard in three different settings. He first heads a four-song jam session (two swinging originals and a couple of standards) that has lengthy solos from trumpeter Donald Byrd and the contrasting tenors John Coltrane and Hank Mobley, along with fine support from bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Jones…….Read More

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Elmo Hope Biography:

This profile was inspired by an exceptional article here on All About Jazz by Derek Taylor called “St. Elmo’s Fire” where he focuses and expands on Elmo Hope’s music and recordings.

St. Elmo Sylvester Hope was born in New York on June 27, 1923, began piano studies by age seven and went on to win prizes for his piano recitals. He was a childhood friend of Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk and they would play piano for each other. He continued to play and improve and upon his return from the army in 1943, he dedicated his life to jazz piano, paying his dues in small clubs

in the Bronx, Greenwich Village, and Coney Island.

There were recording sessions while he was working with ex-Lionel Hampton trumpeter Joe Morris between 1948 and 1951, but that didn’t really garner much exposure. It was not until June of ’53 where dates with Lou Donaldson and Clifford Brown for Blue Note started to give Elmo Hope a name in jazz circles. He followed quickly with some sessions as leader, and another with Frank Foster, both for Prestige. There were further Prestige sides cut with top players as John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, with Paul Chambers bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. These were originally called “Informal Jazz”, but as Coltrane became a bigger name the title was changed and Hope became regulated to the role of sideman. His piano style was overshadowed by the growing popularity of both Powell and Monk, and though he was in there since the beginning of the bebop movement, he was compared to and judged against the other two. His cabaret license was pulled for a previous drug conviction and this severely limited where he could work if at all. This would start a cycle of disillusionment and frustration that would hound him all his life……….Read More

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Jazz Con Class Radio will be changing in many ways but only so its listeners could be better informed and read something interesting while they enjoy the music. This will help create a more comfortable atmosphere and in turn, make it a more complete “Radio Station.” I have temporarily removed the playlist, format and schedule link until further notice:

1. The Playlists will change a bit.

2. The Format link, will be changing also, of course, because of the new style.

3. The Schedule link will be replaced by this new link to keep the listeners informed constantly with future announcements, changes and projects that will only make this blog more helpful and entertaining to the listeners.

The name of this new link will be “Notifications.” It will consist of all the latest changes, adjustments and additions in order to keep all the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners up-to-date. I will be concentrating more on original articles concerning the history of Jazz and its musicians. I will continue to report on all the newest albums that I am constantly adding. There are many other projects/ideas that I have in mind and I will keep everyone informed. This Notification link is for the betterment of the blog itself and its readers. Most importantly, the listeners of Jazz Con Class Radio will continue to hear the highest online quality of Jazz, streaming into their speakers and headphones, 24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week, this will NEVER change!!!! Thank you for your attention and ENJOY!

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On this Wednesday, September 18th, iTunes Radio will be launching their new music platform to challenge Pandora, Spotify and others along with the new iOS7. Here’s the official (Apple Press Release):

iOS 7 With Completely Redesigned User Interface & Great New Features Available September 18

CUPERTINO, California—September 10, 2013—Apple® today announced iOS 7, featuring a completely redesigned stunning new user interface, will be available starting Wednesday, September 18 to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users as a free software update. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop®, enhanced Photos, Safari®, Siri® and introduces iTunes Radio℠, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes®. In addition, iOS 7 has been engineered with deep technical and design integration with both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. “iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it’s like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Next month we’ll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we’re excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps.”Apple engineered iOS 7 to take full advantage of the advanced 64-bit technologies in iPhone 5s, including the native 64-bit kernel, libraries and drivers. All the built-in apps have been re-engineered for 64-bit, and iOS 7 provides a seamless developer transition with Xcode® support and the ability to run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps. iOS 7 also provides deep integration with the new Touch ID™ sensor and takes full advantage of the new iSight® camera sensor to enable new features like automatic image stabilization, Burst Mode and Slo-Mo video with 120 fps. Combined with the new Camera App in iOS 7, iPhone 5s provides up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture and better dynamic range. iOS 7 is designed to complement the gorgeous exteriors of iPhone 5c, with matching wallpapers and translucency that carry the color through the entire experience.With more than 200 new features, iOS 7 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch includes:

  • Control Center, which gives you quick access to the controls you want in one convenient place with just one swipe from the bottom of your screen;
  • Notification Center, now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events;
  • improved Multitasking that gives users the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background;
  • AirDrop, an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby;
  • new Camera app filters so you can add real-time photo effects, a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe;
  • a redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location;
  • full-screen browsing with Safari’s new redesigned user interface, the new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs;
  • Siri with new male and female voices,* Twitter search integration, Wikipedia integration and Bing web searching within the app; and
  • iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes can deliver.**

Additional new iOS 7 features include a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock, that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased; FaceTime® audio for high quality calls over a data network; and new ringtones, alarms, alerts and system sounds.iPhone, iPad and iPod touch customers have access to……Learn More

There’s an uncertainty with iTunes Radio adding 200 stations, its not clear enough and it seems like they are not referring to the internet radio stations. Check this article:

Apple has sent a letter to internet radio stations requesting they provide cover art for iTunes Radio, reports MacRumors. From the email:

Dear Internet Radio Provider,

Cover Art

The iTunes Store now requires cover art for Internet Radio stations. The cover art files must be 1400 x 1400 pixels in JPG or PNG format using RGB color space. The image URL must end in “.jpg”, “.jpeg” or “.png”. To add cover art to your station, send an email to itunesradio@apple.com including your contact name, station name and cover art file.

Cover art should avoid pixelation. Any text should be legible at reduced image sizes on small devices. Note that Internet Radio cover art is not currently displayed.

Questions about iTunes Radio?

Check out iTunes Radio here.

Regards,

The iTunes Internet Radio Team

iTunes has long offered internet radio stations on its Mac and PC desktop app. What this letter suggests is that Apple will begin offering these internet radio stations on iTunes Radio on iOS when it launches this fall. If true, users will have an incredibly wide selection of radio music from both Apple’s new offering and traditional streaming internet radio channels…..Article Located Here

This report explains a certain email that was sent to all the streaming radio operators located on iTunes Radio and where The Jazz Con Class Radio is found also. The report is very accurate and I can confirm it to be true because received this exact email. As for the suggestions at the end, I sure hope it is true!!!!! This could mean that Jazz Con Class Radio will also be included with the new iMatch music service.

 

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This 1971 Avant-Garde album was totally Japanese, in regard to where it was recorded live and the Japanese musicians that accompany Joe Henderson in making it happen. The only non-Japanese about this album is Joe Henderson himself and the 4 songs performed. Of these three Japanese Jazz musician only the drummer was known in the America (Read below). From all the enjoyable hours of listening to Joe Henderson, I always get the impression of a calm collective and peaceful man. He was a an improviser to the extreme but was very much under control to a point where there was no real wildness. In my opinion, he was the best tenor saxophonist in playing a ballad, there’s no doubt about it. He also was in the forefront of the civil rights Jazz movement in the 60’s. This album, “Joe Henderson in Japan” has a certain feel to it, the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will actually experience a sort time travel back into time and will find themselves sitting right there watching Joe Henderson and company playing away! The Japanese audience’s knowledge, support and love for Avant-Garde Jazz also creates the most perfect atmosphere. This feature is my token appreciation to all the Japanese listeners that storm this radio station in the wee hours (NYC Time), THANK YOU! Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (2000, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson is heard in peak form throughout this set. Performing at the Junk Club in Tokyo, Henderson is joined by an all-Japanese rhythm section (electric pianist Hideo Ichikawa, bassist Kunimitsu Inaba, and drummer Motohiko Hino) on lengthy versions of “‘Round Midnight,” “Blue Bossa,” and his two originals “Out ‘n’ In” and “Junk Blues.” Henderson sounds quite inspired throughout the set, and the obscure rhythm section (only Hino is known in the U.S.) really pushes him…….Read More

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This 1956 album was out of this world! Sun Ra, a super talented pianist/composer played a big role in the Avant-Garde movement and was right there with Mingus, thinking “outside of the box” and taking risky improvised chances. The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners who never heard of Sun Ra will enjoy this mostly Hard Bop album very much but should learn more of his Avant-Garde albums that later followed. The ones who are very familiar with Sun Ra would be totally surprise to hear such a “down to earth” album from this “out of space” innovator. “Super-Sonic Jazz” is a collector’s item and every Jazz lover should have it in their collection along with all his other works. In my next to last post,  I mentioned John Gilmore, who gave Coltrane saxophone lessons, is brilliant in this album. But then again, the whole band is great. Sun Ra’s belief that he was in contact with aliens from Saturn should not throw anyone off at all (Read biography below). This album will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.

About the Album:

Recorded in the RCA Studios, Chicago in 1956. Originally released on El Saturn Records (216). Includes liner notes by Tom Moon. All songs written by Sun Ra except “Soft Talk” (Julian Priester). It’s hard to believe that Sun Ra had arrived from Saturn (actually Alabama), and was leading his Arkestra as early as the 1950s. In fact, ’56’s SUPER-SONIC JAZZ is one of a few releases proving that Ra had formed his renowned ensemble and developed his utterly unique aesthetic by that time. Although Ra’s music here isn’t nearly as avant-garde as it would become, the composer/keyboardist is already intent on taking the big-band vibe of Duke Ellington into outer space, as revealed on some of these 12 stellar tracks. The sax-led “Sunology” (featuring Arkestra mainstay John Gilmore) is fairly straightforward nightclub-style jazz, while “Super Blonde” coasts along on a tight bass groove, with only a little dissonance seeping into the tune. “Advice to Medics,” however, is where the sci-fi tendencies start to become apparent, with Ra cruising along the keys of his electric piano like he’s preparing to launch into orbit…..Read More

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Sun Ra Biography (Best I found):

One of the towering figures of 20th century’s music, Alabama-born pianist and organist Herman “Sun Ra” Blount (1914) became the cosmic musician par excellence. Despite dressing in extraterrestrial costumes (but inspired by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt) and despite living inside a self-crafted sci-fi mythology (he always maintained that he was from Saturn, and no biographer conclusively proved his birth date) and despite littering his music with lyrics inspired to a self-penned spiritual philosophy (he never engaged in sexual relationships apparently because he considered himself an angel), Sun Ra created one of the most original styles of music thanks to a chronic disrespect for both established dogmas and trendy movements.
A pianist and arranger for Fletcher Henderson’s band when he moved to Chicago in 1946, Sun Ra started his own big band in the old-fashioned swing style in 1952. The influence of Duke Ellington (that would remain throughout his career) and Thelonious Monk were the only discernible links to the rest of the human race. The Arkestra, as it came to be known, relied on its three colorful saxophonists: tenor saxophonist John Gilmore (from 1953), alto saxophonist Marshall Allen (1954), and baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick (1954). The rest was filled by a rotating cast of musicians, whose main role was to bring as much “color” as possible to the music, particularly any number of percussionists with prominent tympani (but the other players too usually took shifts at playing one or more percussion instruments besides their own). Their albums were eccentric tonal excursions……Read More

BookerErvinAppeciationSpecial

Today, Friday September 6th, I will be featuring the unmentioned but very talented Jazz tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin. The Booker Ervin Appreciation Special will be played twice on this day and at specific times, so it can be enjoyed at prime time by the Jazz Con Class global audience. Booker Ervin’s sound can be categorized as a very modal one and is close to a cross between Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon but has its own distinctive bluesy style. Booker Ervin actually recorded with both of them and you can hear the difference. He was also a major part of many Mingus ensembles and was a crucial component to historical groundbreaking Jazz album recordings. He recorded many albums as a leader and every single one is outstanding. For a matter of fact, all the music the Jazz Con Class listeners will be enjoying from this tribute, is from him as a leader. Let’s not forget also, this great man died at the age of 40, in 1970. Checkout the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

Booker Ervin Biography:

Booker Ervin was a hard bop saxophone player and composer. He was born, Booker Telleferro Ervin II, in 1930 in Denison, Texas. He started playing trombone in his youth bur Ervin did not start playing saxophone until he was in the US Air Force. After his discharge he moved to Boston and continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music. Although he did not start playing saxophone until later in life, Ervin quickly excelled as a gifted player and once he completed his time at Berklee he moved to New York to begin his professional career. He began by getting a job with the Horace Parlan Quartet. Parlan was a hard bop pianist who had made a name for himself in New York and would go on to play with Charlie Mingus on many of his important recordings. It was with Parlan’s group that Ervin got his first recording experiences when they recorded the albums Up and Down (1961 – Blue Note), which also featured musicians Grant Green on guitar, George Tucker on bass and Al Harewood on drums and Happy Frame of Mind (1963 – Blue Note). Up and Down also opens with an Ervin composition, “The Book’s Beat”. Happy Frame of Mind also features an Ervin composition, “A Tune for Richard” and the troupe is joined by drummer Billy Higgins. Unfortunately, this latter album sat unreleased until 1976. Before the 50’s were over Ervin would also spend some time working with Charlie Mingus and he appears on the recording of the tune “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”……Read More

 

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An exceptional album that truly exemplifies Freddie Hubbard’s artistry on the trumpet. Considered to me as one of the best Jazz trumpet in the history of this improvised art form. Not to mention, Freddie Hubbard also was another important contributor to the evolution of Jazz from Bebop to contemporary classic Jazz. Besides having Curtis Fuller, Tommy Flanagan, Art Davis and Louis Hayes to help record this beauty, there was John Gilmore on tenor. Gilmore is mentioned below but I added a pretty detailed biography (New York Times-Obituary) and placed it after the description. Gilmore was an intricate part of the Sun Ra Arkestra, which I will be featuring in the near future. Not to get away from the featured album here, “The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard,” the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will enjoy the leadership and command of Freddie Hubbard on this 1962 recording. Check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Music Media Studios). This 1962 effort was Freddie Hubbard’s first recording under his own name for Impulse! Fellow Jazz Messenger Curtis Fuller and newcomer John Gilmore color the proceedings with added trombone and tenor saxophone, respectively. These rock-solid post-bop horn players are backed by the formidable rhythm section of Tommy Flanagan on piano, Art Davis on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums. Hubbard’s shimmering style and clear tone show a clear debt to the late Clifford Brown and a nod to the bold sonic curiosity of John Coltrane. These are some hot young players pushing a classic format forward. The opening track is Duke Ellington’s intoxicating “Caravan.” The horns play the theme loosely above the dark undercurrent of Davis’ and Hayes’ playing. The piece explodes into a Hubbard solo that shows why he was the most talked-about young trumpeter of that era. The exceptional……Read More

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John Gilmore Biography (New York Times-Obituary):

John Gilmore, a tenor saxophonist who helped define the sound of the avant-garde during four decades with the Sun Ra Arkestra, died on Sunday at Germantown Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 63 and lived in Philadelphia.

The cause was emphysema, said Danny Thompson, a longtime baritone saxophonist with the band.

Mr. Gilmore was one of the pioneers of the fierce, screaming, overblown solos that were an essential part of the 1960’s avant-garde, in particular a major influence on John Coltrane. Because he was a sideman rather than a band leader, his efforts were often overlooked by non-musicians. But he was an integral part of a watershed change in 1960’s jazz, and a stirring soloist throughout his years with the Arkestra.

Mr. Gilmore was born in Summit, Miss., and grew up in Chicago. He began playing clarinet at 14, and performed in bands while serving in the Air Force from 1948 to 1951. He played in a group led by Earl Hines in 1952, and in 1953 joined a trio led by Sun Ra. The trio quickly grew into a big band, billed as the Myth-Science Arkestra or the Solar Arkestra, and played music that ranged from straightforward swing-band arrangements to percussion ensembles, chants about outer space and early free jazz……Learn More

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Although there is so much emphasis on Kenny Dorham and Sonny Rollins, this album focuses on the whole band. It is actually a very educational album with FIVE “Jazz Legends” playing their instruments and teaching the listeners all about Jazz Contrasts. Its a very delicate album but with a quiet punch! And as I mentioned, when you have Sonny Rollins, Oscar Pettiford, Hank Jones and Max Roach backing the great Kenny Dorham, you know very well that there will be the need to make room for some sweet solos. This 1957 album is considered to be one of the greats and will be featured here for a week or so. Only the best for the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners! Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Some of trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s finest recordings were his sessions as a leader for Riverside in the ’50s and fortunately all of that music has been reissued on CD. This album is a bit brief in time (41 minutes) but contains many memorable selections. Three of the songs (“Falling in Love with Love” a 12-minute version of “I’ll Remember April” and the trumpeter’s “La Villa”) match Dorham in an all-star quintet with the great tenor Sonny Rollins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach. The other three numbers……Read More

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