Posts by: "Jose Reyes"


It is known to many Jazz fans as the “Greatest Jazz Concert Ever,” true or false, you be the judge. It took place on May 15, 1953. at Toronto’s Massey Hall. “The Quintet” as they were nicknamed, consisted of Jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. If by some chance you are confused by the name “Charlie Chan” on the album cover, that’s actually Charlie Parker. He had to substitute his last name with “Chan” on the credits because he was bound by a recording contract with Mercury Records.


A concert of this magnitude can create a sort of fixating effect on the listener because of the musicians involved, that’s for sure but more on Jazz fans with less amount of listening hours. The hard-core Jazz aficionados are not as easy to convince, in respect to the “coined” phrase associated the performance, “The Greatest Jazz Concert.” Their ears have had the pleasure of listening to many other, so called “Out of this world” performances. Best or not the best, it doesn’t really matter. More important than everything is that it was physically recorded. That’s a great historical achievement! Actually, it is precious! For this reason now, anybody can purchase and enjoy it! Charles Mingus had a big hand in the remastering process, he had possession of the original recording itself. It was done afterwards when he and Max Roach established Candid Records in 1960. ENJOY!

Note: Marc Myers (Jazz Wax Blog) has a great eyewitness account from someone who was actually there, very interesting!

Note 2: Read more about the saxophone which “Bird” played on throughout the concert> Learn about, the “Grafton” here.

Note 3: Here’s an interesting 60th anniversary review of this historical concert from Fernando’s blog, Salt Peanuts.

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This is the tale of two significant albums that are not mentioned enough and were recorded one year apart and in Paris. “Lester Young in Paris” was recorded in 1959 and Miles “Live in Paris” was done in 1960. The Lester young album is very significant in a very sad manner because it was his very last recording as you can see on the date it was completed here in this discography of the album. He died hours after arriving back to New York from Paris on March 15 (at the age of 49) and as mentioned here on his Wikipedia page, he was drinking heavy and hardly eating during the recording sessions. Nevertheless, his performance on this album was above average (as always). this is a great opportunity to own a piece of history but most importantly, a great gesture of honoring a man who literally captured the hearts of every listener with his saxophone. There will never be another Lester Young!

Miles “Live in Paris” album was recorded a few years after the famous 1958 Newport session, was simply overlooked and not to mention, a great opportunity to hear Miles alongside Sonny Stitt! So it is actually, a compilation 4-cd album of two separate recordings. To learn more about the Miles with Coltrane in Paris (on CD’s 1 and 2, March 21st) the readers here should take a look at this excellent post by Marc Myers on his blog Jazz Wax. If you are only interested in the Miles with Sonny Stitt (October 11th) then you can get it here. These are two great recordings that again, every Jazz collector should own. ENJOY!

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


Painting by Manny Fernandez

I along with my co-host Noal Cohen conducted an interview with Helen LaFaro-Fernandez, the sister of the famous Jazz bassist Scott Lafaro and the main subject of her book “Jade Visions.” This book is a biography of Scott LaFaro but with much more to offer because it is also written for musicians alike. Helene dedicated specific chapters on musical analysis with the help of Jeff Campbell and Phil Palombi. Phil was also present in this interview and provides the listeners with helpful insights on Scott Laforo’s innovative style. Altogether, it was a great introduction to “Jade Visions” and will help you understand how much of an impact Scott LaFaro had on Jazz in the little time he was on this planet. Scott Lafaro was only 25 years old when he died in an auto accident July 6, 1961. This interview was presented by yours truly, Jazz Con Class Radio and made possible by

Check Out Music Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Classic Jazz Talk on BlogTalkRadio

More on the book (from

Winner of the Best Book of 2009, Jazz Division, sponsored by AllAboutJazz-New York, 2009
Selected for “Best of the Best” from University Presses, ALA Annual Conference, 2010

Winner of the 2010 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in Jazz, 2010

“Fernandez’ insightful comments about her brother offer far more than jazz scholars have ever known about this significant and somewhat enigmatic figure in the history of jazz. All in all, a very complete portrait.”—Bill Milkowski, author of Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius

“LaFaro’s story is compelling not only because of his own prowess as a musician, but also due to the company he kept. How many musicians by their twenty-fifth year could say they had played with Benny Goodman, Ornette Coleman, Chet Baker, Stan Kenton, and Bill Evans? Only one. Scott LaFaro.”—Frank Alkyer, publisher, Down Beat

“Scott LaFaro was a true jazz innovator. His sound, sense of time and melodic invention blazed a trail for modern bassists and he was a beacon of light for those players who dreamed of more freedom within structure. Bill Evans once described Scott’s playing to me:  ‘He was really discovering something every night on the bandstand. He had all these ideas that were just bubbling up out of him. And he had a way of finding notes that were more fundamental than the fundamental.’ ” —Marc Johnson, bassist

“Scott LaFaro was a brilliant artist whose untimely death remains one of the great tragedies of jazz more than four decades later.”—Jed Eisenman, manager of the Village Vanguard jazz club

“Scotty was amazing. . . worked with all five fingers. . . ridiculously wonderful. . . most inventive.”—Dick Berk, drummer

“Scotty’s playing was the bible for bass players … Jimmy Blanton the old testament, Scotty, the new.”—Christian McBride, bassist

“It’s astonishing that [LaFaro’s] massive reputation is primarily based on a handful of albums that feature him in full flower: the four recorded with the Bill Evans Trio, two by Coleman and Jazz Abstractions, a Gunther Schuller recording. His work on these is so amazing, his facility on his instrument so fluid, his melodic ideas and group interplay concepts so advanced that they still reverberate today. Finally LaFaro has a worthy volume commensurate with his stature in music.”–……Learn More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts

The Little GiantCover
Johnny Griffin was a short man in stature but his sound was big and loud! This is why he was known as the “Little Giant.” There was never a dull moment with his playing style, as he improvised constantly and in his own unique exciting manner, very impressive indeed! This particular album which was appropriately named “The Little Giant” was his six recording of a consistent career that spanned over 40 years and until the year 2000, check his discography here. This is a no-brainer, get it, ENJOY!

About the album:

A bit of an offbeat session for tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, The Little Giant features three originals by then-obscure pianist Norman Simmons, a reworking of the pop tune “Playmates,” Babs Gonzalez’s “Lonely One,” and the tenorist’s “63rd Street Theme.” Simmons’ arrangements for the three horns (which include trumpeter Blue Mitchell and trombonist Julian Priester) are colorful; the rhythm section (pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath) is state of the art….Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This a great album that actually “showcases” Philly Jo Jones’ ability as a leader. “Show Case” was recorded in New York City on November 17 (tracks 1, 4 & 6-8) and November 18 (tracks 2, 3, 5 & 9), 1959, more here on Wikipedia. This is another great album that has slipped by the radar. Get a hold of it and enjoy it!


About the album:

This 1959 session from drummer Philly Joe Jones not only showcases his inimitable drumming skills, but also his ability to play the piano and compose music. For example, his self-penned ballad “Gwen” is performed here with great success. Not only is it a well-written tune, Jones’s piano playing on the track is dynamic and harmonically advanced.

Despite Jones’s versatility, his drumming is still the album’s main focus. For example, on “Joe’s Debut,” Jones takes a very lyrical solo, implying the tune’s melody at each turn, proving that drums can be colorful, melodic instruments. Further, Jones’s driving snare solo on “Minor Mode” really shows off his technical acumen; he displays some very fancy stick work here. The lush ballad “I’ll Never Be the Same” serves as the perfect counterpoint to the drum-set features. On this track, there is wonderful interplay between……Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts

The “Saturday Jazz Show” is OFFICIAL! Besides the time consuming task of preparing a high quality FIVE Hour Jazz presentation, I also need to make sure that all the components (links) associated with this new show are properly linked together throughout the whole Jazz Con Class Radio Blog/Website. I alerted the listeners here and on Facebook with an “Unofficial” debut post last month but it was a sort of teaser SaturdayJazzShowPostto get all the listeners excited a little. Now it is definitely “OFFICIAL” as you can see with the official logo I created and placed here on this post the sidebar. It has link for all the Playlists link and has been it’s own standalone link also. It can also be found on the Schedule link. As I mentioned on that previous post, every Saturday will feature a fresh new playlist that I prepare ahead of time. You can say its a lot of work but it comes with the territory a person decides to own and broadcast a radio station. Its even more challenging when that person wants to broadcast the best music ever recorded! There must be a total devotion/sacrifice made to make sure it is interesting, entertaining and most importantly, educational. In this case here, with the new “Saturday Jazz Show,” I felt it was necessary for the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners to have a special Jazz presentations on weekends also, there was certainly a need for that. That’s not all fellow listeners, I am also thinking of featuring it twice during the day and for those who unfortunately miss part of the 5 hours and/or simply had no chance on the earlier time slot. This allows a second chance to enjoy the show, this is is fair and logical. For for now please and for the next few weeks, please patient if you cannot catch it. I will be starting the broadcast of this new playlist, the “Saturday Jazz Show,” on 1P.M New York Eastern Daylight Time and it will run until 6P.M. The Jazz Con Class Radio library is literally expanding every day and I have the potential of effortlessly preparing hundreds of 5 hour presentations without repeating a single song. I hope you enjoy this new Jazz show and all that Jazz Con Class has to offer!

Note: Learn of all the ways to enjoy Jazz Con Class Radio here

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


If you ask any Jazz expert, they will tell you that Sonny Criss was one of the best alto saxophonist ever. They will also tell you that he never received the credit that should have, that’s certainly true. They even argued that the reason why was because Sonny Criss never left the west coast and that is not true. Refusing to leave the west coast in the 50’s deprived many great Jazz musicians from exposure but that wasn’t the case with Sonny Cross. There were great albums recorded in the west coast in those days but they wouldn’t travel too far, the major Jazz record labels had more of a distribution range and that included Europe. It’s a crying shame but he’s not the only musician that was not totally appreciated until it was too late. “Jazz-USA” is a true classic but if you just became interested in Sonny Criss then buy the “Complete Imperial Sessions” which contains this album, Go Man!, and Sonny Criss Plays Cole Porter. You can’t go wrong!

Great article about Sonny Criss (By Steven A. Cerra):

“ a piercing, passionate sound.”

– Mark Gardner

“I was playing with Sonny Criss and Hampton Hawes – a great Jazz pianist. … Sonny had such a great ear that he could hear something once and play it. …

Sonny Criss and I played together quite a while until I went to study with Joseph Cadaly [a first chair saxophonist at RKO Studies who taught reeds, harmony and solfège]. That’s when Sonny and I split up. He continued into progressive Jazz, and I went and studied.

When we split, he started going all up and down the Coast playing and going to Europe. But I don’t know, it just didn’t happen. He’d get records. People said he was great. They played his stuff. But it just didn’t happen for him, and I think that kind of disturbed him. Especially when you put your whole soul and your whole life and just wrap up everything into something and it doesn’t happen.

He was pioneering and when you’re pioneering, it’s kind of more difficult to get recognition …. You have to suffer when you’re a pioneer. So that’s what hap­pened, really, I think, with Sonny. He was just early.

– Cecil “Big Jay” McNeely, tenor saxophonist

Criss was a bop saxophonist, strongly influenced at first by Charlie Parker. But his mature style was more distinctive: he produced a warm, rich tone and a prominent vibrato that Par­ker lacked. He was capable of playing dazzling runs with such effortless grace that they never sounded ostentatious. An excel­lent jazz musician, through lack……Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


Here’s a great compilation 4-CD album on all the Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd Jazz Lab sessions. “The Donald Byrd and Gigi Gryce Complete Jazz Lab Sessions” is an all- in-one package of very forward-looking arrangements and played by legendary Jazz musicians. The description below will help you learn more about this Jazz collector’s dream which includes all the recorded formulas that were experimented on and released by Donald Byrd and Gigi Gryce from their “Jazz Lab.” If you are further interested in “all” of Gigi Gryce remarkable work, then you should visit Noal Cohen’s Jazz Historical Website. Noal has also written a book about Gigi Gryce named “Rat Race Blues: The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce.” This album is a must-have!

About this compilation album:

This four-disc collection contains all of the recordings of one of the most interesting jazz groups from the late ‘50s, the Jazz Lab, compiled here for the first time ever on one release. Co-led by Gigi Gryce and Donald Byrd, this set comprises the group’s five original studio albums (including all existing supplementary tunes and alternate takes from the sessions), presented here in their entirety and in chronological order. This edition also includes the Jazz Lab’s only known live performance, taped at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957. As a bonus, a complete Oscar Pettiford….Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


Jackie McLean and Co.” was recorded and released in 1957. As the description below explains, this Hard Bop album was an unusual one because it featured a fifth member and not the typical 4 man (Trumpet , Sax, Bass and Drums) combination. McLean added very young and talented Tuba player, Ray Draper which added a new sound to three of the five songs of this classic album, “Flickers,” “Help” and “Minor Dreams,” which Draper wrote for this album. Ray Draper recorded another album with McLean in this year, “Strange Blues” and shortly followed up with his own little splash soon after with a couple of albums of his own, learn more about him here. Jackie McLean was a true innovator and if you listen to as many recording of him as I have, leader or sideman, you’ll realize that he was always experimenting. He was always involved with “out of the box” type of recordings, it seems that he was on some sort of mission all the times. This really wasn’t out of the ordinary because most of the Jazz musicians of his era were very creative and surely had the superior “talent” to distinguish themselves from each other but also record together without disrupting one another. This is the very essence of Jazz and why it stands out from everything else. Jazz musicians have the freedom to experiment in an environment where improvising is encouraged.

About the album:

Although altoist Jackie McLean’s Prestige recordings of the 1950s are not as significant as his Blue Notes from the ’60s, he did record quite a bit of enjoyable hard bop material during this era. This CD is unusual for, in addition to a conventional quintet (with trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor), the young tuba player Ray Draper is heard on three of the five group originals. Draper played his instrument as part of the frontline rather than in the rhythm section and, even if he was not on the level of McLean and Hardman, he gives some needed color to this set. Waldron, who….Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


Today is the “debut” of the “Saturday Jazz Special.” I wanted to name it the Saturday Afternoon Special but since the listeners come from around the world, it wouldn’t be appropriate. But then again, it could be Sunday altogether in another country, for example the island of Japan and  where many tune-in to hear the Jazz Con Class Radio broadcast. I will provide the listeners with a fresh handcrafted playlist each and every Saturday from today and feature FIVE HOURS of the best Jazz I could offer. I might change the starting time every now and then to start a few hours earlier or later but for now it will begin on 1 PM New York EDT. This debut presentation does not make it “Official” yet but I will announce it load and clear as soon as it is completely integrated throughout the Blog/Website. Check the Schedule link on a weekly basis in case I make a time adjustment for this playlist or any other I feature. Here’s a link of the Playlists that broadcast on Jazz Con Class Radio, so you can become more familiar with them. I hope you enjoy this Unofficial debut and if you have any suggestions concerning the play selections, please email me through the Feedback link, ENJOY!

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This Red Holloway album, “Brother Red” was the end result from combining, as the description below explains, the Jack McDuff Quintet with the unique tenor saxophone sound of Red Holloway. A great Bluesy-Jazz album with a young George Benson as an added bonus! This is a real keeper!

About the album:

The 11 selections included on this CD reissue include seven songs from a session headed by tenor-saxophonist Red Holloway that used the members of the Jack McDuff Quintet (with the organist, guitarist George Benson, bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks and drummer Joe Dukes), three pieces from a McDuff date in which the lead voices are backed by an orchestra arranged by Benny Golson, and a selection from a sampler. The material varies a bit…..Read More


Biography of Red Holloway (Wikipedia):

Born in Helena, Arkansas, Holloway started playing banjo and harmonica, switching to tenor saxophone when he was 12 years old. He graduated from DuSable High School, where he had played in the school big band with Johnny Griffin and Eugene Wright, and attended the Conservatory of Music, Chicago. He joined the Army when he was 19 and became bandmaster for the U.S. Fifth Army Band, and after completing his military service returned to Chicago and played with Yusef Lateef and Dexter Gordon, among others. In 1948 he joined blues vocalist Roosevelt Sykes and later played with other blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Junior Parker,Lloyd Price, and John Mayall.

In the 1950s he played in the Chicago area with Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Ben Webster, Jimmy Rushing, Arthur Prysock, Dakota Staton, Eddie Vinson, Wardell Gray, Sonny Rollins, Red Rodney, Lester Young, Joe Williams, Redd Foxx, B.B. King,Bobby Bland and Aretha Franklin. During this period, he also toured with Sonny Stitt, Memphis Slim and Lionel Hampton. He became a member of the house band for Chance Records in 1952. He subsequently appeared on many recording sessions for the Chicago-based independents Parrot, United and States, and Vee-Jay…..Read More


What is Jazz, how can one explain it and what does it stand for? These are typically difficult questions to answer concerning this unique musical art form. How can I go about, in answering these crucial questions without further complicating the issue and confusing the curious who ask. Yes, Curiosity or interest are two very interchangeable words and would be the great starting point in deciphering the puzzled ones who simply cannot understand/comprehend Jazz music. There must be some psychological/emotional connection involved when listening to music, no matter what type it is. There should be something going on in the brain cells of the listener with the particular song they are listening to at the moment. There is the rare case when the listener is extremely too busy doing something at the moment and just cannot concentrate on the music playing. The mind cannot transmit any sort of feelings and/or interpretation, so its just background sounds to the listener. This occurs to all of us but most of the times we “tune in” and listen to either an ongoing stream of music or we specifically select a song or songs that we would like to hear. So what makes a person decide to indulge themselves with a Jazz song? What are the feelings, sentiments and emotions that overwhelm the minds of those who love Jazz?

Before I continue to explain what Jazz is, let’s get a little scientific and let’s find the most logical definition of the word “Music.” Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition:

a:  the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.
b:  vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony.


I think the most logical approach to understanding the art form of Jazz would begin with understanding the Blues, its history and how it developed. After one gets an idea of its roots, then everything will fall into place.

Here’s a great example of the Blues (“Straight Ahead,”Donald Byrd with Gigi Gryce):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Developing the capacity to judge and easily distinguish what exactly high quality musicianship is, would be the next step. This will take some listening and fortunately, will be an easy task. It will not take more than a few tunes to understand, just tune in to Jazz Con Class Radio and you will be well on your way! Or you can take a listen to these tracks I placed here.

To get you started, here’s some straight Hard Bop, from Jazz trumpet player Blue Mitchell, the name of the song is “Brother ‘Ball”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Jazz is very unique in sound and what makes it so much of a complete experience is how it covers the whole spectrum of human emotions. Let’s take a listen to this tune, “Ecclusiastics” by the great Charles Mingus:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

How about this very popular jazz song “‘Round Midnight” and played here by it’s composer Thelonious Monk:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dixieland style of Jazz conveys so many emotions at the same time and is a perfect example. Here’s the instrumental version of the famous song “St. James Infirmary,” done by Pee Wee Russell and his band:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or listen to “Black and Blue” with Sidney Bechet and his big band:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s the Miles Davis and his band performing “Bluing”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers performing “Children of the Night”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s John Coltrane with Lee Morgan performing  “Blue Train”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s “Intrepid Fox” from a 1970Freddie Hubbard album:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s Duke Ellington and his band performing “Tigress”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And Here’s Duke again with “The Swinger’s Jump”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I find it to be so much more educational, if I may say, to provide these Jazz songs as examples to those who have never been exposed to Jazz or were not aware of. These are great tunes and range from the early 50’s to the early 70’s. This is to get an idea of the diversity of Jazz and its superior quality.

Note: Maybe the readers here only heard songs from the so-called genre “Smooth Jazz” and thought it represented Jazz music. “Smooth Jazz” is nothing else but “Easy Listening Music” and the word “Jazz” should have never been place there. The music industry’s poor choice of creating this genre has damaged Jazz and what it stands for. Smooth Jazz, which began in the early 80’s, has eventually steered the youth away from learning about any Jazz that came beforehand.


Jazz is much more complex than it seems and Jazz musicians are masters of their craft. The more the listeners dwell into Jazz music and its improvisational nature of expression, the more they will understand the purity it treasures. I hope this article helped simplify Jazz and what it stands for. The more one gets involved with Jazz, the more they will understand what “Freedom” is all about, there’s nothing else like it. Spread the word and keep Jazz ALIVE!

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


Bags (Milt Jackson) and Trane (John Coltrane) recorded this famous “bluesy” styled album in 1959 and appropriately named it “Bags & Trane.” There was quite a bit of experience between both musicians, for it was Bags 15th album and approximately Coltrane’s 20th album give or take a few. And although there was so much improvisation possible, the music was simple, down to earth and easy going. It’s a rather unique album on Coltrane’s side but only because it was different and more melodic. He had not played in this manner beforehand in his other albums, so everyone was surprised when it came out. I think sooner or later he would have had to refine himself a little further and this is where he did so. Great album to own, enjoy!

About the album:

As John Coltrane moved from music rich in chordal complexity to a newer, freer form of modality–in which melodic and rhythmic freedom came to the fore–some critics couldn’t make the imaginative leap. But no one could ever question Coltrane’s superb musicianship. This all-star session isn’t merely an aesthetic bone to these critics, but a superb example of two masters blowing relaxed and free over a tight, intuitive rhythm section. There’s Jackson’s Modern Jazz Quartet collaborator Connie Kay on drums, master of understated swing; the elegant, eternally tasteful Hank Jones on piano; and Mr. P.C., Paul Chambers, one of the fathers of modern bass playing.

Milt “Bags” Jackson and Coltrane play together with such easy, intuitive grace, it’s hard to believe that BAGS AND TRANE is not a working band. The title tune is a wistful, engaging blues that passes its vamping, melodic figure around between vibes, piano and tenor sax. Jackson’s funky variations over Chambers and Kay’s leisurely beat is in perfect contrast to Trane’s remarkably laid-back solo….Read More


Biography of Milton Jackson (

As a founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet and on his own, Milt Jackson created a hard-hitting style on the vibraphone which made it a contender in bebop. He built upon the foundation laid by Swing masters Red Norvo and Lionel Hampton by adding a more powerful attack and expanded the instrument’s role in an ensemble.

Adding his own blues-based approach, he was one of the first to slow the speed of the oscillator on the vibraphone, which created a more delicate timbre for the instrument. The robust power behind his performances changed the vibraphone into a prominent melodic and harmonic instrument in jazz.

Milton Jackson was born on January 1, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. One of six children, Milt’s mother was a pious woman who was a devout member of the church, and his father was a talented amateur musician. In his early years, Milt sang in church and realized from an early age that music had a powerful effect on him.
When Jackson was seven years old he began to study the guitar. At age eleven, he began to play the piano as well. Upon entering Miller High School, Milt began to play the drums, xylophone and sing in the school’s glee club. When he was sixteen years old, Milt’s music teacher Mr. Goldberg persuaded the young man to give the vibraphone a try. Through his teens, Jackson gained valuable performing experience in a local gospel and dance groups.

At the time, Jackson had few idols on the vibraphone, following the examples instead set by the leading horn players involved in modern jazz. Milt had seen Lionel Hampton at Detroit venues such as the Michigan State Fairgrounds and the Graystone Ballroom, which further motivated him to study the vibes. However, while Jackson appreciated Hampton’s accomplishments, he chose not to emulate him but rather to find his own voice on the…..Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This Blues/Funk Jazz Special will be repeated today May 30th and with an hour added to it. It will begin at the same time 3PM New York Time and broadcast until 4PM. ENJOY!
Original Post:
This Saturday, May 23rd at 3P.M. Eastern New York Time the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners will be enjoying a Jazz Funk/Blues special that will last three hours in total and will end at 6PM. It will concentrate on Jazz music that from the mid 50’s, when the Hammond organ was introduced to Jazz and with the sole purpose of adding more Blues to the tunes. This special will also concentrate on the very beginning of what the music industry decided to name Jazz-Funk. This Jazz era began in the mid 60’s and lasted until the early 70’s and was more soulful. That’s as far in time that Jazz Con Class Radio will travel. Jazz Fusion was very exciting as well but this Jazz station is more traditional and will not play any Jazz that was recorded after the mid 70’s. There are two very important exceptions; one is if the recordings are from legendary older Jazz musicians and secondly, if they are young jazz musicians who record traditional Jazz music. Check the playlists and learn all the Jazz eras that broadcast here. Check the schedule link also to learn when these playlists play. Thank you for your attention and tune in!

If you are new here, check this link to find all the different ways to enjoy Jazz Con Class Radio.

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts

The Complete Live at the Bee Hive” and “More Live at Bee Hive, Chicago June 30, 1955,” are a must have if you are a dedicated Jazz collector. The Description below from FreshSounds Records is very complete and I really don’t need to add any more here but to get a hold of both recordings.

About both albums:

Live at the Bee Hive (from

This 2-CD Set includes Brown’s first ever recording with Sonny Rollins and Max Roach recorded live at Chicago’s Bee Hive on November 7, 1955. The inimitable trio is joined here by pianists Billy Wallace or Chris Anderson and bassist George Morrow. The edition also includes an unofficial Quintet date at New York’s Basin Street Club from April 28, 1956; and a rare 10 minutes Bonus Track of Clifford Brown recorded at a hotel in Copenhagen on November 12, 1953 after a date with the Lionel Hampton band. “This astounding 135-minute release features the Brownie, Rollins and Roach group setting fire to the bandstand with their irrepressible hard bop sound. A must have for any jazz lover.” – Warren Misel, Jazz FM……Here’s the link

More Live at the Bee Hive (from

Two disc set of rare and unreleased recordings by this legendary quintet. Disc One consists of a complete previously unissued performance by the Brown/Roach Quintet, recorded at the Bee Hive in Chicago in June of 1955. Disc Two features the remainder of that performance plus an extremely rare performance, previously only issued on LP as Pure Genius in 1982. 11 tracks total including inspired workouts of ‘After You’ve Gone’, ‘Jordu’, ‘What’s New’, ‘I’ll Remember April’ and more…..Here’s the link

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


74 Miles Away” is a great Cannonball Adderley album and the main reason why is because it was recorded live. All Cannonball albums are Jazz collector items but his live ones are extraordinary. Jazz musicians of this era were very talented and their best way of proving it was to evaluate them in a live setting. Its really the only way to judge a musician, of any genre, how good are they when they play live? I cannot stress it enough, this is a REAL CLASSIC!

About the album:

“Live,” whether used as an adjective or a verb, seems singularly appropriate when it is applied to Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and his Quintet. No jazz group presently active seems to come alive more buoyantly on the bandstand, and no other combo has benefited more fully from the advantages of recording live.

This latest session was a triply happy occasion for the Adderleys, since it marked a family reunion. Julian and Nat had brought their wives to Hollywood. Mr. & Mrs. Adderley Sr. were in town on a visit from Florida, visiting with their sons, and having a ball. Mr. Adderley, who used to be a cornetist, commented after one of Nat’s solos: “You sound almost as good as I used to.” During “I Remember Bird,” he said: “I remember me!” Their radiant pride was an additional incentive to the two sons, as the recording got under way before a hip and responsive crowd.

Cannonball, of course, is the orator supreme among jazz combo leaders. He neither ignores his listeners nor puts them on nor condescends to them; he addresses them as if they were new found friends. It is in this spirit that you hear the session start; after being presented to the audience by KBCA disc jockey Jay Rich, Julian introduces the opening number, “Do Do Do.”

All the way from the opening vamp by Joe Zawinul on electric piano, this Nat Adderley tune has the spirit of the blues, transmuted into 32-bar chorus form. As you might deduce from the subtitle (“What Now Is Next”), this beguilingly basic theme has been equipped with lyrics (by Gail Fisher, the prettiest songwriter in town), and will no doubt be heard as a vocal vehicle in due course, following a pattern established by Miss Fisher’s lyrics for “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!”……Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This is an official announcement of a 10-Hour Hard Bop Jazz special. It will Start at 1P.M. and end at 11 P.M. (New York-Eastern Daylight Time). Check the Schedule Link  Here and/or learn all the different ways to enjoy Jazz Con Class Radio HERE. This special will include West Coast Jazz as well since it was part of this incredible Jazz movement. The Hard Bop Jazz Era started at about 1951 (Not Official) and evolved directly from Bebop, as it became more integrated with Gospel and Rhythm and Blues. Although Bebop had traces of this, it was very raw and very experimental. Hard Bop took it to another level and where its musicians, especially the pianist and saxophone players, became more creative/inventive. I call it the “Golden Age of Jazz” and where the best Jazz musicians existed and were at their prime, at the same time. West Coast Jazz is Hard Bop as well but began in a more European Classical/Sophisticated form and as many critics argued, lacked the Gospel, Rhythm and Blues feeling. I disagree with this evaluation and feel that west coast musicians just started a little late and slowly caught on. The East Coast Jazz musicians began collaborating with the West Coast in about 1953 when they began to travel to each others Jazz meccas, which was New York (Already striving with Jazz) and Los Angeles (In its infant stages). Let’s not forget, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon and many, many other greats were from the Los Angeles area. This is a very short description of Hard Bop, so if you want to learn any further, I placed a few links below so you can begin somewhere. Thank you for your attention and ENJOY!

Hard Bop Description Links (More To Come):

1. Wikipedia Description

2. JazzInAmerica.Org


The 1955 album (Recorded in 1954),  named “The Fabulous Thad Jones” can be found, in its original form and also as “Thad Jones” and with four extra songs added to it.  The extra 4 songs were taken from this album, added to original and released, in 1956, as a compilation album and with a different album cover. “Thad Jones” was the name of this album, the image that shows on this was the new look. I recommend the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners to purchase this version, so you can get it all, in one (Available in MP3 version also). Great album, ENJOY!

About the album:

Jones’ playing on this 1954 release is distinct and exciting. His compelling tone and technique instinctively evoke the dense and brassy tone of predecessors such as Fats Navarro. On the Porter classic “Get out of Town,” Jones wastes no time. After a brief Harmon-muted introduction, he breaks into startlingly forceful phrases. Jones’ blistering soloing skill is even better displayed on “One More,” an uptempo barn burner that highlights his fleshy tone and his unique musical drive…..Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


This 1956 album really reflects and is appropriately named “The Modern Art Of Jazz,” as Zoot Sims and company are more than qualified to represent the Hard Bop movement which began more or less 3 years before. The songs are mostly fast, with plenty of improvising taking place and of course, with great solos in between. I recommend this classic album to all Jazz fans and which in my opinion, could possibly be Zoot Sims’ best recording in a studio atmosphere with him being the leader. Either if you agree with me or not, it doesn’t really matter. There’s one thing for sure though, if you follow Zoot Sims or consider him a great inspiration, then you already have this album. Get this album people!

About the album:

These early 1956 sessions feature Zoot Sims in top form playing a pair of standards and originals by members of the quintet. Bob Brookmeyer is the perfect foil for the tenor saxophonist, as they seamless interweave intricate lines throughout the record, especially in an upbeat take of “September in the Rain.” Pianist John Williams contributed the cool “Down at the Loft” and solos brilliantly on every track. Brookmeyer penned the slinky “Our Pad” with drummer Gus Johnson, a track that would have fit a typical Gerry Mulligan date (with whom both Sims and Brookmeyer worked from time to time). Sims contributed three originals, but the hottest solos come in the closer, appropriately titled “One to Blow On.” Anchoring the……Read More

Jazz Con Class Radio Latest Posts


The album description of this Dave Bailey 1960 album below, “One Foot in the Gutter,” is very well written and with sufficient detail except for its clarity concerning in which manner it was recorded. It was done“live” but not in a Jazz club as where most of these recording are done. It was a one shot deal and a 4 song, well organized jam session was the result. This is just another reason why Jazz rules, the important element that Jazz strongly possesses, Freedom of expression! This brings out the best of any musician and why these musicians were so talented. ENJOY!

Note: This was Dave Baily’s first recoding as a leader.

About the album:

Recorded on July 19 & 20, 1960. Originally released on Epic Records (17008). Includes liner notes by Dave Bailey and Dan Polletta.
Dave Bailey’s One Foot in the Gutter is the first of several dates which originally appeared on Epic in the early 1960s but has been hard to find until this CD reissue came out. The veteran drummer literally leads a blowing session in the studio without any prepared arrangements or set list, inspired by an invited audience of friends and jazz fans. The musicians include the outstanding front line of Clark Terry, Junior Cook and Curtis Fuller, along with Horace Parlan and Peck Morrison joining the leader in the rhythm section. The music is consistently loose, fresh and very inspired; egos have been checked at the door as everyone aspires to work together to produce the best results. Clark Terry’s sauntering bluesy “One Foot in the Gutter” gets….Read More


Thia is another beauty that the listener here on Jazz Con Class Radio will admire! “Two Feet in the Gutter” was recorded 1961 and in the usual manner, in a studio and with no live audience (different takes). It has 5 songs; “Comin’ Home Baby,” “Two Feet in the Gutter, ” “Shiny Stockings,” “Lady Iris B” and “Coffee Walk.” Great stuff, ENJOY!

Note: This was Dave Bailey’s final recording as a leader.

About the album:

Drummer Dave Bailey’s third and final LP for Epic is a quintet session that is much like his earlier two sextet dates for the label, with an invited audience witnessing the studio recording. He has a completely new supporting cast, including two very underappreciated musicians: the tragically short-lived tenor saxophonist Frank Haynes and trumpeter Bill Hardman. Also on hand are the veteran bassist Ben Tucker and the somewhat-obscure pianist Billy Gardner. Tucker’s “Comin’ Home Baby” is probably better known for the vocal version with lyrics by singer Bob Dorough, but evidently the music came first, as this instrumental version swings hard and doesn’t have the rock flavor that Dorough’s (and other later vocal) versions have. Haynes’ big-toned tenor sax and Hardman’s muted trumpet are the highlights….Read More


This Tuesday’s Jazz presentation will be dedicated to Mel Martin and all the members of his famous saxophone forum located on Facebook. I consider myself a regular contributor and can imagine “all” the Jazz Con Class Radio listeners being part of it also. There is a high concentration of musicians that belong to Mel Martin’s Jazz Saxophone Forum and they are more than helpful to offer their valuable time to make it comfortable for all the non-musician Jazz fanatics. Their professional insights not only makes it a fun experience but also very educational one for those who are eager to learn more about Jazz. The forum happens to be public, as it should be and is very, very active! All the members follow the simple set rules just like all other forums demand from its members and everyone interacts and has fun! I look at it this way, “Don’t think you know so much, don’t assume, keep it real and by no means, don’t post any Smooth Jazz.” The best part of being part of this forum is the music that is posted there, WOW!  So, as a token to my appreciation, I have prepared and dedicated this week’s “Super Tuesday Jazz Presentation” to this magnificent forum and all of its members. The playlist that I have prepared here will play three times throughout the day so it can be heard in a global manner (From 3AM to 6AM, from 12PM to 3PM and from 8PM to 11PM (All Times are New York, Eastern Daylight Time) learn more here. There are many ways to hear the broadcast so there is no excuse. I want to personally thank Mel Martin for this forum and would like to add that this will not be the only time I will do this! Have fun and ENJOY!