The James Moody Story
Jazz is full of enigmatic, humorous, brilliant individualists. This 1997 NPR Jazz Profile on Moody is hosted by Nancy Wilson. The documentary is filled with classic recordings and wonderful stories from Moody, told in his inimitable style.
-Michael CuscunaRead More
Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody
A lovely performance of “No More Blues” by the 1965 Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, which is the subject of our Mosaic Set 234, The Verve Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions. Rarely has a small group been so musically precise and loose at the same time. And of course, their improvisational abilities and the clown chemistry between Dizzy and Moody are priceless.
-Michael CuscunaView Video
James P. Johnson: Stride Piano Master
“Riffs”, an OKeh recording from 1929, is a perfect example of James P. Johnson’s Harlem stride style. Bob Hilbert’s excellent notes to our ninth Mosaic release, The Complete Edmond Hall / James P. Johnson / Sidney De Paris / Vic Dickenson Blue Note Sessions, defines his playing as “…always accurate, sure and perfectly articulated, and it always swung. He had a beautiful touch, instantly identifiable to anyone familiar with his recordings, a powerful left hand and a right hand that ‘sang while it danced’, in the words of one critic”. Johnson was even more improvisational than some others in the stride style as Hilbert remarks, “Due to the complexity of stride piano, most performers develop patterns from which they construct solos. Recordings show that their ‘improvisations’ remain little changed from take to take. With James P., however, spontaneity was the rule”.
-Scott WenzelView Video
Latter-day Ahmad Jamal, circa 2011
Pianist Ahmad Jamal, playing a fresh version of “One,” recorded at Jazz a Vienne 2011. With James Camack, bass Herlin Riley, drums, and Manolo Badrena, percussion.View Video
Treasures In The Attic: Finding A Jazz Master’s Lost Orchestral Music
Back in the early 1990s, Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the S\u00e3o Paulo Symphony Orchestra, went on a journey to find lost manuscripts of forgotten James P. Johnson compositions for symphony orchestra. Very few jazz artists, especially before the 1950s, wrote in this hybrid form of jazz and classical music and it is fitting that one of the founding fathers of jazz would create such joyous music in this fashion. NPR’s “Weekend Edition” recalls this amazing discovery with Alsop as guest.
-Scott WenzelRead More
John Scofield Jams in Beantown on New Year’s Eve
Now we know why John Scofield’s upstate New York hometown seemed a little sedate on New Year’s Eve: Scofield and his Uberjam band were tearing it up at his old stomping ground, the Berklee School of Music, in Boston. Luckily, we can all groove with the Scofield band in the New Year; thanks to NPR for capturing the proceedings.
-Nick MoyRead More
James Carter: Powerful Tenor Sax
Every year producer/bassist Don Was produces a Detroit All Star Revue at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. This video is a beautiful version of “JC On The Set” by James Carter backed by a trio that includes bassist Marion Hayden. Carter shows his mastery of the tenor sax with taste and restraint as he moves gracefully through several eras of jazz styles.
-Michael CuscunaRead More
Ahmad Jamal on Jazz and the American Song
Pianist Ahmad Jamal, no shrinking violet, and still raising eyebrows with his 2012 release, “Blue Moon,” holds court on his prodigious beginnings, the great jazz interpreters of American song, from Ellington to Parker to Coltrane — “Lester Young, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, when he played that — come on!” — his relationship with Miles Davis, and the virtues of the mute button.
-Nick MoyView Video