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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • George Duke is a multi Grammy Award winning legend. So, when I called him to get a few quick quotes for my France Joli interview (he produced her album 'Witch Of Love') I quickly realized I needed to milk this…
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  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
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  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
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  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
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Gary Tate

Gary Tate

Big Joe Duskin was part of a tradition of boogie woogie piano players that harks back to the 30’s, including such legends as Meade Lux Lewis, Freddie Slack, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson. Big Joe passed away recently, May 6 at age 86, one day before he was scheduled to have both legs amputated from the effects of severe diabetes. The Alabama-born Duskin lived in Avondale Ohio, and was presented by Cincinnati's mayor with a Key To The City in 2004, in …

Hank Medress, a founding member of the Tokens, passed away from lung cancer on June 23. He was 68. Back in 1955, he and 3 school buddies from the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn founded the Linc-Tones, soon to be re-named the Tokens. The original group included Neil Sedaka who went solo in 1960 and was replaced with Jay Siegel who sang most of the leads. The quartet also included brothers Mitch and Phil Margo.

In 1961, they scored a huge #1 hit with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" a re …

Jimmy "T99" Nelson whose recording career spanned over 50 years died from cancer on Sunday July 29th in a Houston nursing home. He was 88. Nelson learned the "ins-and-outs" of performing and singing from Big Joe Turner. His passing means those mid-century R&B pioneers are fast becoming an extinct breed.

His earlist hit, 1951’s "T-99 Blues" (named after a Texas highway) stayed on the R&B charts for twenty-one weeks and reached #1. In 1952, Nelson had another RPM hit …

Lee Hazlewood died peacefully at his home outside Las Vegas, USA, after a three year struggle with renal cancer surrounded by family and Friends from around the world. He was 78.

He succeeded in a music industry he was dismissive of, and is most famous for his work with Nancy Sinatra he wrote and produced many of her biggest hits, including "These Boots Were Made For Walking", "Sugartown", "Summer Wine", and "Some Velvet Morning".

Hazlewood started his musical care …

Janis Martin who passed away on Sep 3 at age 67 was known as "The Female Elvis". It was a hard-earned title and most aficionados of the genre consider her the first female rock 'n' roller. Back in 1955, just after Elvis signed on with them she recorded on RCA "Will You Willyum" b/w the self-penned B-side "Drugstore Rock ‘n’ Roll" that became her signature song. . It sold 750,000 copies and charted both Pop & Country.

Only 15 at the time, Janis considered Ruth Brown her p …

One of the most overlooked of the 1950's acts that helped shape the coming Rock ‘n’ Roll explosion is The Clovers. Bill Lucas and friends--comprising of vocalists John "Buddy" Bailey, Matthew McQuater, Harold Winley, plus guitarist Bill Harris---would alter the entire R&B landscape. There were also delectable hints in their style of the Soul train that would eventually take flight.

Along with Ruth Brown, the Clovers h …

When something works well the first time, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work equally well next time. That’s the case with Janiva Magness on her latest release Do I Move You?--a reunion with producer Colin Linden who performed similar duties on last year’s Bury Him At The Crossroads. Magness always delivers the goods with her passionate, high class delivery, and oftentimes brash style, the very qualities that put her in the lineage of Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Etta James, Aretha F …

This 6-piece Western Swing posse, based in Toronto, is aptly summarized by these lyrics from the Roger Miller song: "They swing like a pendulum do." Authentic to the core and thoroughly versed in the timeless tradiation, it would be very easy to figure the Bebop Cowboys originate from Tulsa, Austin, Santa Fe, or Bakersfield, rather than the Great White North. Guitarist extraordinaire and music historian Steve Briggs, the co-founder along with harmonica wiz Howard Willett, fortuitously bumped …

Solomon Burke’s arrival at Toronto’s Massey Hall after a 15-year hiatus was greeted with a burst of applause seldom heard around these parts. It signaled the beginning of festivities that would shake the venerable concert hall to its foundation. I’ve never witnessed as warm and as embracing a welcome as the one afforded the King Of Rock And Soul, who is nearing his 70th year. This adulation was full acknowledgement of a triumphal career, one that has spanned nearly six decades.

It was a privilege to have attended the Ultimate Doo Wop Show, a touring package that appeared recently at Buffalo’s majestic Shea’s Performing Arts Center. For starters, Pookie Hudson of Spaniels' fame qualifies as the highlight of this nostalgic extravaganza, but a host of Doo Wop greats helped set the stage for the much esteemed Mr. Hudson who is back-in-action after being sidelined with cancer. This is the gentleman who gave us "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight"&nb

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