Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor Op.18

When it comes to top tier piano concertos, we are spoiled for choices. I could spend the rest of my life listening to piano concertos only and would have no regrets whatsoever. The challenge is to choose which single one, among the hundreds that are available in very good recorded sound, to take with me on […]

Horace Parlan: the triumph of a genius of Jazz piano

Parlan Portrait 1

  Horace Parlan: b. January 19, 1931 Pittsburgh, PA, USA d. February 23, 2017 Korsor, Denmark Horace Parlan, a giant of Jazz piano music, may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries, but his music is some of the best in the Jazz canon. The Blues and Soul were his trademark. His […]

Herbert “Kabwondera” Bakesigaki: master of Enanga (African zither)

We remember you Herbert “Kabwondera” Bakesigaki. We celebrate your talent, your sound, your poetry, your contribution to the preservation of musical tradition of the Bakiga. Though you died young, you left a great legacy. We thank you for making the ICOB conventions you attended memorable. Now we seek and hope to find and listen to […]

Dexter Gordon’s Timeless Tenor Saxophone

Dexter Keith Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was a giant in the literal and professional sense. At 198 cm (6 feet 6 inch) tall, Mr. Gordon towered over nearly all the people he played with. Photos and videos of him in the various clubs that he played show a giant of a […]

Lou Donaldson at 90, still playing on

Lou Donaldson, the alto saxophonist who turned 90 on November 1, 2016, is the last living and performing member of the cohort of great Jazz musicians who recorded timeless music over 60 years ago. Born in Badin, North Carolina on November 1, 1926, Mr. Donaldson was attracted to bebop Jazz during the Second World War […]

My Kind of Music: Whistle Stop with Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley et al

Thursday October 27, 2016 It started snowing early this morning. First snow of the season. Cold day outside. After a long day at work, what better way to unwind than listening to KENNY DORHAM (trumpet), in the good company of Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Kenny Drew (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums)? […]

Bud Powell: Genius of the piano – his music lives!

Happy birthday to all friends who were born on September 27! You share the date with the great genius of Jazz piano music – both as a composer and player. Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell was born on September 27, 1924. By the time of his premature death on July 31, 1966, Bud Powell, had firmly […]

John Coltrane at 90

John Coltrane would have been 90 years old today. Whereas there have been many great Jazz Saxophone players, to my ears Coltrane is one of the top 5 (the others being Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Lester Young and Hank Mobley.)  His playing was so uniquely his that it is difficult to mistake his muscular “sheets […]

Thank you for the music Rudy Van Gelder (1924-2016)

If, like me, you consider the great Jazz recordings from the 1950s and 60s on Blue Note, Prestige and Impulse labels to be some of the greatest treasures in the creative arts, you should spare a moment and thank the recording engineer who made it possible for us to enjoy the exceptional music that the […]

Lalo Symphonie Espagnole: timeless beauty of the violin

Composer: Edouard Lalo 1823-1892), Frenchman Music: Symphonie Espagnole in D Minor, Op. 21 This is a violin concerto, composed in 1874. A timeless, beautiful work, with a lot of Spanish sounds. Exquisitely sweet when played by the masters. I first heard this work in 1994, on a recording with Heryk Szering as the soloist. I […]