Max Roach: Drums, Front And Center

By Nick Morrison Pioneering jazz drummer Max Roach was born on Jan. 10, 1924 in Newland, N.C., and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. Roach began playing in New York jazz clubs in the early 1940s. From those early days until his death in 2007, he never stopped creating and exploring new possibilities

Top 5 Jazz Vocal Performances Of 2011

Written by Nick Francis from Jazz24 How many ways can you sing a song? Why do some pieces work only with certain vocalists? Why is it so rare to have the right fit between a singer and a song? Is it simply a matter of arrangement, or does the style

Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith: Stride Piano’s Uptown Ruler

Written by Nick Morrison from Jazz24 The life of stride pianist Willie “The Lion” Smith was the stuff of legend, but unfortunately, some of that legend seems to have come from Smith’s own imagination. For example, Smith always claimed to have been born in 1897, but his WWI draft registration states that

Five Titans Of Texas Tenor Sax

Written by Nick Morrison When jazz fans talk about the Texas Tenor saxophone sound, they’re talking about a sound which is very robust, sometimes raw, and which mixes the musical vocabularies of swing, bebop, blues and R&B. It’s that honking, bar-walking saxophone sound that used to blast from jukeboxes coast-to-coast.