ALL POSTS TAGGED "art-tatum"

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Cory Henry is consistently the guy in the back of the band that makes you shake and move with his infectious grooves. His style inspires viral videos of him blazing on the organ in church, performing with Snarky Puppy, and grinding in his bedroom to name only a few. Long story short, you want to see him play no matter the setting, style, instrument, or group. Cory brings it.

Blue Note Records’ celestial compilation album, Wizard of the Vibes, pairing of virtuosic vibraphonist, Milt “Bags” Jackson coupled with the high priest of the keys, Thelonious Monk, is nothing short of musical magic. The aptly titled recording attests to the musical wizardry emblematic of this bonding of varying styles. Brewing in a cauldron of mesmerizing sounds Wizard of the Vibes display the beauty, clarity, and soothing grace of Milt Jackson’s nimble rattling of the bones juxtaposed with the spatial complexity signature to Monk’s revered chops.

Since this Issue is a major focus of our site, we decided to re-launch Issue No. 2 The Hip Hop and Jazz Debate, which came out in Jan. of 2011. If you didn’t get a chance to read through all of our great features, now is your chance to go through them one by one, including a lengthy list of album reviews. Top Features from this Issue include Weldon Irvine, Respect the Architect: DJs Are Musicians, Word on Rap: The Vocal Instrument, Jazz Poetry, Rap: Cause and Effect of the Black Arts Movement, Insane in the Left Brain and DJ with Live Band vs DJ with Emcee.

We are continuing our “Evolution Of An Instrument” series this week by taking a look at the evolving nature of jazz piano. The piano, which can be played as both a melodic, rhythmic and improvisational instrument, has been an integral part of jazz since the genre’s inception. In the early years of jazz, as the music migrated from New Orleans to Chicago to New York, each city’s players brought their merging of sounds and influences to the piano; ragtime from New Orleans, stride from Chicago, and swing from New York. Through swing grew the inventive sounds of bebop and hard bop and the creation of what we now call modern jazz. Pianists, who were also often bandleaders and composers, were at the heart of this transformation and led the way in creating new sounds, chordal ideas and improvisational melodic ideas.

At this point, many Americans will have heard of James Blake, a brilliant new producer of what may haphazardly be categorized as electronic music. It is indeed true that Blake’s entire catalogue of compositions and productions are created within the modality of modern technology, using samples, drum machines, sequencers, etc, but his stark and haunting songs are ripe with a level of traditional musicianship through the piano that is inspired by jazz, gospel, classical, and soul.

When ensembles are assembled, a piano is a quite common instrument of choice. Much of the reason is due to its extraordinary range of notes it can play and for its ability to create melodies.