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2006 Stories by Francis Davis

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  • Harmolodic Convergence

    published December 19, 2006

    Along with unimpeachable swing and blues sensibility to spare, Ornette Coleman possesses other jazz essentials today's institutional guardians... More >>

  • Songwise

    published November 28, 2006

    Its title is the only thing self-explanatory about tenor saxophonist David S. Ware's Balladware, recorded seven years ago but released only... More >>

  • Quote Unquote

    published October 24, 2006

    Not just the initial release on his new vanity label of the same name, Ornette Coleman's Sound Grammar is his first recording for anyone in... More >>

  • Territorial Imperatives

    published October 3, 2006

    It took three years, but something worthwhile belatedly came out of 1996's Kansas City, Robert Altman's worst movie before A Prairie... More >>

  • Midsizing

    published August 29, 2006

    By the time Miles Davis died 15 years ago, two decades had passed since one LP by him could bring a nascent movement to term, as Kind of... More >>

  • Heartfelt Songs From the Unsung

    published August 1, 2006

    Though Monk was the first pianist to delight me and Bud Powell the first to thrill me back in the '60s, from the moment I heard Bill Evans's... More >>

  • Get Used to It

    published July 11, 2006

    Trygve Seim, the saxophonist in a Norwegian quartet billed as the Source, is an original—his veering tenor and soprano on the group's... More >>

  • Jazz Repertory Starts Here

    published July 11, 2006

    Without Miles Ahead, there might not have been New Bottle, Old Bottle and Great Jazz Standards, the Gil Evans LPs from '58... More >>

  • Forbidden Broadway

    published June 6, 2006

    Around the time of When Harry Met Sally, one of the newsweeklies anointed Harry Connick Jr. the new Sinatra. The publicist who sold that... More >>

  • Weimar Vegas

    published June 6, 2006

    Hearing Theo Bleckmann sing "We Kiss in a Shadow" from another room, I half thought he was Nico. It was the trace of German in his fricatives and... More >>

  • The John Coltrane Guide

    published May 30, 2006

    You can buy your Coltrane in bulk these days, and maybe you should. Not just for completists, boxes like The Prestige Recordings ,... More >>

  • The Out-of-Towners

    published May 9, 2006

    Back when I taught, one of my pets was a grad student from England, already a BBC stringer, who was going to Mardi Gras on spring break and wanted... More >>

  • Splitting the Difference

    published May 9, 2006

    The first two jazz albums I bought, on the same day in the summer of 1964, were Coltrane Sound and Getz/Gilberto, both new and on... More >>

  • Masscult, Midcult, and Multiculti

    published April 11, 2006

    Crazy about those chord changes, swing musicians began riffing on George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" almost the first night Ethel Merman bellowed it... More >>

  • Jackie McLean 1931–2006

    published April 11, 2006

    In that same way the skinny young Sinatra was his own Hirschfeld caricature, Jackie McLean's sound on alto saxophone was so distinct it made the... More >>

  • The Songs, Not the Pianists

    published April 11, 2006

    The trouble with Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, a new documentary featuring excessively singerly performances by Rufus Wainwright, among... More >>

  • No, Not Those Fugees

    published March 14, 2006

    Back in the '80s, I got a rise out of the eternally genial Dr. Billy Taylor by asking him—no disrespect, one culture worker to... More >>

  • Duke Ellington meets his match and commissions her

    published March 14, 2006

    Mary Lou Williams, whose arrangements for Andy Kirk were among the most prescient of the swing era, never led her own big band. In 1967, Duke... More >>

  • Geri Allen Meets Her Match and Channels Her

    published March 14, 2006

    Featuring pianist Geri Allen, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Billy Hart reinterpreting 12 musing, semi-improvised pieces Mary Lou Williams... More >>

  • Strata Various

    published February 28, 2006

    Once I started feeling better, I wished I could blame dehydration from my stomach bug for the notes I took while first listening to Andrew Hill's... More >>

  • Charles Tolliver Returns Once More, This Time With His Chops

    published February 28, 2006

    Until he disappeared in the late '70s amid rumors of acrimony following the dissolution of Strata-East, the co-op label he ran with pianist... More >>

  • No Coasting—an Iron-Lipped Trumpeter Bridges East and West

    published February 28, 2006

    In the liner notes to East Coast Cool, trumpeter John McNeil's third provocative effort in a row for Omnitone following several '80s... More >>

  • Among the Living

    published January 17, 2006

    The votes are in: Monk and Coltrane at Carnegie Hall in 1957, my choice as the best jazz CD released in 2005, is the winner in JazzTimes'... More >>

  • Harmolodics Redux: James Blood Ulmer's Greatest Moment Recaptured From Sludge Blues

    published January 17, 2006

    Remember harmolodics? You do if you were paying attention in the early '80s. Arcane as a theory, as a style it was sublime. Ornette Coleman's... More >>

  • Latest Monster Miles Reissue Is More of the Same, Whatever It Was

    published January 17, 2006

    First the arithmetic: six complete sets on as many discs, recorded over four nights at a D.C. jazz club in December 1970, bits and pieces... More >>

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