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September 15, 2012 With a sweetly ferocious style, the alto saxophonist bridged the post-bop of the 1950s and '60s to the jazz fusion of the '70s and beyond. For the anniversary of his birth, hear some of the recordings which made him jazz royalty.
Steve Wilson introduces five alto saxophonists who've mastered this beast of a horn.
June 1, 2010 While the tenor sax is the most popular woodwind instrument in jazz, the alto sax holds a unique position. It's a beast of an instrument to master, and in Steve Wilson's 35 years behind the horn, he's only discovered his personal sound in the last 10. Here, Wilson introduces five alto sax grand masters.
The only known photo of Buckshot La Funke.
Photo Illustration: Lars Gotrich; Photos: Hulton Archive/Getty Images, iStock.
January 11, 2010 When "Buckshot La Funke" appeared on a Louis Smith record, you may not have known it was actually Cannonball Adderley. Record contracts of yesteryear (and some today) buried exclusivity clauses in the fine print. But musicians have to eat, so they would record under other names, like the five included here.
January 4, 2010 Born in the '60s, soul-jazz is a groove-oriented style built from the bottom up. You take a strong bass line, establish a steady groove between the bass and drums, and then embellish that groove with riffs and melody lines that draw heavily from gospel, blues and R&B.
July 21, 2009 Jazz being the esoteric art that it is, many of its major artists were similarly obsessed with other forms of divining — numerology, tarot readings, enneagrams and especially astrology. Here are five jazz songs that might inspire you to ask your fellow jazz fan, "What's your sign?"
Horace Silver on the cover of his record Song for My Father.
Courtesy of Blue Note
June 12, 2008 Sunday is Father's Day. If you're a dad, congratulations; these songs are for you. If you're a son or a daughter, here's a list of dad-friendly jazz songs to let your father know you're thinking of him.
January 10, 2008 Drummer Louis Hayes leads the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band in a musical tribute to one of the most popular groups of the 1960s. Hayes is just the man to revive the hard-bop tunes, as he spent his 20s with the legendary alto sax player. Hear the concert recorded by JazzSet.
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October 30, 2007 From the lighthearted and fancy to the haunting and grotesque, NPR station WDUQ highlights some spooky Halloween music you can listen to all year long. Hear jazz vocalists conjure different ghosts out of classic tunes, while horn players coax the demons out of their instruments.
August 1, 2001 Alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, nicknamed "the New Bird" for his ability to play fast leads a la Charlie "Bird" Parker, swept on the jazz scene in the mid-1950s. On Somethin' Else, Adderley teamed with Miles Davis to create an album that jazz commentator Murray Horwitz calls "near perfect."
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August 1, 2001 Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is frequently cited as being the best-selling jazz album in history. Released in 1959, this classic from the master trumpeter has sold more than five million copies and is still going.
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