Ben Webster (3.27.16)

Ben Webster was an American jazz saxophonist who helped to shape the musical landscape of the 20th century. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the life and legacy of Ben Webster.

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Rudresh Mahanthappa (5.10.15)

Rudresh Mahanthappa is an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer. Much of his music fuses the western improvisational approach to jazz, with sacred music from India, to expand the understanding of what it means to be in a present moment intercontinentally. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about…

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King Curtis (2.15.15)

King Curtis was an American saxophonist, who played not only jazz, but R&B, rock n’ roll, and funk as well. His style was powerful and poignant, allowing moments to fully expand and develop. Unfortunately Curtis died young, murdered at the age of 37. In this installment of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe…

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Benny Golson (1.25.15)

Benny Golson is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger who made his name with greats like John Coltrane, Art Blakey, and Lionel Hampton. Yet, perhaps his best known and recognized composition was for his friend, jazz trumpeter and legend Clifford Brown, who was taken at the age of 25 in a car accident. Golson…

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Jaki Byard (6.15.14)

Jaki Byard was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist and composer who collaborated with many artists, significantly Charles Mingus. He incorporated a range of styles in his approach, from ragtime to bebop, and swing to stride. He spanned years of musical tradition, bringing history into one moment–an eternal now. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi Neil…

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V&B: Coleman Hawkins and The Art of Failure

Coleman Hawkins, the great saxophone player, helped to establish jazz as a stand alone art form, distinguished from swing — the popular music of the day. With his originality, lyricism, and his keen sense of appreciating the latest trends, his work was the influence and foundation for bebop and the most expressive jazz ballads. And…

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Ornette Coleman (3.9.14)

Improvisation in jazz and Ornette Coleman could be considered synonymous. Coleman’s style on alto saxophone led to the genre called free jazz in the 1960s. He’s performed with countltess musicians for more than 60 years.

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Bill Evans (2.9.14)

Considered to be one of the greatest jazz pianists, Bill Evans brought out new ways of improvising for all jazz musicians. His compositions and influence in modal jazz has spanned generations of artists. He received seven Grammy Awards during his lifetime.

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James Moody (1.5.14)

Sax and flute player James Moody, along with Dizzy Gillespie, helped to revolutionize jazz in the mid-Twentieth Century. He showed that bebop was universal and not just insider music. Moody and his quartet demonstrated that discipline in art can be transformative to both the artist and the listener.

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Charlie Parker (12.15.13)

American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker crafted the sound that was eventually called bebop. This deeply soulful music gave him and other musicians a way to express themselves in original ways. Parker’s addiction to heroine unfortunately cut his life short at just 34 years old. He died in the hotel room of his friend…

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Coleman Hawkins (Sunday 10.13.13)

Coleman Hawkins was at the head of the line in forging a path for the saxophone as an instrument and for the countless saxophonists that would follow him. Hawkins began his successful career in the early 1920s.

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Cannonball Adderley (Sunday 9.15.13)

Hard bop was popularized by Cannonball Adderely in the 1950s and 1960s. Adderely reinvigorated jazz in the 1970s after a successful career playing with many of the jazz greats.

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Sonny Rollins (Sunday 9.8.13)

Sonny Rollins pioneered a bass drum rhythm section with no piano so his saxophone playing would stand out as well as be a rhythm instrument itself. Rollins joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1955.

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Art Pepper (Sunday 9.1.13)

Alto saxophone player Art Pepper redefined himself repeatedly, and each time gained greater respect and popularity.

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