Legendary Jazz Bassist Gerald Cannon Honors, and Explores his Connections to, the Music of Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner

View Post

What do Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Scott, Frank Foster, Stanley Turrentine and Bunky Green have in common? Other than being household names among jazz aficionados, each artist hired Gerald Cannon, the legendary bassist, to handle the low end. For going on 40 years, Cannon’s been both a fixture of the jazz scene and foundational piece …

In this article:

Get to Know säje, the Grammy-Winning Vocal Supergroup

View Post

On Sunday, February 5, the vocal quartet säje picked up a Grammy Award in the Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals category for their rendition of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” a track from their 2023 self-titled album. An acronym derived from the first letters of each members name, säje (rhymes with beige) is a supergroup of sorts, …

In this article:

Duval Jazz Great Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Latest with Generation Y is an Impressive Merger of Mentorship and Music 

View Post

The new release from Jacksonville-based drummer-educator Ulysses Owens Jr. and his ensemble Generation Y is an immediate reminder of the joy, nuance and innate humanness of jazz. Over the course the nine tracks of A New Beat, Owens Jr. and Generation Y deliver a rapturous set of hip standards and also originals penned by the assembled players. Originally written by …

In this article:

Duval Jazz Collective Madre Vaca Share a Surprising, Stellar Coltrane-Meets-King Arthur Concept Album

View Post

What at face value sounds like a potential theoretical misfire or needless farce—see: Northeast Florida jazz musicians creating a concept album celebrating the Arthurian legends—is a surprising, welcomed and well-executed addition to local music. The Jacksonville-based jazz collective Madre Vaca have just released their 10-song Knights of the Round Table album, available as download and also a quality CD package …

In this article:

“Rocket Man” from Novoa / Gress / Gray is an Engaging Object Lesson in the Potential of Contemporary Jazz Trios

View Post

Taken from the forthcoming full-length Novoa / Gress / Gray, Vol. 1, the track “Rocket Man” is an engaging read of the pulse of today’s jazz trio format. Over the course of the tune’s nine minutes, the Brooklyn-based combo of pianist Eva Novoa, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Devin Gray err on the side of mystery, throwing caution (even intention) …

In this article:

Does André 3000’s ‘New Blue Sun’ Signal a New Dawn for Musical Expression?

View Post

Fans of both Outkast and André 3000 have been begging for new music from the duo’s idiosyncratic cofounder. And in late November with New Blue Sun – his first album of new music in 17 years – André 3000 delivered. Sort of.  Though it’s probably not exactly what we’d all been pining for, André 3000’s flute-forward, ambient, instrumental album is …

In this article:

Unearthed Bill Evans Live Recordings from 1964 Are Absolute Jazz Gems

View Post

Of the many formidable talents of 1960s jazz, Bill Evans embodied the ability to find clandestine ideas in a handful of chords, and perform them through raw emotion. Along with his creative twin Miles Davis, the pianist-composer was a pioneer in developing modal jazz. In short, the modal approach guided players through scales and melodies rather than chords. This freed …

In this article:

Carla Bley, prolific and expansive jazz pianist, dies at 87

View Post

Carla Bley, the pianist behind some of the most beloved compositions in the jazz canon, who recorded over two dozen albums between 1966 and 2019, died Tuesday. Her death was confirmed by her husband and longtime collaborator, bassist Steve Swallow; the cause given was complications from brain cancer. She was 87. Bley was a force in jazz even before she …

In this article:

With ‘Journey In Black’ Emerging Jazz Vocalist Christie Dashiell Brings the World to Her Doorstep

View Post

Journey In Black, the long-awaited sophomore album from jazz vocalist Christie Dashiell features seven original compositions and two arrangements that explore themes of freedom, legacy, grief and joy. Funded in part by Chamber Music America’s Performance Plus Grant, the collection fuses the sounds of improvised music and various styles of Black American Music. Titled Journey in Black, the album boasts …

In this article:

New Max Roach Documentary on PBS Highlights the Music and Life of Pioneering Jazz Drummer

View Post

When Max Roach died in 2007 at age 83, the iconoclastic musician had truly lived a life that beat to the tune of a different drum. Roach seemed to move upstream, regardless of the tides. He was an early adherent to the DIY indie-ethos. While still in his twenties, in 1952 Roach and Charles Mingus founded Debut Records, after the …

In this article:

Kelly Green, Jazz Pianist with Jacksonville Roots, Drops Third Single of the Season, “That Sunday, That Summer”

View Post

“That Sunday, That Summer,” the newest single by Florida’s own Kelly Green, is actually the third that she’s released since July. Written by Joe Sherman and George Weiss, it was originally recorded for Capitol Records by Nat King Cole in 1963, with his lush, lustrous vocals backed by a string orchestra and vocal chorus, a format that was extremely popular …

In this article:

Do the Reissue Creators Have a Master Plan for Forthcoming Pharoah Sanders Box Set?

View Post

On September 15, label Luaka Bop is issuing a deluxe 2LP box set of the 1977 album Pharoah by Pharoah Sanders. Originally released by the India Navigations label, the new collection includes the album’s original three tracks as well as two unreleased live versions of the song “Harvest Time,” a 24-page booklet containing rarely seen photographs, essays and an interview …

In this article:

Christian McBride’s New Jawn | Tiny Desk Concert

View Post

The start is chaotic for sure, but that’s the intent. Two minutes of craziness is an accurate description of the intro and outro of “Head Bedlam.” “A sonic description of us looking at Twitter particularly during the pandemic,” leader Christian McBride explains after the first tune of his Tiny Desk set, “when you put your phone down, that’s when the …

In this article:

Posthumous Jazz Is Dead Release Reinforces the Legacy of Influential Drummer, the Late, Great Tony Allen

View Post

When drummer Tony Allen passed away in April 2020, he left behind a musical legacy both pronounced and subtle. As the longtime main drummer for Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat ensemble, including a truly searing album where he played stick-to-stick with UK (ex-Cream) drummer Ginger Baker, Allen introduced a jazz-funk style of playing that pointed back to Africa while also directing contemporary …

In this article:

Reissue of 1968 Debut from German Guitarist Volker Kriegel is a Worthy Mix of Early Jazz Fusion and Relic-Kitsch 

View Post

While hardly a household name on these shores, German jazz guitarist Volker Kriegel (1943-2003) appeared on more than 200 releases and was a founding member of the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble, a large ensemble which included fellow European-based, forward-thinking jazz heavyweights including bassist Eberhard Weber, flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff. While still in his twenties, Kriegel was …

In this article:

Brandee Younger | Tiny Desk Concert

View Post

NPR Music is celebrating Black Music Month with an array of brand new Tiny Desk concerts. Together, these artists represent the past, present and future of Black music. This month of carefully curated shows is a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we’ve never seen before, and of the Tiny Desk’s unique way of showcasing that talent. On …

In this article:

Journeyman Jacksonville Jazz Guitarist Taylor Roberts Brings It On Home With Latest Release 

View Post

How does one honor any creative tradition without losing one’s identity and wind up stifled in the conventions and style of that very same heritage?  Jazz is simultaneously based on an expectation from the audience that one knows the tune and an expectation from the players assembled on the bandstand that one knows how to forget the tune altogether, let …

In this article:

On ‘Brand New Life,’ Jazz Harpist Brandee Younger Traces the Dorothy Ashby’s Influence and Charts Her Own Path

View Post

Within the jazz idiom, there are only a few harpists that have caught my attention — two of them are incredible Black women. Alice Coltrane, the wife to the iconic John Coltrane, is probably the instrument’s best known acolyte. Detroit born harpist Dorothy Ashby is the another.  Ashby, a playwright and public-school educator, was a pioneering harpist, and wrote many …

In this article:

Jazz Returns to the Jacksonville Symphony

View Post

The Jacksonville Symphony has long specialized in offering their music in contexts designed to appeal to people who aren’t necessarily hardcore classical fans, and that has proven key to their success in an era that has been challenging, at best, for the symphony business overall. They’ve dabbled extensively in jazz in the past, but June’s Jazz at the Jacksonville Symphony …

In this article:

Ahmad Jamal, measured maestro of the jazz piano, dies at 92

View Post

For most jazz performers, a song is part of a performance. For Ahmad Jamal, each song was a performance. Over the course of a remarkable eight-decade career, Jamal, who passed away Sunday at the age of 92, created stellar recordings both as an ambitious youth and a sagely veteran. Jamal’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Sumayah Jamal. He died …

In this article:

Wynton Marsalis, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Samara Joy, Ulysses Owens Jr. and More to Play 2023 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

View Post

For more than 40 years, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has brought international jazz legends and emerging artists, as well as offering local musicians the chance to be seen and heard. Held every Memorial Day Weekend, the festival attracts jazz fans from around the globe to soak up some (hopefully) warmer weather and cool sounds on different stages. This year is …

In this article:

It Could Happen To You | Playing One Tune with Jazz Great Bunky Green

View Post

As I have traveled the world as a jazz musician from Jacksonville, I’ve found that there are only a few jazz musicians from Northeast Florida that everyone recognizes. Globally, saxophonist Bunky Green is at the top of that list.  In 2015 I was on tour with Christian McBride Trio when we played a concert at Wigmore Hall. I remember running …

In this article:

San Diego Surf-Jazz Duo Mattson 2 to Play Hotel Palms in Atlantic Beach

View Post

We’re stoked to welcome world-renowned surf-jazz duo the Mattson 2 to Jacksonville as part of our JME Presents Music Discovery Series. The San Diego based duo, made up of twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson, will perform at the Hotel Palms in Atlantic Beach on Wednesday, April 12.  Over the last decade-plus, the Mattsons have consistently displayed a kind of …

In this article:

Jacksonville Saxophonist and Improvisational Musician Jamison Williams’ Peels Away the Brass on the 38-Minute “Mary Blair”

View Post

Saxophonist and multi-reed polymath Jamison Williams continues to uncover a vast realm contained in the proverbial small world within the greater corpus-universe of Walt Disney. Williams is amassing a daunting body of work: dozens of massive and miniature projects, released in various formats from limited-edition lathe cuts and hardcopy books to direct downloads. Recorded in NYC, “Mary Blair” is his …

In this article:

On ‘Endings That Are Beginnings’, UNF Grad and Emerging Jazz Star Kelly Green Finds Salvation in Music

View Post

Endings That Are Beginnings is the third album by Kelly Green, an Orlando native and UNF graduate who’s been making a name for herself on the highly competitive New York jazz scene during the last eight years she’s resided in the city. Green is probably best known for her classic trio with Alex Tremblay (bass) and Evan Hyde (drums). The …

In this article:

Eclectic Alt-R&B Group Moonchild Announces Tour Stop in Jacksonville in April

View Post

Moonchild, the popular LA trip that fuses jazz with R&B, soul and more, has announced an April tour of the East Coast, Southeast and Midwest, with a stop in Jacksonville. The group plays Underbelly in Downtown Jax on Tuesday, April 18. Wikipedia describes Moonchild as an “alternative R&B band”, but that description, much like their entry on the site, barely …

In this article:

Jacksonville Jazz Artist Ulysses Owens Jr. Takes Home Third Grammy Win with the Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra

View Post

There’s an often-quoted joke amongst musicians : “How do you make a million dollars playing jazz? Start with two million dollars.” While jazz is routinely considered to be a true American art form, from jazz artists’ current fame to total albums sold, its recognition by the overall larger audience can still seem shortsighted. Thankfully, this is not the case for …

In this article:

Theo Croker | Tiny Desk Concert

View Post

This year’s Black History Month celebration at the Tiny Desk features a carefully crafted lineup spanning many genres, generations and walks of life. Each artist represents the best in their class and will be performing at the Tiny Desk for the first time. Trumpeter Theo Croker arrived at the Tiny Desk with an unmistakable air of chill, an easy smile …

In this article:

Seattle Jazz Outfit Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio Visits the Ritz Theatre on Saturday

View Post

Cold As Weiss is the third studio album by the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, released last year. The group will be performing at The Ritz on February 4, a stacked evening for live music in Northeast Florida. Their first album, Close But No Cigar (2015), scored the #1 spot on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.  There are also two live …

In this article:

Jazz Discovery Series Presents Celebrated Bassist Michael Feinberg at the Jessie

View Post

The proverbial overnight sensation — ten years in the making — upright-jazz-bass virtuoso Michael Feinberg continues to bridge the genre’s storied traditions with the open-minded skills and fearless approach of a contemporary player.  Feinberg is featured in a workshop followed by a performance with local musicians from JAMS (Jacksonville Arts & Music School) and the John Lumpkin Institute at the …

In this article:

Randall Bramblett Talks About a Career Spent Pushing the Sonic Boundaries of Modern Roots

View Post

While barely in his twenties and fresh from dropping out of a college career studying religion and psychology, Randall Bramblett made his recording debut in 1970 with Goose Creek Symphony. Considering how esoteric and indefinable that particular drugs-meets-jug-band group were, it was an auspicious beginning for the young multi-instrumentalist whose career remains inventive and unpredictable. In the fifty years since, …

In this article:

Just Announced | Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series 2023

Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Christian McBride, and more headline second-annual festival at St. Augustine’s historic site

View Post

From February 10-19, the second-annual Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series presents six concerts to celebrate the historic and cultural importance of Fort Mose, the site of the first free African settlement in what is now the United States. This year’s series features performances by Mavis Staples (February 10); Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Feb. 11); Valerie June (Feb. 16); Gladys …

In this article:

The gripping ‘Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues’ confronts the artist’s complexities

View Post

Louis Armstrong made his first transatlantic voyage in July of 1932, sailing from New York City to Plymouth, England, aboard the ocean liner RMS Majestic. This was a triumphant visit for Armstrong, whose bravura feats as a trumpeter and rugged ebullience as a singer had already made him a sensation on both sides of the pond. But while the British …

In this article:

Local Spotlight | 4 New Songs by Jax Artists Out Now

Tai Boujie is "So Florida." And so are the rest of these Duval artists.

View Post

We’re all about music discovery here at the Jacksonville Music Experience. As we unearth new tunes from artists around the globe almost daily, we love to shine the high beams of our Local Spotlight series on the beautiful noise emerging from Northeast Florida. This week, we’ve got four great new tracks by Jacksonville artists. Let’s dig in. “Nature Boy” by …

In this article:

Pharoah Sanders, Giant of Spirit-Driven Jazz, Dies at 81

View Post

Pharoah Sanders, the revered and influential tenor saxophonist who explored and extended the boundaries of his instrument, notably alongside John Coltrane in the 1960s, died on Saturday morning in Los Angeles. His death was announced in a post on social media by the record label Luaka Bop, which had released his celebrated 2021 album Promises and confirmed by a publicist …

In this article:

Four Miles Davis Albums to Introduce you to his Singular Genius

Celebrate the Birth(day) of the Cool

View Post

Thursday, May 26, 2022 would have been Miles Davis’s 96th birthday. Considering the prodigious output, charismatic influence and outlaw ethos the jazz genius packed into the 65 years he spent on the planet, it’s hard to gauge how the “dark prince” would have felt as an iNonagenarian.  From his earliest days as a late ‘40s ferocious bebopper, forging mid-20th-century modal …

In this article: