This is the one that started it all, that pushed jazz into the concert hall (Carnegie, no less) and proved jazz could be high art and dance music, too. But its virtues aren't merely historical — this thing cooks like crazy. It's the high water mark of the swing era. From the opening number, "Don't Be That Way," when Gene Krupa takes his wowza drum break, Harry James comes roaring in with his crystal trumpet solo and the whole big band picks up its pace, you'll be sold. There's lots of pops and clicks, and they do get in the way, but the joy shines through.
By Richard Gehr on 10.19.09 in Spotlights
Drums are the alpha and the omega of music. "In the beginning there was rhythm!" wailed Ari Up of the Slits with theological conviction. Beats figure as prominently in contemporary music - at least since the invention of...
By Kevin Whitehead on 04.16.09 in Spotlights
When the Roots signed on as Jimmy Fallon's Late Night house band, there was a curious catch: NBC wouldn't be paying for the rights to any music, not even the band's own. Consequently. the Roots had to compose dozens of n...
By Kevin Whitehead on 02.25.15 in Features
Kevin Whitehead on how the prolific saxophonist has defeated expectations.
By Britt Robson on 02.11.15 in Reviews
The Vijay Iyer Trio set a remarkably high bar with their two prior studio releases, Historicity in 2009 and Accelerando in 2012, each one consensually rated among the top two or three releases of the year in jazz polls a...