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José James: breathing fresh life into jazz

José James: breathing fresh life into jazz

It seems that José James was put on Earth in order to breathe fresh life into an entire genre. His voice is a pure gift from heaven – it eclipses jazz greats such as Mark Murphy (I truly mean this). His voice has more texture, more silk. You could picture his voice pouring off the […]

13 minutes of genius, from Gil Scott-Heron

13 minutes of genius, from Gil Scott-Heron

My mum brought the album home from work. A friend of hers knew that me and my brothers were into our music, so he thought he would work on expanding our knowledge. I want to shake him by the hand. For, the album which I put my hands on, I am guessing as a 14 […]

Joanne Grauer. You won't have heard of her.

Joanne Grauer. You won’t have heard of her.

This isn’t going to be easy. I know near on nothing about the subject of this blog post. I say that, but what I mean is that I know nothing about the artist. Other than the fact that she’s responsible for one of my favourite pieces of music. Ever. So – it’s worth having a […]

Donald Byrd Word!

Donald Byrd Word!

My introduction to Jazz was through Hip Hop. When I searched for the samples that bands like the Pharcyde, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and DJ Krush among others used, it would come back to one man: Donald Byrd. Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II (what a name!) is an artist I encourage everyone […]

Broadening horizons

Broadening horizons

1993. I scarcely believe that it was that long ago that I was dropped off by my parents at university. A naïve, fresher-faced, significantly slimmer (a ‘lanky streak of piss’ is one way of putting it) version of me. And I had bad jeans. I envy this streak of piss on a regular basis. Yes, […]

More First freethoughts

More First freethoughts

The Original Funky Drummer Art Blakey Over the last few weeks I have been listening to a great big pile of music. First and foremost, I have been listening to an awful lot of Jazz, specifically Hard Bop. I’ve been revisiting artists like Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Ugetsu, At the Jazz Corner of […]