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Marc Myers' JazzWax

Albert King on Stax


Albertking580When I was a teenager in the 1970s living with my parents an hour north of New York in Westchester County, I had friends who worked in the record departments of stores that anchored local malls. They knew I loved music and that on my trips to New York I often brought back hip jazz records from stores called Sam Goody and King Karol. One of my cashier friends offered me a deal: He'd buy any three records I wanted in the store with his deep discount if I would buy him one Albert King record in the city. Sounded like a good deal to me.

Eyewitness: Thumbs Carllile


Last week, JazzWax reader Uwe Zänisch in Berlin sent along a note about guitarist Kenneth "Thumbs" Carllile (1931-1987), a country picker with a superb technique. Rather than spoil the story, let me have Uwe pick it up ...


Stan Kenton: Portrait of a Legend


Screen shot 2011-04-17 at 8.11.49 PMFor years, if you wanted a documentary on Stan Kenton, you were pretty much out of luck. You either had to find DVDs that included clips of the band over the years or you scrounged around YouTube hoping someone put up something fresh. Now Graham Carter at Jazzed Media has produced and directed Stan Kenton, Artistry in Rhythm: Portrait of a Jazz Legend. The new DVD offers a biographical look at the bandleader and his many orchestras through narration, musician interviews and rare footage, photos and promotional materials.

Stan Getz and Cal Tjader


Stan GetzIn February 1954, Stan Getz and the George Shearing Quintet were booked on the same bill for a series of West Coast concerts produced by Gene Norman. On the bus trip from Portland to Seattle, Getz tried to kick his heroin habit. The tenor saxophonist intended to be clean before the likelihood of drawing jail time following a user conviction in Los Angeles.

Jon Eardley & Phil Woods: Pot Pie


Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 8.40.30 PMJazz was so crowded with talent in the 1950s that it's easy for great artists from the decade to slip into obscurity today. This is especially true of trumpet players. We fixate on Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Kenny Dorham and Clifford Brown, not to mention Dizzy Gillespie, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Roy Eldridge. Rightfully so, but there were plenty of others. One who deserves much more recognition than he has received thus far is Jon Eardley. Among his finest recording sessions are two from the mid-'50s with alto saxophonist Phil Woods.

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