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    Eddie Higgins: Christmas Songs

    Image2004-eddie-higginsEvery year at this time I choose a favorite jazz Christmasalbum to share with you. My annual selection has nothing to do with new releases or hot new artists. My criterion simply is beauty, which isn't so easy, since a great Christmas album is hard to find. For me, most tend to be too solemn or sticky sweet. Just right is a fine line in this genre. To make the cut, a holiday jazz album needs to be uplifting and sentimental, but not dreary or noisy. I know, I know—picky, picky. My evergreen selection this year is Eddie Higgins' Christmas Songs.

    This Is Pat Moran

    ImageImages-5By now, you probably know that bassist Scott LaFaro was a member of the Bill Evans Trio from 1959 to 1961 and that he died in an auto accident in July 1961. But before LaFaro's association with Evans, he was a working musician in New York and then in Los Angeles. Just before his trip West in 1957, La Faro recorded his first trio album—This Is Pat Moran (Audio Fidelity)—with Moran on piano and Gene Gammage on drums. The album also was issued as The Legendary Scott LaFaro by the label in 1958, one assumes to capitalize on both fan bases.

    James Moody (1925-2010)

    JazzWaxMOODY JAMES FLUTE MONTEREY JAZZ FSTIVAL 2007 ©PAUL SLAUGHTERJames Moody, a bebop pioneer and seductive improviser whose mischievous sense ofhumor masked a highly serious and industrious saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger, died Thursday in San Diego. He was 85. [Photo of James Moody at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival by Paul Slaughter]

    Interview: Don Sebesky (Part 2)

    JazzWax

    Screen shot 2010-12-08 at 8.40.52 PM

    In the late '60s and '70s, Don Sebesky was one of the most in-demand jazz arrangers in the record business. His close working relationship with Creed Taylor and CTI Records resulted in 45 albums. Among them were George Benson's White Rabbit, Kenny Burrell's God Bless the Child and Stanley Turrentine's The Sugar Man.

    Interview: Don Sebesky (Part 1)

    JazzWaxArranger Don Sebesky is among only a handful of musicians Screen shot 2010-12-08 at 8.46.58 PMtoday who toured and recorded with both Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson's big bands at the tail end of the '50s. Don also arranged Wes Montgomery's most popular recordings for Verve and A&M in the '60s, and in the '70s arranged and conducted many of CTI's best-known releases.

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