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Brandt Reiter

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Lion Killer

Photo by Nitin Vadukul Something’s afoot. In 2000, hard-bop trumpeter Wallace Roney jumped the Young Lion ship, adding vocal samples and electric instrumentation to that year’s No Room for Argument. Then, mid-30s straight-ahead valvesman Roy Hargrove slipped the acoustic mainstream in early 2003, piling hip-hop, groove, funk and rap into......
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Nicholas Payton, Post-Satch

Photo by Adam Weiss In the jazz wars — the conservationists vs. the innovators, the preservationists vs. the eclecticists — we’ve always known where trumpeter Nicholas Payton stood. Born and raised in Louis Armstrong’s hometown, New Orleans, Payton was playing traditional jazz with a brass band on the Big Easy’s......
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The House That Ruth Built

Ruth Price’s back is killing her. The spritelike 75-year-old singer, educator and Jazz Bakery founder hurt it, she thinks, grabbing extra chairs for a standing-room-only Mose Allison gig last fall. Yet, as we sit in the living room of her modest Benedict Canyon house, she can’t stop moving; even in......
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Rivers’ Edge

Sam Rivers has often been called a giant of avant-garde jazz. Yet it’s hard to think of another living jazz figure of equal stature — and there are precious few — who has been so grossly undervalued. (“What did I do?” Rivers once mused. “Did I tell someone to kiss......
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Steal This Drummer

I’m scheduled to speak with Roy Haynes by phone from his Long Island home, but have trouble getting through. Reaching him on my third attempt, I suggest perhaps this isn’t a good time. “Let’s get it on,” he says. “How much time you gonna need?” To cover a half-century-plus career?......
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The Jazz Singer

If there are no second acts in American lives, don‘t tell Nnenna Freelon. One of the brightest stars to emerge on the jazz vocal scene in the 1990s, the Massachusetts native chose a vocation in health services and motherhood in North Carolina before finally pursuing a music career. A chance......
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Something Wonderful

After cutting an acknowledged jazz classic, 1962’s Nancy WilsonCannonball Adderley, Nancy Wilson went her own way, refusing to be pigeonholed as a jazz vocalist. Working with top arrangers like Billy May, Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Jones, Wilson released more than 30 albums of first-rate pop and R&B material throughout the......
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Freedom Now

Drummer, composer, bandleader, educator, social activist and jazz icon, Max Roach has sojourned on the vanguard of jazz for over six decades. One of the founding fathers of bebop, Roach later joined with trumpeter Clifford Brown to form one of the most influential hard-bop units of the ’50s, the renowned......

Hot Wheels

I took my GPZ out for a ride The engine felt good between my thighs . . . . . . I headed for the mountains feeling warm inside I love that GPZ so much you know that I could kiss her. --Lou Reed, ”New Sensations“ While a motorcycle can......