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What Others Are Saying

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  • New York Times Playlist (February 7th) 02.07.20

    The esteemed bassist Christian McBride was born just after the close of the Civil Rights Movement, so he remembers learning about its heroes by flipping through the copies of his grandmother’s copies of Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s and ’60s. For many years he has worked on “The Movement Revisited,” a musical suite celebrating four figures from those pages who inspired him as a child: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. The suite, finally released as an album Friday, mixes hard-nosed small-group playing, soaring big-band orchestration, spoken readings from figures like Sonia Sanchez and Wendell Pierce, and choral singing. On “Sister Rosa,” the piece dedicated to Parks, a big band and a choir both savor the deep, mid-tempo swing feel, leaning on McBride’s bass for support as the voices unite in a long, weary drawl, quoting Parks: “I’m tired.” RUSSONELLO

  • The True Story of Erroll Garner, the First Artist to Sue a Major Label and Win 11.22.19

    However, you have to dial back to 1960 to find the major precedent: when star jazz pianist Erroll Garner sued Columbia Records for breaking his contract — and won after a nearly three-year battle in a New York Supreme Court decision.

    It was a landmark case that has been largely forgotten. “The Erroll Garner story is an important one,” says UCLA history professor and author Robin D.G. Kelley. “The context is the ‘50s at the height of Garner’s power. He was winning DownBeat polls and other international prizes. He was at the top of his game, and his manager, Martha Glaser (pictured above, right, with Garner), had worked out a contract with Columbia with an unprecedented clause giving Erroll the right to approve the release of any of his recorded music.”

  • Erroll Garner’s ‘A Night At The Movies’ Reissue Radiates Joy 11.19.19

    Erroll Garner, 1964, giving a big Hollywood buildup to "I Found A Million Dollar Baby (At The Five And Ten Cent Store)" (ph) - a song from 1931. It's from his album "A Night At The Movies," my favorite so far from the ongoing Octave Remastered Series of Garner albums. They're being issued one a month through next June. As an album concept, songs from the movies is about as loose as it gets. This one's even looser because some songs, like that last one, actually come from Broadway. A few selections are older than talking pictures, like 1913's "You Made Me Love You," a vehicle for Al Jolson, who did it slower than Erroll Garner does.

  • Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2019 10.31.19

    A really cool set of reissues came out this month, too, from a pianist who’s revered in certain circles but whose legacy isn’t what it should be. Erroll Garner was a hugely successful pianist and composer of the standard “Misty”; his 1955 album Concert By The Sea was massive at the time, and was reissued as a three-CD set in 2015.

  • Hear “Paris Mist” from a New Reissue Series Celebrating the Legacy of Piano Master Erroll Garner 10.31.19

    But “Misty” was hardly Garner’s only career milestone. In 1947, shortly after leaving his native Pittsburgh for New York, he appeared on early recordings by Charlie Parker. And his 1955 live album, Concert By The Sea, became the first jazz recording to register more than $1 million in sales. He was a virtuosic and talented performer with a lively following of fans and passionate admirers, and his style has been praised, emulated and adored by countless musicians — Geri Allen and Dick Hyman were particularly keen enthusiasts.

  • Hear a Taste of Erroll Garner at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, From a Deluxe New Reissue Series 10.31.19

    This was the third release on Octave Records, which Garner had established with his manager, Martha Glaser. Originally distributed by Philips, it has never had a fully dedicated reissue.

    That’s about to change, thanks to the Octave Remastered Series. A joint initiative of Mack Avenue Records and the Erroll Garner Jazz Project, it’s a batch of reissues spanning Garner’s total output on Octave: 12 albums from the 1960s and ‘70s. The first four — along with One World Concert, they include Dreamstreet, Closeup in Swing and A New Kind of Love — land on Sept. 27.

  • The ‘Confessions’ of Veronica Swift 10.11.19

    The new album by self-assured 25-year-old jazz singer Veronica Swift begins with an auspicious announcement of sorts: “I may be unknown, but wait till I’ve flown,” she confides over a delicate, insinuating piano introduction. “You’re gonna hear from me.”

  • Premiere: The Soul Rebels Dish On ‘Real Life’ In New Video 09.12.19

    New Orleans brass ensemble The Soul Rebels are gearing up to release a brand new full-length album, titled Poetry In Motion, on October 25. To aid in its promotional efforts, the group is premiering a second new single and its accompanying music video, directed by Leff at Vincent Lou Films.

  • Veronica Swift: Confessions 08.29.19

    A born be-bopper, it's literally impossible not to love the energy that 25 year old Veronica Swift brings to her game. Soulfully infused with an infectious passion for jazz past and future, she is building a grand foundation for a long and colorful career, guaranteeing plenty of great performances and listenings along the way.

  • Artist Spotlight: Veronica Swift 08.19.19

    This rising vocalist is following the family path—while exploring her own style.

  • Artist Feature: Veronica Swift 08.19.19

    Swift has just turned 25 and has already had a full and important career to which other performers would aspire. Confession, her latest album and Mack Avenue debut is due out at the end of August, with pianists Benny Green and Emmet Cohen’s trios.

  • ‘Gratitude’ CD Review 08.19.19

    On his latest album, Gratitude, Cole offers thanks for the people who’ve helped see him through some of his tough times – the loved ones, the musicians and collaborators who rallied around, and the often-nameless professionals whose job is to help and to heal.