He was born John William Coltrane on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet North Carolina and died on July 17, in Huntington, NY. He was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms and later pioneered the use of modes and free jazz. John Coltrane influenced innumerable musicians and remains one of the most significant and important figures in jazz history. Despite the fact that his career was relatively brief, he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967. He recorded at least 50 recordings as a leader during his short recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Coltrane was the son of John R. Coltrane a tailor and musician and Alice (Blair) Coltrane a domestic worker. He grew up in High Point, NC. He first started playing clarinet and E flat alto horn. He took up the alto saxophone in his high school band. In June of 1943 after graduating from high school he moved to Philadelphia, PA. He briefly attended the Ornstein School of Music and studied at Granoff Studios. He was drafted into the Navy in 1945, and played in the Navy jazz band stationed in Hawaii. He was married twice first to Juanita Naima Coltrane and second to pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist. Coltrane was impacted early in his development on June 5, 1945, when he saw Charlie Parker perform for the first time. Later in a Down Beat article he recalled:”the first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes”. Parker became an early idol and they played together in the late 40’s. He played with Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges in the early to mid 50’s. He played with trumpeter Miles Davis from Oct 1955 through April 1957 in the “First Great Quintet”. During the later part of 1957, July - December Coltrane worked with Thelonious Monk. Coltrane rejoined Miles Davis in Jan 1958 to April 1960 this time it was a sextet featuring Connonball Adderly on alto.
It was during this time that Coltrane was featured on the iconic Davis recording “Kind of Blue”. Coltrane went on to record many albums, such as “Giant Steps” made up of exclusively his own compositions followed by “Ole”. The hugely successful “My Favorite Things” followed as well as “Blue Train”. He recorded collaborations with Duke Ellington and Johnny Hartman the only recording Coltrane did with a vocalist. “A Love Supreme” followed in 1964 which galvanized him to spirituality Later he recorded some avant-garde projects such as “Ascension”. Coltrane died from liver cancer at Huntington Hospital on Long Island at the age of 40 in 1967. From 1948 Coltrane struggled with heroin addiction and alcoholism. In 1957 he had a religious experience which finally led him to overcome his addictions to alcohol and heroin. In 2007, Coltrane was awarded the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz”
For more than four decades, pianist and composer Joe Sample has been an integral, innovative and best selling part of jazz history. Randy Crawford’s and Joe Sample’s musical paths have been intertwined for 36 years, beginning with his keyboard work on her 1976 debut album “Everything Must Change” This latest CD Randy Crawford & Joe Sample Live marks their third joint recording since 2007’s “Feeling Good” and 2008’s “No Regrets”. This Live recording feature Joe Sample on piano, Randy Crawford on vocals, Steve Gadd on drums and Sample’s son Nicklas on the upright bass. Live was recorded between October and December of 2008 on nine European stages from Denmark to Norway to The United Kingdom. This Live CD features 11 impeccable selections. Favorites are the Joe Williams signature song “Everyday I Have The Blues”, Samples’ “One Day I’ll Fly Away” and Crawfords’ “Almaz”. Randy Crawford & Joe Sample Live is yet another addition to the exceptional collaborative book authored by two of the finest in jazz.
Count Basie is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of his time and one of the most important bandleaders of the swing era. William “Count” Basie was born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey to parents who were both musicians. His father, Harvie Basie played the mellophone and his mother Lillian (Childs) Basie was a pianist who gave her son his earliest lessons. After moving to New York he learned from Harlem stride pianists, particularly Fats Waller. He began his career on the vaudeville circuit, which took him to Kansas City where he played with several bands before forming the Barons of Rhythm, a nine piece group including Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), “Papa” Jo Jones (drums) and Lester Young (tenor sax). Jimmy Rushing became the singer. The band gained residency at the Reno Club in Kansas City. The turning point in Basie’s career came in 1936 when the band played on the radio, and an announcer dubbed the pianist “Count” Basie. The broadcast was heard by journalist and record producer John Hammond, and the Count Basie Orchestra made their recording debut on Decca Records in 1937. “One O’Clock Jump,” the first chart entry became the band’s theme song and it was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. When Hershel Evans joined the band it became the dynasty of the two tenors, a saxophone tandem that thrilled audiences. In 1954 Joe Williams became the band’s full time male vocalist and the single “Every Day I Have The Blues” reached number five on the charts and later received a Grammy. “April In Paris” was another key recording of this period. Basie’s undying allegiance to the beat propelled the band to consistently turn out records of extremely high caliber well into even the 1970’s. With the exception of a brief period in the early ‘50s, he led a highly swinging big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later. Basie’s orchestra was characterized by a swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work and generous soloing by the likes of Clark Terry, Wardell Gray, Frank Wess, Al Grey, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, just to name a few. Count Basie was admired as much by musicians as music fans and he displayed a remarkably successful career including nine Grammys and numerous awards and citations as well as a large discography on numerous labels. He enjoyed a remarkable band leading career that lasted long after swing became an archival style of music.
Al Jarreau has nearly five decades of recording and performing to his credit. This seven time Grammy Award winner is the only vocalist in history to claim Grammys in three distinct genres of jazz, pop and R&B. The most recent recording is “Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest Live”, a collection of the best performances from a two-night engagement at the Theater aan de Parade, in Den Bosch, Netherlands. He is joined onstage by a 53-piece orchestra from northern Europe. The CD features 11 songs from Jarreau’s vast body of work, this time with full orchestral arrangements. The highlights are the Jobim composition Agua De Beber, the Ellington classic I’m Beginning to See the Light and the beautiful Corea/ Jarreau composition Spain (I Can Recall). Al said “A lot of people will have heard these songs before, but never in quite this way, this orchestra places them in an entirely new setting.” Listen and decide for yourself to this most enjoyable live recording.