April 4, 2015 |
After a lengthy and hilarious discourse at his South Philadelphia home on all things swing and jazz, hot guitarist Marty Grosz, 85, says, "I hope I don't sound like a sour curmudgeon, which is probably what I am. " About to release his latest album, Diga Diga Doo - Marty Grosz Meets the Fat Babies: Hot Music from Chicago , the musician and singer says proudly that his art has always sought to entertain rather than lull audiences into a stupor...
March 21, 2015 |
Pianist Orrin Evans is all about the moment, the conversation within the music, rather than anything preordained or planned. "For me, the most important thing is the hang, and then the music," says Evans. This weekend, on what happens to be Evans' birthday, he'll share his delectable brand of improvisational chatter with members of his trio (bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr.), as well as jazz guitarist and fellow Philadelphian Kurt Rosenwinkel. "Man, you don't even have to put the word milestone or birthday out there," Evans says with a laugh.
April 25, 2014 |
Pat Martino, eminent jazz guitarist, was at the height of a successful career in 1980 when he suffered a near-fatal aneurysm. In its wake came amnesia that left him unable to play the guitar. With the support of his family, he struggled with the aftermath. That struggle is one of many reasons Martino has such a strong connection with the local nonprofit Jazz Bridge. Martino headlines Jazz Bridge's 10th anniversary fund-raiser Friday night at Rosemont's New Leaf Club. For the last decade, Jazz Bridge, cofounded by singers Suzanne Cloud and Wendy Simon Sinkler, has offered health, legal, financial, and professional assistance to blues and jazz musicians in times of personal crisis.
December 15, 2013 |
Jimmy Amadie, the renowned Philadelphia jazz pianist and music educator who recorded nine albums despite suffering from severe tendonitis that prevented him from performing live for 44 years, has died. He was 76. Mr. Amadie, who grew up in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia and lived in Bala Cynwyd, was diagnosed with lung cancer (though he never smoked) in 2007. He died on Tuesday at Penn Hospice in Center City. "Philadelphia has been the home base for some extremely significant jazz artists," said guitarist Pat Martino.
January 31, 2013 |
HIS PLAYING had been described as "ferocious," "salty" and a few other colorful adjectives. The object of these descriptions was the greatest jazz guitarist you never heard of: Jef Lee Johnson. However, if you're a dedicated jazz fan, you might have caught him at any number of music venues in Philly over the years, mostly playing in groups, with or behind other musicians, hidden but eloquent. You also might have heard his distinctive sound on numerous albums and solo discs, many of them starring other musicians.
June 16, 2010
11:30 tonight CHANNEL 12 Germantown's own Kevin Eubanks (right), jazz guitarist and former "Tonight" show bandleader, gets a plaque on the Avenue of the Arts tomorrow at noon. But first, he chats with Smiley.
April 17, 2007 |
Guitarist John Williams - schooled by his father and for a brief time by the legendary Andres Segovia - is one of England's most celebrated classical musicians. Yet he has always shied away from a conventional classical career. One recent day, he was eager to get out of his London flat to buy some music blessedly unconnected with the conservatory. It was a CD of Mali guitarist Bassekou Kouyate. For Williams, 65, the guitar has been a passport to collective guitar wisdom from Africa to the Americas.
October 4, 2000 |
Dennis Sandole, a jazz guitarist, composer and educator whose students included John Coltrane and Pat Martino, died Saturday at his home in Roxborough of congestive heart failure. He had turned 87 the day before. Although virtually unknown outside the community of musicians, Mr. Sandole (san-DOE-lee) left his fingerprints all over the jazz-history book. He played in the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa and Boyd Raeburn. He recorded with trumpeter Art Farmer, saxophonist Charlie Barnet, and others, and put out only a few records of original material, among them a 1956 collaboration with his brother, Adolph, titled Modern Music From Philadelphia.
March 8, 2000 |
Pat Metheny is sitting in the midtown rehearsal space where he does most of his composing, describing the ordeal he goes through to write a melody. He looks beyond the grand piano, the array of synthesizers and computer gear, until his eyes land on a massive stack of papers nestled between water bottles on a makeshift desk. It's the galleys for his songbook, due out this month. This body of work - 500 pages of music written over 30 years - taunts him every time he sits down to write.
January 23, 2000 |
"I'll take your word for it," says Sean Penn, on the other end of the line, having just been told that his performance as Emmet Ray, the fictional '30s jazz guitarist - and irrepressible nutcase - at the center of Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, is going to come as a big surprise to audiences. The death-row inmate of Dead Man Walking, the hard-nosed infantry sarge of The Thin Red Line, the sleazeball lawyer of Carlito's Way . . . there are any number of Sean Penns familiar to moviegoers as intense, raging and serious.